I’m very excited to have been chosen as a mentee for this year’s DVMentor from Diverse Voices, Inc.

DiverseVoices, Inc.

As a neurodivergent writer, I often feel like my work will go unseen or misunderstood. I’m so thankful for programs like this in which I can grow my work comfortably.

I have high hopes that this will be an important step for my work and will help me develop my voice into something that will make agents and editors bite the hook, as it were.

DVMentor is a six month mentorship with a published author, during which I will get editorial feedback and help with my query letter and pitch.

The goals of the program are:

To build community among book creators of marginalized identities.

To educate book creators of marginalized identities on the business of publishing, including finding an agent.

To prepare pre-published self-identifying marginalized book creators for #DVpit (if they choose to participate).

[Mentees must] identify with a marginalized community, per DVinc’s mission statement [BIPOC, queer, trans/nonbinary, disabled (including neurodivergence and neuroatypicality), religious and cultural minorities]; never have had an agent; must never have had a full-length book published (exception made for self-published); must have a completed or near-completed manuscript on which to work with a mentor, and it must be unpublished (“published” here includes self-publishing), aimed at the US English language market; must be willing to receive critique and open to advice; must be respectful of any clearly stated boundaries; must be serious in their pursuit of an agent; must be over the age of 18.”


I struggle greatly with my disabled identity. It took a very specific incident for me to begin to think and accept that I needed assistance with my mental health, and my neurodiergence doesn’t interupt my life the way a physical disability does. But that’s why my stories are so important. Because these are things I’ve struggled with since I was a child.

If I’d had stories like the ones that I write when I was younger, I might have been able to ask for help and accept my mental illness sooner. And that’s ultimately my goal as a writer. To showcase mental illness as part of the character and not the conflict.

I think that’s what every writer from a marginalized background hopes to show, that life doesn’t revolve our differences.

I’m going to be working with Maya Prasad!

Maya Prasad is a South Asian American author, a Caltech graduate, and a former software engineer. She currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, where she enjoys hiking, canoeing, and raising her budding bookworm daughter.

Her YA debut Fall Winter Spring Summer will be published by Disney-Hyperion in fall 2022. Sejal Battles Super Storms is the first in her chapter book series to be published by S&S/Aladdin in spring 2023. Maya has also had short fiction published in Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YACast of Wonders, and Voyage YA. A recipient of the We Need Diverse Books mentorship program, she is passionate about creating brown girl leads in children’s literature.

Again, I’m very excited to be in this mentorship and I can’t wait to get started.

Episode #2: Writing Rituals

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Listen to this episode and other episodes of the podcast on Podbean.

Maggie and Jessica talk about their writing rituals and how much Stephen King is lying about never having a bad writing day! Special guest stars include an angry Nala-baby and a quiet but observant Belle.

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The Last 5k

I’m finally into my final 5,000 words. And you know what I’ve noticed? I forgot to focus on some characterizations. So I’m going to print out what I have and highlight those sections. I also want to change to appearance of one character which means I have a lot of sections to go back into. And I also decided to nix an entire locale–so yeah. Such is the life of the indecisive.

But I know that it will fix my work. And that’s really the goal here. Plus, in re-hashing these issues I’ll be able to figure out where I want to end this and how it really should end.

Fall Weather and Writing Slumps

It’s been dropping below 60 in my hometown lately. The night air is chilly, beautiful, crisp, and I just want to sit out in my back yard with a cup of cocoa and a good book. Or a good notebook.

Fall is my favorite season–as I am a booknerdigan at heart. It’s perfect for writing, relaxing, cuddling, mingling, reading, and nothing. That’s right. Nothing. A big grand not a thing.

And as the weather gets colder I’m actually getting out of this summer long writing slump that I’ve been in and I’m closing in on the last 8,000 words of my novel. I’m revealing the culprit and giving out the last of vital information and I’m enjoying revealing this to myself. I think part of the slump is caused by not having any deadline but my own and also wondering if my work is even worth finishing.

I’ve read it so many times I’m not surprised by any of it. No surprise for the writer no surprise for the reader was a mantra in my writing classes, but I mean how surprised can I really be after having this story in my head for over a year? The first time I wrote many of these scenes I was surprised that I’d even thought like that.

Now, I’m eager to be done with this piece so that I can move on to the second book and perhaps another project. I have a really sweet idea and want to explore it but I think I should finish up this one first.

AH! It feels good to be inspired!

Rumors of My Death have been Greatly Exaggerated

I SWEAR I’M ALIVE! I’m just reading a lot lately and I post all my reviews on Round Robin these days.

I’m also still writing my novel. Anyone else feeling like that’ll never get done? Yeah? Well get out cause I’ve only got 13,000 words left before I start sending out queries.

I’m actually editing pages 121-206. My first drafts are always crap and a little painful to read. I’ve noticed I tend to have a very formulaic  style in my first drafts. Person verbs noun, as noun verbs. It’s pretty ugly to read through in the afternoon, to be honest.

Look at All That Content

So many pieces of quote art, images from picture books I’m working on, I had writing prompts–what is going to take me through the last semester of school?

I am starting to get back into animating in Photoshop, perhaps I could make some gifs? But I doubt I’d be able to get 15 together before the semester starts. Plus, I wouldn’t even know what to animate, you know?

Maybe I’ll get a drawing tablet and do some that way. Flip board style and what have you.

I like that I have a lot on this blog. I know I’ve blogged about it before but some people have asked me why I blog about so many different things. I had book reviews, writing prompts, blogs about my own writing, classwork, graphic design, photography, and illustrations.

Well, I can do all of those things. This is here to show my talents off and to keep them up to date.

What’s the point of having the skills if I don’t keep them sharpened? I’m not just a writer. I’m a lot of things. A lot of talented things. And it’s nice to show off.

But back to my original point here: What should I put together for all of you while I’m in school next semester?


Some Quality Camera Time

13963796394_6aa3ef6ea4_zI can’t remember the last time I just went out with my camera and took some photos. In fact, the last time I posted any photography was Christmas last year. And so I feel that I am loooooooong over due.

I already have some ideas. Which involve me staying inside my house–because it suddenly decided to be October today.

But no, I’m probably going to take my camera, my tripod, and myself out to a park and do some self portraits and nature shots. Maybe I’ll even take my dog and get her to run around like a little maniac. Which should be too hard. You just un-hook her leash and then BOOM there she goes.

Resumes and Cover Letters

I just sent off my resume and cover letter for a social media internship at Quirk Books!

I really hope I get it!

As many of you know (or may have suspected) I just want to work with books. I didn’t start to love reading until I was 11 years old. Think of all the reading time I missed out on because of that!

And so I want to go into Children’s Publishing because I want to be part of a team who draws a child into reading so that no one else misses out on all the fun!

Wish me luck everyone!