conflicted creativity

Lately, the need for creativity has been strong...

But I've realized, most of the people I hang out with aren't very creative. Not in the same sense I am. They don't constantly spend all day daydreaming about what's going to happen next in their books....they don't have books. 

My friends don't spend all day deciding what colors would look best in a design. And I'm perfectly fine with that. For some reason, other creative people drive me nuts.
I'm not sure why, but I kind of like being around non-creative people. Maybe I feel threatened by other creative people. The only problem with non-creative people?

They don't understand. They've never re-written a book ten times trying to make it better every time. They roll their eyes when I come up with crazy stories or make an insane design. They judge, whether or not they mean to.

Creativity, at least to me, is about being so driven to make what you love and see it flourish with love. If you've never experienced it, you can't understand the magic of creativity. People don't understand why I write. It's hard to explain my fascination with pairing fonts and colors together for a design. They can't phantom why I would have a blog when my life isn't very interesting.

And I let it get to me. I'm quiet about my books and I get really shy when people in my real life start talking about my blog. I feel like this blog is this huge big secret among my friends....

because they don't understand.

Someday, I want to be able to look back on my life and see the things that happened to me in high school and college. I look at my blog as my diary. I look at my book as my secret life that I was I could have.

I struggle with the want to be accepted and the need to create.

I'm a conflicted creative. 


Oops, I goofed: The New Get Your Pitch On

Okay, so because college got really super crazy last week between tests and car shopping with my friend and becoming hall council president and going home, I missed the memo where they changed how Get Your Pitch On workshops are working.

So, from YAtopia, here's the new rules and stuff. Enjoy.

Here's the details you've been waiting for!

Commissioning and Managing Editor of Hardie Grant Egmont, Marisa Pintado, will be poised and ready to take your pitches both here on YAtopia and on Down Under Wonderings on October 15th. 

Marisa is looking for YA in any genre and is accepting submissions from any where in the world. It's your chance to skip the slush pile and put your pitch right under the nose of a fantastic editor. There's even better news - there is no limit on how many requests Marisa will make from the contest.

Here's the rules:

  • Your manuscript must be complete, polished and ready to query - this means no first drafts or almost finished manuscripts.
  • It must be YA.
  • When the contest goes live on October 15th, post your entry details in the comments section of either YAtopia or Down Under Wonderings - each blog is accepting 100 entries only.
  • Your entry detail needs to include a 50 - 70 word pitch.
  • You can enter more than once if you have more than one complete, polished, ready to query manuscript.
Your contest details should be formatted like this:

Name: Sharon Johnston
Email: smjohnston [ @ ] live.com.au
Country of residence: Australia
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Word-count: 58,000
Pitch: Seventeen-year-old Mishca Richardson is a sleeper soldier with a weak heart. She has no idea that a life saving heart transplant has accidentally triggered her programming. In the search for answers, she discovers the truth and that her creator, Wirth, has classified her remaining "sisters" from her experiment group as defective, scheduling them for termination. Mishca sets out to save them before they're eliminated.

Just as it's important to get someone else to look over your manuscript before you query, it's a good idea to get feedback on your pitch before you post. We have about twenty blogs who are ready to help you hone your pitch. These workshops start on October 1 and you can find the list of blogs participatinghere

We're so excited to bring this competition. So now it's time for you to Get Your Pitch On!

You need to email your pitches to Pitch On's email.

Sorry for the confusion guys!


a weekend back home


Get Your Pitch On // a writer's workshop

There are two parts to this pitch workshop. 
Part one will take place right here. Here's how:

1. You must be a follower of my blog to submit your work here. 

2. Post a pitch ( between 50-70 words) for your COMPLETED novel in a comment on THISblog post. All other pitches will be ignored. You have until September 30th. 14 pitcheswill be accepted for feedback here. This is a first come, first serve basis. (When I reach 14 and close the entries I will provide a list (found on the host blogs) of other blogs participating in this as well so that you will all get a chance to work with someone before the 15th).

