I Finally Know What I Want to do When I Grow Up (plus update)


Hi All,

Oh. My. Gosh. Is it already spring? Time flies! I haven’t been around much, which has sucked, but I’ve also accomplished a fair amount in the time I’ve been gone as well, which-brace yourselves-I’ve got an update on (I promise, I’ll start writing more often so I can stop bombarding you with a novel every time I log in!

Okay, update #1, I graduated! Although I finished my undergraduate coursework in December, my degree was conferred and came in the mail on February 8th. I am now, officially a BA in English with Specialization in Children’s and Young People’s Texts and Cultures, and a minor in Conflict Resolution Studies!!! This is gonna sound weird, but I love my degree so much! Although I’m sure I could have done many other things and been happy, I’m so glad that whenever I went on a different direction, I was always pointed back to the one I needed to be on. It took a lot of work, but it feels so good to be on the path to doing what I love!

Update #2 I’m sort-of, technically, a graduate student (well, I will be as of September)! I was just accepted in a graduate English program at a beautiful university in the Maritimes, and have already been approved to work with an awesome thesis supervisor! I haven’t accepted yet, as I want to see the results from my other applications and make a decision then, but I am still thrilled!

Update #3 (AKA, The Reason I Haven’t Been on Much): This winter has not been like anything I expected it to be. That’s okay. Even though I can be one of the worst stresser-outers on the planet, I can also find the calm in the crisis, and I also like to look on these moments as a learning experience. I just finished the first two of four courses to become a certified ESL teacher, which is great (one of the better unexpected experiences)! However, around the same time as I graduated, I also was called for jury duty selection (which taught me to be careful what you wish for; when I was a kid, I always used to say I wanted to be on a jury). After about a month of not sleeping, I went for my selection date, and, although I wasn’t chosen this time, I have to say it affected me in ways I didn’t really expect. Maybe one day I’ll share more about that, but I do want to take the time to let anyone who hasn’t been part of a jury selection know that it is okay. Do not stress about it. The only thing, is prepare to get emotional, and to never look at crime, or victims, or criminals, or the justice system and its importance in the same way again. Like I said, this is not meant to be a downer post, but just to share from personal experience that sometimes the events in life that we think will be negative will teach us new things about ourselves. Be open to the unexpected.

Update #4 (last one, I promise): I finally know what I want to do when I grow up! Okay, I always knew I wanted to write, and now I also want to do some teaching as well. But I have a new goal: One day, I will contribute to The Guardian Children’s Books blog. Wishful thinking, but, hey, we all need goals and dreams! And if I ever make it, you all heard it here first!

Anyway, I’ll be checking back in soon with a post I’ve been working on for a while (hint: love triangles, writing, and “soulmates,” oh my!)

xx,

Emily

Blog Tour: Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here


Dear Diary

Today, I have pleasure of hosting Judith Natelli McLaughlin and her new middle-grade novel, Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here, published by BookFish Books! Read on to find out what this adorable book is all about, and to learn about the author and where to find her online. Plus check out my interview with Judith, where she talks about her inspiration for the novel, her favourite (liquid) writing snack, her favourite YA books, and what she’s working on right now! Enjoy!

Back Cover Blurb

Dear Diary,

E. P. Thompson here.

Worst. Year. Ever. First semester in sixth grade, and my best friend Debbie has dropped me because my boobs aren’t big enough. Well, she didn’t say that exactly, but I just know that’s the reason. Then I got paired with Adam Berry, the biggest pencil-protecting geek of the decade, for the never-ending, semester-long math project. And as if that’s not bad enough, Thomas Maxwell, the cutest boy in my grade, only pays attention to me when I’m making a total fool of myself. Ugh.

Weirdest thing of all: it seems Lucas C. Tanner Middle School has a full-on, bona fide thief! Now all the teachers are going crazy and all the students are too, because Mrs. Peule has promised to make this year a living nightmare until the culprit is caught. We have to find out who is ruining sixth grade. Like, now!

Well, at least the criminal activity has taken the focus off my lack of bra ownership. Sigh.

I have to go. I’ll write again soon. Promise.

Emily’s Interview with Judith:

How did you come to write your novel?

I smiled when I read this question because it has an easy answer. I wrote Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here for my daughter Katie.

Dear Diary is a middle grade novel. Is there anything that inspired you to write for that age group?

Yes! As I mentioned above I wrote this book for my daughter Katie. It’s true. I even dedicated the book to her. As the story goes, Katie was in the fifth grade at the time, and she was not an avid reader. She found long chapters intimidating, preferring, instead, short and concise entries. She was having trouble finding what she liked to read and so it began. I decided to write a book for my daughter, one that she would enjoy reading. I would tell a story using short and humorous diary entries. I completed the book when Katie was in the sixth grade. She loved it! And what a thrill for me, despite not being published, her English teacher let her do a book report on Dear Diary. That was an exciting moment for this author.

And, as an aside, it became a McLaughlin tradition. I wrote a novel for each of my daughters when they entered the fifth grade. While the books are not about my girls, they are written to suit their particular tastes and dedicated to them.

Favorite Writing Snack?

Being that I am an early morning writer, I would have to say my favorite writing snack is more of a favorite writing beverage. Coffee. And lots of it!

