Nothing can describe awesomeness more than this cake. And if you click it it'll magically transport you to my website.


Stop By & Say Hi

If anyone is going to be at the Shore Leave convention next month, be sure to say hi! I'm a guest author--I'll be on three panels Saturday. So if you're there, make sure you stop by "Everything's Better in a TARDIS," "Young Adult S/F and Fantasy," and "I Believe in Sherlock."


Pizza Everywhere!

While I was in Europe last month (which was incredible, albeit really, really HOT), I had the chance to sample a lot of pizza. In fact, I had more pizza than I probably would have at home, but it never got old because each pizza was a different experience.

Pizza in Venice was first. I don't have a picture of the pizza itself, but it was a thin, almost cracker-like crust with tomato sauce, cheese, and basil. (Called "Margarita Pizza.")
We sat right on the Grand Canal.
Then Dubrovnik, Croatia. The crust was doughier, but still thin.
I did not eat the olive.
Then we had pizza in Corfu, Greece. We asked for vegetarian, but...
In Greece, vegetarian pizza comes with complementary ham.
 Katie and her family had pizza in Naples, Italy, and took a picture for me.
They also got to make pizza.
 We had pizza again in Florence, Italy.
The red, white, and green (tomato, cheese, basil) is for the Italian flag.
 And finally, back home (well, visiting family in CT during the college trip that immediately followed Europe) I made my own Margarita Pizza!
I still need some practice.


Is it sad that...

...I trust my little sister way more than I do myself when it comes to food? (Answer: no. It's probably very healthy.)

Today, specifically, food + art.

(Well, I think it's art.)

The thing is, my sister is perfectly adept at doing kitchen stuff. You know. Stuff like making mac&cheese. And microwaving. (A skill I'll probably have to learn before college.) And knowing the difference between baking powder and baking soda. And putting the bottom on the glass pitcher of the blender before you dump yogurt, fruit, and milk into it. And comprehending the instructions on the back of the spaghetti box.

The other thing is, I am not.

To be fair, one time I did make cinnamon-honey syrup almost all by myself. (She melted the butter.)

Anyway, she's also very good at art. Any kind of art. So today when I wanted to make a Sherlock IOU apple out of the only red apple in our kitchen, I immediately handed it to her.

She did let me bite out the "O," though.


It's Tuesdayyyyy

I woke my sister up this morning Supernatural-style. As in, I blasted "Heat of the Moment." Tuesday might be my new favorite day.


Oh hey...

I did not forget my sneakers! (Hi, Mom.)

Hey, I just met you
And this is crazy
But check out my medal
13.1 baby!


I will not forget my sneakers.

I've had a pretty busy week, with PSSAs (yes, again), homework, tests, my FINAL TRAINING WEEK (yay!) for the half marathon I'm doing Sunday, and trying to stay sane on top of all that. (My sister helps with the sanity part. How am I going to survive college without her? I'll try not to dwell on that.)

Now I have to pack for the trip this weekend, but I've decided I really hate packing (let me skip straight to the actual travel part any day). Why? Why do I hate packing? Because it drives me crazy. I'm the kind of person who panics as she packs, sure she's forgetting something, assures herself, no, if anything, she overpacked...and then inevitably forgets something.

Last time I went away for a weekend I forgot my sneakers. OOPS. *runs off to pack sneakers RIGHT NOW* That would be kind of very bad this time. And doubly ironic considering I just ordered another pair of sneakers so now I have two pairs of the exact same shoe (though the new ones are GREEN, like they-might-taste-like-key-lime-or-something-they're-that-green green) so I even have a pair to spare. Which is great, because I love my sneakers. They're like magic on my feet. Even if the rest of my body aches and is tired my feet are always like, "Hey, come on! We're totally cool down here. Run, girl, run!" And I have to listen because my feet essentially control my mind.

Well, not really. That would be strange. But when it comes to running it's effectively true. (Kind of like photons don't have mass, but they can have a sort of effective mass. Oh, wait. I'm done with that test. NO MORE PHYSICS TODAY.) This is why it is important to have my sneakers on my feet.

I will not forget my sneakers.

"They-might-taste-like-key-lime-or-something-they're-that-green green."


YA Lit Six

In case anyone didn't see the recent YA Lit Six post about new members, I'm going to copy it below. Those interested in joining should definitely send in a sample post!

We are currently looking for 2 new members to bring us back up to 6 members.

Requirements are much the same as last time:

-- You must be under 25.
-- You must be a writer. (Well, duh.) State of publication does not matter.
-- You must be willing to commit to blogging every week on your day.
-- It would be nice you wouldn't mind tweeting from the @yalitsix account once in a while since I suck at remembering to do that and I would love if someone did that, too.
-- That's about it!

If you're interested in joining, please send a sample post to, pasted into the body of the email. No attachments. We'd love to know a little bit about you, but no introduction posts, please. We are looking to see how your writing style would fit with ours and get an idea of your blogging ideas.

Try to have it be somewhere around 250-350 words, but use your best judgement. Last, please list in order which days you would prefer to have. Monday and Wednesday are available.

Since it's March 31st today, we'll give you until April 31st (because nobody posts on Sundays) to send in your posts.