3. Between October 1st and October 14th I will post individual pitches to my blog WITH my own personal feedback. (This means that each post I create will be dedicated entirely to you and your pitch/feedback).

4. Once your pitch has been made public, you can share with friends and family, asking them to comment with their own feedback on your pitch. Likewise, my own followers will be commenting their feedback as well.

5. Once you have received your feedback and polish up your pitch then, on October 15th, you are ready to move on to the next part of the workshop!

Part two will take place on the host blogs. 
Here's what's going to happen over there:

1. Take your polished pitch and submit it to YAtopia or Down Under Wonderings. 100 pitches will be accepted on each blog. 

2. Editor at Hardie Grant Egmont, Marisa Pintado, will be looking through pitches to see if she can't find her next client(s). Marisa is looking for YA in any genre and is accepting submissions from anywhere in the world

3. Make sure you visit the host blogs (linked above) FIRST before submitting anything.Please read the rules both on my blog and on theirs before submission.

Share this post with your writer friends, here's a button for promotion, and ready, set, GO! It's time for you to Get Your Pitch On

Also, go and share the lovely button for our campaign! 
(yes, I am bragging for once - I made the button and banner). 


TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday. And we’d love for you to join us!

♥ finally getting to see the doctor and recovering from my allergies ♥ good hair days ♥ my friend being okay after his car was totaled ♥ surviving my first week of tests ♥ sleeping in ♥ 90% on my math quiz that I started at 12:30AM ♥ fixing my bed ♥ quick car rides ♥ discovering Houston ♥ 


Getting Involved

One of my dad's biggest pushes for me when I got into college was to go get involved.

Neither of us were prepared for just how involved I would become.

Last night, my dorm had it's first hall council meeting. The hall council is basically exactly what it sounds like, we make decisions for the dorm.

I walked into the meeting with the intention that if I had an office, I'd be secretary. And I am. For now. Until we find someone else.

Why do we need to find someone else to do it?

Well, because, being the semi-overachiever that I am, I walked out of the meeting not as secretary, but as president.

Yes, I am the president for a really big dorm. In fact, we're the biggest residence hall on campus.

530 kids.

I am responsible for 530 kids.

So, I'm sure there'll be many stories of that coming soon.

While I'm excited, I hope I don't lose my head at the same time!


me, myself, and I

Today is round three of Me, Myself, and I!

When you're feeling down, what do you do to pick yourself up?

I usually try to write, or listen to music that has a lot of emotion packed into it. Lots of Miranda Lambert because I like to channel feeling down into anger. I can't stand happy, sappy songs when I'm down. Oh, and if that doesn't work, I can pop in some Castle.


If you had to live in a different time period which would you prefer?

If I couldn't live in the 1500s during Henry VIII's time, I would have loved during the WWII and post WWII era. I love the politics of that era and Adolf Hitler kind of fascinates me (in the same way Casey Anthony does, that disgusted fascination).

What is the most creative Halloween costume you've ever worn?

Probably the year I was Kim Possible (she's my ringtone!). Sadly, I do not have a picture.

Five weird things about you we wouldn't know without being told?

I can not say the word "crayon" properly. Apparently it sounds like the word "crown."
I'm indecisive. I blame my mom's family.
Apparently I sing Taylor Swift songs better than she does.
According to my friend Courtney, I have a twin running around the University of Arkansas that I never knew about.
I'm very calm when working on my job.

What would you tell your 16-year-old self?

The next two years are going to be really rough at times, but you've got people who are going to stand by you no matter what, and even when you lose someone, a lot of times, it's not the very end. God won't throw anything at you you can't handle


TIGF: Things I'm Grateful

Sometimes we forget it’s the little things that matter in life and forget how easy it can be to be happy. So we’re making an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen by listing the things we’re grateful for/appreciate from the previous week every Friday. And we’d love for you to join us!

