Thursday, February 4, 2016

Author Book Signing: Marissa Meyer

Another author book signing under my belt; however, this wasn't the first time I've met Marissa Meyer, but she wowed me but once again at her STARS ABOVE book tour event in Salt Lake City. She's the amazing author of the LUNAR CHRONICLES series. Must read books!
Some things I learned from Ms. Meyer:
To stay motivated while writing or rather to "trick your mind to write" she mentioned...
 - Set small goals so it doesn't feel like such a huge project, even if it is just one sentence a day.
 - Bribe yourself for productivity
 - Write in a different environment. ie: enjoy writing by candle light
Something remarkable Marissa shared with us: she started crafting stories as a little girl. She vocalized the stories and her mom wrote them down.
I love author signings and reading and books. And I love Marissa Meyer's books. She's one of my favorite authors to date!
Have you had to chance to meet one of your favorite authors? What's some advice they gave for writers?
Writing Jewels

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Author Book Signing: Ally Carter

With great joy, I met Ally Carter yesterday at a book signing. She is a delight, so funny, and quite engaging. I think I was the oldest person there. haha
For those whom don't know who Ms. Carter is, you definitely should. She wrote some amazing series, including GALLAGHER GIRLS, HEIST SOCIETY, EMBASY ROW, and CHEATING AT SOLITAIR.
All of these series are MUST reads!
The lovely Ally signed all of her books that I own. I said she didn't have to because of the long line and her poor hand, but she still did. What a wonderful gal!
Tidbits I learned from her talk:
1. For aspiring writers, just write and don't worry about being published so much. Just enjoy the experience.
2. The first draft is, as she put it, "dirty water." Don't dwell on what you've written. You need to get it all on paper or computer, then you can worry about clearing up the "dirty water." That's what editing and revising are meant for.
3. She mentioned that for a good while, when she first starting writing and eventually when she was traditionally published, she had a day job. Ultimately, she quit her job and focused solely on her writing (she could support herself by then). I asked her "how she did both the day job and writing?" (I have a stressful day job and would rather chill when I get home). She didn't necessarily give me any pointers, but I did pull from her answer that I don't have a publisher giving me deadlines and that makes it easier, so feel blessed to not have that added pressure with juggling a day job and writing. Phew! That makes me feel better.
Anyway, I thought these would be of use to my writing friends out there! What is some advice you've been given from writers when you've been at book signings or other events?
Writing Jewels

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2015! & Happy 2016!

Bon voyage to 2015. Welcome 2016! This is our year! All of our year!

2015 was a fun year for the Jules. A lot happened and I'm happy to share a bit of my year.
  • Became an adult, officially. Ditched my twin bed for a queen-sized bed fit for a King.
  • Attended Comic Con for the first time & saw Matt Smith there (Doctor Who). Smitten.
  • Celebrated my 33rd birthday.
  • Saw U2 in concert for the 5th time. I love those boys.
  • Did a bit of hiking in the Utah mountains at the beginning of the summer.
  • Colored my hair very blonde. Loved it!
  • Traveled Down Under to Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. On a broken foot, to boot. No pun intended, as I was wearing a boot cast. Nothing holds me back. Although, it probably should have. Loved loved loved the trip!
  • Broken foot is healing, hopefully will be 100% better one of these days.
  • Read 47 books. The goal was 50, but I came in pretty darn close.
  • Trying my hand at painting. I'm somewhat good. Read "somewhat" very loosely.
  • Toyed around with some writing ideas.
  • Spent good times with family and friends.
How about you?
2016 is going to be a year of joy! I'm certain of it. Not sure if I will be adventuring unless if someone wants to pay for me to go to Africa with them... Maybe Morocco? Any takers? :)
I plan to get back to my writing roots, hone in my painting skills, and reading 50 books. I would definitely like to start dating someone whom I will eventually marry. If you know any LDS great guys, let me know. :)
Well, happy to be blogging again. Not sure if I will consistently blog, but Id' like to say hello and hope you have a delightful new year!
Hugs all the way from Bag End...
Writing Jewels