Good luck to all!


On the Lack of Reading

On average, it takes me about two to three days to finish a book. (Assuming this book is an average-sized novel I enjoy.)

Wait. Takes? No.


Now on an average week it would probably take me, well, the week, because I'd read very little until the weekend, and sometimes I wouldn't read very much then, either. This is because I have less time to read, and also because I'm a bit rusty--I no longer read for pleasure very often (by my standards), by necessity. And by "by necessity" I mean "for the sake of doing well in school."

Ironic, isn't it? I read less to do better in school.

Let me explain: I am the sort of reader that, when presented with a fictional world or story that is intriguing, likes to think about that world or story. The sort of reader that likes to analyze and learn from that world or story. And therefore, when I'm in the middle of the world or story, I find it hard to focus as much on, say, reading my physics textbook or filling in a Spanish worksheet. Because, to me, my mind is actively engaged elsewhere. This poses a problem when I have hours of homework to do, days on end.

For this reason, books are no longer an option, unless I either 1) am on break, or 2) forgo homework and/or sleep to finish the book before it disrupts the next day as well.

This also might attribute to the growing amount of TV shows (good TV shows, let me clarify) I've watched lately. While each series has an ongoing arc, the distinct storylines are over and done with in 45 minutes. I can sacrifice 45 minutes of sleep to get my fiction fix (yes, I am a junkie). Unfortunately, in eleventh grade, I can't space out reading a book in the same manner.

This is just a short explanation of why I no longer can read as much as I used to.


Is there a suggestion box?

For the last four days, my mornings have been consumed with the PSSAs--the state standardized tests a la No Child Left Behind. Needless to say, these have not been fun mornings by any stretch (especially as they started two days after taking the SAT).

This week tested math and reading. And to any PSSA-test-makers out there, I have a suggestion: please, please make the reading sections more interesting.

Here's the setup: we have to read passages, poems, and articles, then answer multiple-choice questions and write an open-ended response related to those materials. Here's the problem: the passages, poems, and articles tend to be so mind-numbing that I have to physically move my eyes over each line five times to take it in.

Now, in my opinion, just because the tests do not count towards our grades and are only used to play some weird money distribution game, does not mean they can't be interesting. Really. And if the goal is to raise students' scores, I honestly think passages that capture and hold our interest enough for us to think about them in a way that doesn't cause mental fogginess would do the trick.

And while we're at it, though we haven't done the writing section yet, due to prior PSSA experiences I'd like to throw in a request for fun or interesting essay prompts. As long as we're going to be spending a few hours on the tests...

On the bright side, we're done!....until April....


Good Days

So, today was a good day. A very good day. Not for any particular reason, it just was. I got all my homework done early, zipped through a math test, jotted down ideas for a New Top-Secret Writing Project Thingie, had Chipotle for dinner (ALWAYS a plus), got to stop by the library, and even might get to sleep before eleven.

When you're a junior in high school, this is about the best it gets.

Because I had a good day, I thought I'd share a cool video my mom and I found last week while I was explaining to her what a lip dub is (as my school is making one tomorrow). Here you go. It made us smile!

And this one, because HOW COOL ARE THEY?



So this weekend was pretty cool! I attended my first science fiction convention, Farpoint--I was invited as a guest author, and it was a neat experience overall. Fellow author guest Phil Giunta chronicled the weekend here. Check it out! I'm in it. ;)

Also, I got my picture with Michael Hogan of Battlestar Galactica!....Now, I haven't seen Battlestar Galactica (yet) but I did recognize him from an episode of Psych. (In case you're wondering, season four, episode fifteen. The shark one.) (Oh, and I think he was a creepy uncle in Dollhouse once. I saw that too!)



Hey everyone! This is a reminder that I have a few events coming up...

Courtesy of my events page, the dates and sites are (drumroll please)...

February 11, 2012, 1:00 pm, State College, PA --> Book signing at B&N

February 17-19, 2012, Farpoint Convention, Timonium, MD

Saturday April 28th, 2012, 11-00AM - 12:00 Noon. Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group Morning Program - Kieryn Nicolas: "Create While You Can Relate: Why Being a Young Writer is an Asset Rather Than a Disadvantage."

Looks like February is going to be pretty fun!


It Hath Returned

(Disclaimer: I don't know if the title is correctly phrased or not--it just sounded adequately dramatic.)

Today I came down with something, again. That something is called I Need To Write My New Story NOW Fever. And it is a wonderful, fabulous kind of illness I hope never to find the cure for. (Kidding, I know what the "cure" is--homework. Homework zaps my will to do anything.)

Anyway. I had a sort of epiphany during school Friday, which pretty much added a sense of purpose to my story idea--which was the only thing it had been missing. (The idea has to do with monocles. So cool. Just saying.) Admittedly, the idea made it difficult to concentrate the rest of the day, and I may have been scribbling ideas in my writing notebook rather than my notes notebook...shh.

This excitement to plan and write is the kind of feeling I can't imagine when I don't feel it. I know it exists, but I forget how it makes everything I do just a bit more exciting, because there's something extra stringing me along. I hope the feeling sticks around a while--I like this story.

Over and out.