♥ football team winning our first game ♥ rain, rain, rain, rain ♥ starting over with my book ♥ skyping with my friends and calling them at midnight ♥ rain ♥ no homework on Wednesday ♥ more rain ♥ friends here at school who I can talk to without being judged ♥ finally addressing issues I had with a person (sad that it came to that, but glad that it's over) ♥ bonus points for actually doing my philosophy homework ♥ finding a new club on campus ♥ 


into the present

So, I've started over on writing The Assassin. According to E.J., this is the "right draft, Laura!!!"

Yes. I did indeed copy that straight from our facebook conversation. But, anyways, I did put the new version up on wattpad and with some new advice, I edited earlier, and I wanted to share the first chapter with y'all!

I see you, I think as the man walks down the sidewalk.
            People weave in and out between us, but I never lose sight of him. Doing so would have consequences that I don’t want to dwell on.
            He looks both ways before crossing the street, looking up to the building he lives in.  There’s a sag in his shoulders from the week, and it’s obvious that he’s going straight home, not out to a bar like he would any other Friday night.
            He brushes past a woman, who in turn gives him a dirty look, but he never notices. Something is on his mind. It’s written all over his face. Does he know?
            The sun slowly sinks behind the tall New York buildings and street lights flash on. Car horns constantly go off as people jump in front of them.
            It’s the town that never sleeps. There’s no time for that. But as I watch him walk into his building, I know it’s only a little while before he’ll have all the time in the world.
            I was here last night. He lives on the third floor which makes my job easier. Even better is the fire escape that leads straight to his patio.
            Nothing has changed from last night. The chair on the patio is still turned on its side, the table has been shoved against the edge. I slip over to the sliding door and check the lock. It’s unlocked, but he’ll be coming any moment. Best to wait until I know where he is.
            His front door swings open, and I cling against the wall, listening to the sounds of his footsteps inside. He’s a heavy walker, strange for someone who’s so fit for his age. The closing of the door vibrates through the walls and I slide to the door and open it.
            I slide the door closed when I step inside and take a moment to review the apartment in my mind. Bedroom on the left, kitchen on the right. It looks like a generic, modern New York bachelor pad.
            “What the hell is wrong with you?”
            I spin around and stare at the door. Someone else is here and whoever it is doesn’t belong here. He lives alone, never has friends at his place.
            Why is this time different?
            “What the hell is wrong with me? What about you?” He’s obviously as mad as the stranger in his bedroom.  
            Scanning the room, I see an open cupboard in the kitchen that I can slip into. It’s a tight fit, but it’ll work.
            “You owe me, Sharp. I helped you, saved your goddamn life, and all I wanted was one little name, one name of a teenager, and you can’t deliver?” The pots in the cabinet shake a little when someone is pushed into the wall. My guess is that the stranger pushed him.
            “I told you, the last records for the name are when the kid was three!”
            “You failed me when I needed one little favor from you.” The man sounds like he could kill someone.
            “Look, you can’t blame me. Whoever sealed that file was trying to protect her, and it worked. I had numerous people looking for that kid. She’s gotta be dead.”
            “She isn’t dead,” the stranger roars. In any minute, someone from a nearby apartment will become nosy and call the police.
            “She has to be! I’m telling you, she’s dead.”
            “She’s not dead, she’s alive, somewhere, but you’re as good as dead.”
            One, two, three.My ears ring as I count the gunshots.
            The door to the bedroom flies open and a man walks out. He’s trying to act like he’s calm by the way he walks, but his hand is shaking from anger. His eyes are scanning the room, taking in the details as he leaves.
            There’s a single scar across his left cheek, but beyond that, he’s non-descriptive. Early to mid forties, a little fat on the sides and stomach, with receding blond hair line. Perfect to blend in and never be noticed.
            He leaves through sliding door, but I wait a moment to make sure he doesn’t come back.
            When I’m sure that the man won’t come back, I slip out of the cabinet and walk to the bedroom door. It’s cracked open and I push it open with my arm.   
            David Sharp is dead. There’s no doubt. I bite my lip and mentally count the spots where it looks like he’s been shot. There’d been three gun shots, but that didn’t mean they all were in Sharp. His shirt is dyed red and a red river weaves down his forehead.
            What did the man want from him? Who was the person he was looking for? And why did the man kill him before I did?
            Killing him was supposed to be my job, but here he is dead on the floor. 