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Peru Experience

I returned home from a two-week vacation to Peru recently. The tour turned out to be quite an enjoyable time but life changing too. I relaxed and gained a new outlook on life.
Pre-Peru Julia lived her life longing for the time when she was able to crash into bed at the end of the day.
Post-Peru Julia lives her life taking in all she can throughout the day until she is able to happily tuck herself in bed at night.
This may make me sound like a depressed person (of which occasionally is the case), but that is not the point; the point is that something changed in me in Peru.
Here's how it happened: The first day of the tour we were in the Amazon jungle and I was tired. All I could think about was hitting the sack at the end of the day. In my mind I scolded myself saying: "Julia, you are in Peru only once in your life! Enjoy it! Every minute of it!" The rest of the tour, I lived deeply every experience from nighttime caiman spotting in the jungle, to scaling the endless steps of Huayna Picchu, to enjoying countless Incan ruins, to visiting native communities on the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca, to strolling along the streets of Cusco. 
I pulled so much strength and resolve from this tour and, surprisingly, without even knowing it. It was about a week after I arrived home that the realization of this delightful paradigm shift had occurred and I am happy for it. 
The thing is I have to work hard on keeping this resolve. There have been a few times since returning home that I have found myself sliding back into my old stress bucket ways, and I have to take a few deep breaths and exhale a healthy "Don't sweat it."
Life should be beautiful and enjoyable, not a routine of longing to go back to bed all the time.
Have you had a similar experience? Are you hoping to have this kind of a change occur in your life? I just hope you don't have to travel across the world to figure it out.
And for those who want to see some pics, here you go:

Relaxing in the Amazon jungle at my bungalow.
 Julia's gone native.
 I made friends with some alpacas.
 Cristo Blanco high in the hills of Cusco.
 My alpaca friend I named Frazzila May.
 Julia at Machu Picchu! This place is wondrous and magical.
Uros floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca near Puno, Peru.

 Eating alpaca. It was beyond delicious.
 Eating guinea pig, a Peruvian delicacy.
In front of what is considered Peru's white house in Lima.

Writing Jewels

Monday, August 18, 2014

You Don't Want to Miss This Book: REMEMBRANDT

Hello friends! Long time no write... Well, for me, at least in the blogoshere.
I had to blog about something that is just fantastic! So HELLO!
My sister-in-law, Robin King, has a publishing deal through Walnut Springs Press for debut novel called:
Robin's novel is due to be released in November 2014. I have read REMEMBRANDT and it is amazing! She revealed the to-die-for cover last week on her blog. Since I love the book and it's cover ever so much, I'm going to show it off here on my blog, too!
Take a look at this pretty little gem:

Find it here on Goodreads. Go ahead, add it to your to-read shelf. You know you want to. ;)
Oh, and the blurb to tempt your fancy all the more:
"Alexandra Stewart doesn't just walk down memory lane, she lives on it. Her eidetic memory records her experiences and plays them back, DVD style. It's great when she wants to ace a test, but not so great when she topples over a cute boy in the hallway and the humiliation plays back over and over and over . . . Brown University seems like the perfect place for the seventeen-year-old to forget her past. Hope for a normal life comes in the form of a handsome new running partner who makes her heart race and body perspire even before she laces up her shoes.

When her Russian professor gives her a puzzle that seems impossible to solve, Alex discovers that he has a secret - one that will catapult her into a world of cryptic codes and covert missions. As she tries to find a balance between the two different worlds vying for her attention, Alex wonders if she can have relationships with the ones she cares about while hiding a clandestine life, uncovering the truths of an underground enemy.

One thing is for certain, whatever happens will be forever etched into her memory. And some things are better left forgotten."
Isn't the cover gorgeous?
I hope you have been doing well.
Writing Jewels

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

And Then There Was Sight

Hi all. It has been some months since I last posted. Where has the time gone? Where have I gone?
I've been here, just not so much in blogosphere-land. Sorry for being out of touch. I am not sure how often I will be posting from here on out, but I wanted to check in and say hello.

What have I been up to? Well, the day job has been insanely busy. I had a breakthrough for one of my book's plots. Gotta love sleepless nights, huh?

Speaking of sleepless nights, something else has played a part of my distance from bloggy-world. I had corrective eye surgery, PRK, on February 20. I decided to go for this eye surgery because I just wanted to see, I mean really see. It is miraculous to not need to rely on contact lenses or glasses to function during the day. To see the patterns on the ceiling when I wake up in the morning is spectacular.

Why did I segue to this topic with sleepless nights? Well, that is exactly what I went through for 4 weeks. The first week was filled with excruciating pain and intense discomfort. Suffice it to say, I was in agony. It was to be expected, and I knew that beforehand. I just didn't expect it to be so debilitating. When I thought I would only need to take off three days of work, it turned in to six. Even after that amount of time, I couldn't see properly. Work was not a walk in the park for a week and a half with having to catch up with emails and projects, being light sensitive and exhausted, and not being able to drive or see a computer screen properly. I had to wake up every two hours during the night to put in eye drops too, not so conducive to a good night's sleep, huh?


After 5 weeks post surgery, I. CAN. SEE!!!

It is pretty amazing and will only get better over the coming months. The pain may have been unbearable and boring being at home in the dark for a week, but I think it will be worth it. It already has been worth it.

I said I was bored. All I could do was listen to audio books, and I listened to four books. Not too shabby.

How have you been lately? Any book plot breakthroughs?


Writing Jewels