Are you working on anything new right now?

After hearing such positive feedback from Dear Diary, and especially knowing my fans didn’t want to see my book end, I am currently working on its sequel.

What are some of your favorite MG Books? What about YA?

I really enjoy the Dork Diaries series (and I am thrilled to note that Dear Diary is no rip off, as it was originally written long before DD came out!) But, perhaps, my favorite books are the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read the series, in its entirety, when I was roughly eleven years old. Wilder’s images, and the world she taught be about, remain permanently imbedded in my brain and I am forever grateful for the love of reading and writing they inspired.

YA? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is categorized as YA and I absolutely loved that novel! While the Holocaust, WWII setting is hauntingly evil, the book was pure joy to read. Even amidst the worst atrocities there is goodness to be found.

What are you reading now?
Right now I am reading two books. One for laughs. It is Food by Jim Gaffigan. The guy is funny and his open discussions about his relationship with food make me laugh out loud. The second book is Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. It is written so beautifully that I find myself re-reading the same sentences just to savor their structure, meaning and beauty.

*******

Thanks for the interview, Judith!!!!

Judith McLaughlin author pic

About The Author

Judith Natelli McLaughlin grew up reading a solid diet of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, and Shel Silverstein. Her mom was famous for telling her, “You are never alone if you have a book,” and her dad, a lover of words, was always reciting poetry to her.

She went on to write, illustrate, and publish her own poetry book,Poems on Fruits and Odes to Veggies—Where Healthy Eating Starts With a Poem. Her other works include a women’s fiction novel titled This Moment and a soon to be released children’s chapter book, Mackenzie Goode Makes A Mistake—A Big One.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband Brian; her three daughters Katie, Lindsay, and Maggie; and her faithful writing companion, a Westie named Duke.

Find Her Online

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3456642.Judith_Natelli_McLaughlin

TWITTER
@judynmclaughlin

https://twitter.com/judynmclaughlin

WEBSITE
http://www.judithnatellimclaughlin.com

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf6oQICghcBz-iHg3f6h3gg/videos

Happy New Year! (plus, “Coming Up”)


Hey All!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great time during the Christmas holidays and a wonderful new years! I just realized that I haven’t posted since December 15th (whops! #onholiday), so I thought I’d drop in and give you a quick update on what’s coming up.

  1. My Painted Veil saga. It’ll come. Right now I’m busy with getting my novel finished up for submission, plus working on some other work-related projects. Plus I started my ESL Teacher’s Certificate program online! So, it’s busy, but I’ll try to get the story together, in case anyone was reading.
  2. More cover reveals, book reviews, book tours. I’m on several street teams, so you’ll hear more from me on the YA/NA/Middle-grade book promotion circuit in the new year.
  3. More themed weddings. You liked em’, so you’ll get more!
I’ll also just try to log in and post about life every now and then. Right now life is busy with grad school application essays, career development, etc., but I always love sharing on here. Speaking of developments; this February, I will officially graduate from my BA in English!!! I’m so excited. And I believe I have an anniversary coming up. I’ve been blogging for three years this month! Time’s flown (must have been having fun…)
Until next time!
xo, Em

Cover Reveal: Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here


Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Judith Natelli McLaughlin and revealing the cover for her middle grade novel, Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here !!!

 

Dear Diary

 

Judith McLaughlin author pic

About the book:

Dear Diary,

E. P. Thompson here.

Worst. Year. Ever. First semester in sixth grade, and my best friend Debbie has dropped me because my boobs aren’t big enough. Well, she didn’t say that exactly, but I just know that’s the reason. Then I got paired with Adam Berry, the biggest pencil-protecting geek of the decade, for the never-ending, semester-long math project. And as if that’s not bad enough, Thomas Maxwell, the cutest boy in my grade, only pays attention to me when I’m making a total fool of myself.

Weirdest thing of all: it seems Lucas C. Tanner Middle School has a full-on, bona fide thief! Now all the teachers are going crazy and all the students are too, because Mrs. Peule has promised to make this year a living nightmare until the culprit is caught. We have to find out who is ruining sixth grade. Like, now!

Well, at least the criminal activity has taken the focus off my lack of bra ownership. Sigh.

I have to go. I’ll write again soon. Promise.

About the Author:

Judith Natelli McLaughlin grew up reading a solid diet of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, and Shel Silverstein. Her mom was famous for telling her, “You are never alone if you have a book,” and her dad, a lover of words, was always reciting poetry to her.

She went on to write, illustrate, and publish her own poetry book,Poems on Fruits and Odes to Veggies—Where Healthy Eating Starts With a Poem. Her other works include a women’s fiction novel titled This Moment and a soon to be released children’s chapter book, Mackenzie Goode Makes A Mistake—A Big One.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband Brian; her three daughters Katie, Lindsay, and Maggie; and her faithful writing companion, a Westie named Duke.

 

 

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3456642.Judith_Natelli_McLaughlin

TWITTER
@judynmclaughlin

https://twitter.com/judynmclaughlin

WEBSITE
http://www.judithnatellimclaughlin.com

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf6oQICghcBz-iHg3f6h3gg/videos