before & after: three little birds

to see her new design live, go visit her and her pretty new blog.


saturday night lights

Here in Texas, football is a big thing.

You know that TV show Friday Night Lights? Well, I've never seen it, but based on what I've heard, it sounds pretty accurate to the relationship Texans have with their football.

Friday night is high school football and Saturday is college football.

Saturday was my school's opening game. After our undefeated (well, except for the championship game) season last year, we're ranked number one in our division. We're playing big schools this year like Baylor and Texas A&M. I don't think it'll be too long before Sam Houston State is  big name school like A&M or UT or Alabama.

Needless to say, the game was pretty awesome. The visitors side was packed in orange even though it was a home game. The bearkats pretty much filled the whole stadium. There were over 11,000 people there.

So here are some pictures from my kats' winning season opener.


dorm room decorations

More pictures will be coming soon. 


Into Another World

I haven't opened up my book in almost two weeks.

Life has been hectic to say the least. With the moving and my phone that broke last week (finally got it fixed yesterday after my friend so kindly drove the hour's drive to The Woodlands with me) and classes starting up and meeting so many people....

There are moments I have to stop and go....

Oh yeah, I have books I need to write. 

The characters are there buzzing in my head, but there's so much to do.

Everyday, I do some homework and read a little. Look at pretty blogs and creep on facebook. There's only one thing that reminds me of the book calling my name.

The review from my book, almost two years ago. I had just turned seventeen right before I got my review. It was the greatest moment of my life up until then.

Nowadays, it's just a part of history. It rarely comes up when I talk about the books I write. It's a distant memory. The book HC read and the book I'm editing are totally different, just the same name.

When that review came, I was in the middle of NaNoWriMo, racing with a book I didn't quite finished on time. I was on a writing high. Unstoppable.

After that break while I was writing instead of promoting, I lost touch with inkpop, and after Snatched failed, I never really got back into inkpop.

I wish I had.

Writing with an audience is totally different than writing with no one.... The comments and the feedback are exhilarating.

And, I admit, I miss it.

Sometimes I think if I had that little encouragement again, I'd be so happy, but everyone is always busy.

I'm the same way.

It's a vicious cycle. Having people read your book and becoming fans, it's another world.

And I miss it.


Castle, Castle, Castle

The past week has consisted of a few things:

classes, reading, pizza, dr. pepper, and Castle. 

Castle is my favorite show ever. I've rambled on about it a few times, but let's get real. For a mystery writer, Castle is just the best show ever.

For those of you who don't know, Castle is a show about an author named Rick Castle (played by Nathan Fillion) who works with Detective Kate Beckett, a homicide detective from New York City.

In the first season, Castle begins following Beckett because she's the inspiration for his Nikki Heat books. In fact, you can actually read these books (thank you ghostwriters).

Well this past year, my aunt let me borrow the first season of the show (I started watching at the beginning of the third season), and it was just as great as I thought it would be.

So, because I had to keep going.... I bought the second season.... I'm on episode nine of season two.

Then last week, we went to target, and they had season three for $20. It was a deal I couldn't resist.

Needless to say, I have seasons one through three, and I'm pretty sure E.J. is getting me season four for my birthday.... in November.

At least season five comes on in three weeks!

needless to say, I'm just a tad bit obsessed.

Just a little.

Oh, and I promise, sometime this week, I will have pictures of my new dorm room.


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