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I just left the In Your Write Mind conference at Seton Hill, and it was lovely to catch up with old friends and get to know some new ones better. This was my first time attending the retreat since I graduated, and I’m glad I escaped Taiwan for a summer. Plus, shoutout to my fav reader, Aileen Erin–it was so nice seeing her in person again! The group of us discovered a restaurant gem in Greensburg, and went to Lupi & Leo’s three nights in a row—I will now spend the next few weeks trying to burn off ravioli weight. I also laughed so hard I hurt my hernia, but I’d do it again in a second!

The conference was also super motivating. Hearing Beth Phelan talk about New Adult helped me organize and focus my WIP, and when my mentor Nicole Peeler described NA as “crackalicious” my ideas all gelled together. Now I’m on the word wagon and trying to bust out a CampNaNoWriMo novel. This may be complicated by my travel schedule–I’m visiting my Taiwan bestie in Toronto this weekend, and have about 20 hours in the car after that. But, I’ve been nursing this project forever, and am ready to get it out into the world, so driving or no driving, I’m going to get it done.

                                                            In A World Just Right by Jen Brooks

In other fun news, I picked up an ARC of my classmate Jen Brooks’ YA debut—In A World Just Right. I’ve already started reading, and the story is as amazing as expected. It’s a perfect example of how to write in the first person present without being annoying—very few writers can pull this off. The book will be out in April 2015, but you should probably preorder it now (Kindle | iTunes), because you’re going to want to read it!