Just finished reading Sarah Addison Allen's First Frost. I love Sarah's books, and this one was one of my favorites.
Sarah breaks a number of writing rules. One that I learned early on is every point of view (POV) character needs to have a character arc, meaning that every POV character needs to learn, change and grow by the end of the book. First Frost has several POV characters, including the apple tree, and I'm pretty sure that a majority of the characters don't really change or learn--including the tree.
Sarah also often falls into the trap of "telling, not showing," but her telling is often so beautiful, I don't care. And her writing is so visual, it makes me want to pack my suitcase for a trip to North Carolina.
Here are some of my favorite lines.
She'd wanted the attention, she'd wanted more people to know her gift as if the more people who knew the more real it would be.
But Claire had long ago realized, even after those constant dreams of her mother leaving faded away, that when you are abandoned as a child, you are never able to forget that people are capable of leaving, even if they never do.
She'd left her hometown of Bascon when she was eighteen, burning bridges with the fire of her resentment.
He was so think it was like pushing at something pliable, like a bendy straw.
There was something about her that was just slightly west of center making her the odd one out in her group, the one gotten mad at the most and excommunicated for days on end for mysterious mean-girl reasons.
Bay could barely remember him now, the edges of his existence corroding like faxed paper.
Claire had once told Bay that the mere fact that someone wanted to see the biggest event in their life meant they weren't concentrating on what was good about everyday.
He was a fat man, but his movements were small and birdlike, his elbows always held closely to his sides, his footsteps clicky and dainty.
But somehow, it's the real stories that are the hardest to tell.
Giving up, especially now with all these doubts, would feel like conceding that her gift really was fiction, a belief contingent upon how well she sold it.
It had taken her a long time to realize that a prison sometimes isn't a prison at all. Sometimes it's simply a door you assumed is locked because you've never tried to open it.
The autumn light was slanted and orange, like the noontime sun had fallen to the ground somewhere far away in the flat distance.
Feeling frustrated because, no matter how hard she tried, she knew she couldn't catch someone who didn't know they were falling.
Friday, April 24, 2015
I’m loving my visits to the dietitian and I’m learning tons. One of the things she said to me was “that’s dieting, and you don’t do that anymore.” I wish that everyone could adopt that attitude, too. I’m sure that there are situation where it must be difficult and you really have very little say over what you have to eat or when, but ultimately, it’s important to remember that you are in control of your body. Grandma Tate once told me that we came to Earth to learn how to do two things: control our thoughts and control our bodies. And really, if you can control your thoughts, you can, for the most part, control your body.
I LOVE the changes I’ve made. I’ve only lost 6 pounds in nine weeks, but my clothes looser, (in fact, I now put all of my pants in the dryer because I’m trying to shrink them) I no longer feel like I’ll crash if I don’t have a nap in the afternoon, and I’m sleeping better.
There’s other changes that I can’t directly relate to my dietitian—but have never-the-less taken place, like my house is cleaner (probably because I have more energy) I’m happier, my books are selling better than ever before…and if this makes sense (and if it can be correlated then it’s absolutely huge) I think clearer—as if emotions can’t topple me, or make me a crazy person. Maybe it’s my hormones or my blood sugar or the position of the moon, who knows. But as my dietitian said, you wouldn’t think that your diet could affect everything in your life, but it absolutely does. By being in control of my eating, I feel in control of everything else. And here’s the other thing—I’m not at all hungry. Ever.
Here’s some of the things I’ve learned, and some of the habits I’ve adopted. I think a few of them will surprise you. I know that they won’t be easy, peasy for everyone, but here they are.
1. I try to eat 15 grams of protein every morning with my breakfast at around 9 am. By doing this, I won’t be hungry until lunch. This means that I usually eat a Greek yogurt with a handful (about a ¼ of a cup) of granola with almonds on top. ABOUT 200-300 CALORIES
2. Lunch is a major pain in the butt. My dietitian told me to set an alarm and if it’s 1 p.m. and I haven’t sat down to eat yet, I need to do it. So, I do. I SIT DOWN TO EAT LUNCH. This is hard. I hate it, but if I don’t eat a real lunch, I find that I’m eating all afternoon. I usually have a salad with a healthy portion of protein and a generous amount of salad dressing and some fruit. But sometimes I’ll have an egg salad or peanut butter and fruit-spread sandwich and the fruit. ABOUT 400 CALORIES
3. At three, I have a snack. This is usually a protein bar, a green smoothie, some nuts/trail mix or a protein shake. ABOUT 200-300 CALORIES
4. For dinner, I try to make sure that about ¾ of my plate is filled with vegetables. In fact, I try to eat 3 cups of vegetables a day. Tonight, we’re having beef enchiladas with a spinach salad. ABOUT 400-500 CALORIES
5. I try to eat every at least every 3 hours. I carry nuts, protein bars, and beef jerky in my purse to make sure that I never get hungry.
6. I’m supposed to eat no less than 1400 calories a day. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it’s hard. You’d be surprised how much vegetables you’d have to eat to get all those calories. Also, by eating the correct portions of protein and fat, you won't be hungry. I promise.
7. EVERY meal should be a balance of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. This isn’t hard to figure out with My Fitness Pal ap.
8. I eat desserts. But I also stay within my daily 1400 calories. If I’m going out in the evening where I know there will be desserts, I’ll eat a salad or have some vegetable soup for dinner. I don’t keep empty calories in the house. If there are cookies or cake left here, I put them in my husband's car in the morning before he leaves for work. He sometimes will give it to the homeless people on the corners. Although, there is ice cream in the fridge, but since ice cream makes me sick, it doesn't tempt me.
9. I eat Milton’s whole grain bread. A slice is 80 calories and it has 5 grams of protein.
10. I've always been active, so exercising every day isn't hard for me. Some times we won’t take a walk on Sunday, but we often do. Exercise for me means weight lifting on Mondays, walking hills on Tuesday, running/walking 4-5 miles on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, pilates on Wednesdays, and yoga on Friday.
11 I fill up a two liter bottle of water every morning and I try to drink it. I pretty much suck at this.
I’m sure that if I followed the program more stridently, I’d see more dramatic changes on the scale. But whenever I have negative thoughts, I chase them away with this one that has made my life so much happier, “That’s dieting, and I DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE.”
Posted by Kristy at 4:22 PM
Thursday, April 23, 2015
This is the blurb for Witch Ways. My goal isn't to publish it until September with it's sequel Witch Winter following in October, followed by it's so-far untitled sequel in November. You can read the first few chapters of Witch Ways herehere
The rage built up inside of me, like pressure in a teapot, until finally when the steam was so hot, so big, I let go—because really, there wasn’t another choice. Don’t ask me how everything caught fire. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before.
After I was blamed for burning down the science building, expelled from Hartly Academy and sent to Faith Despaign—a school founded on the property of the last convicted witch in Connecticut and steeped in superstition, Lauren Silver was murdered. I couldn’t let anyone know that I had been at her house on the day she died. Because I knew someone could jump from arson to murder to troubled teen, I set out solve her murder, and in the process, discovered just what it means to be a witch.
Posted by Kristy at 3:50 PM