Writing And Traveling

AHH forgot to reblog this when it went up, but here it is now! Here are a few of my thoughts on writing and traveling, posted on Writer’s Block Party, the awesome blog (I may be biased) that my critique partners and I started on writing, critiquing, wine drinking (did I say that out loud?) and everything in between. 🙃

Writer's Block Party

At the beginning of 2014, I abandoned the last half of my senior year in college to study abroad. While the rest of my classmates enjoyed relaxing senior springs, I…have never been good about taking the simple way. Instead, I started from zero, willingly making myself the new kid in another school’s program, in the middle of a country where I knew no one and was still working on the language.

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Granted, living in Spain was not such a hardship: tapas, sangria, and three-hour siestas were just a few of my consolation prizes.


But. It was an upheaval of my life. I went from being surrounded by family and friends, having a job, a plethora of extracurriculars, and a long list of classes I still wanted to take, to having just a few, low-intensity courses and almost no other commitments. In short, for the first time in years, I had…

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Roundtable #1: CP Love

Sorry for the hiatus y’all! If you’re a writer/love writing advice/like hearing writers being ridiculous together, check out WritersBlockParty, the group blog I am now a part of with my extraordinary critique partners ❤

Writer's Block Party

Hi everyone! Welcome to the Writer’s Block Party! We’re a group of critique partners (CPs) who write young adult and middle grade speculative fiction. Though we all met online, we’ve quickly become close friends, sharing our love of books and writing. As an introduction to our blog, here’s a little more about who we are, how we met, and what we love about our CP relationships.

Note: This post is done in a roundtable style where members of Writer’s Block Party discuss a topic together.

Moderator: Mara Fitzgerald / Editor: Axie Oh

4.pngAkshayaEncouragement. Even about non-writing things. I love that anytime I’m having a bad day I can come here and know y’all will come through for me with the exact words of wisdom I need.

ChristineCritique partners turn writing, a solitary hobby, into a group effort. Even though you still put the words down by yourself, just…

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Back from VT/Boston and a Printed Manuscript!

Hi all! So, I have a very life/picture heavy post for you this week, because travel and friends and did I mention a printed manuscript? Namely, my printed manuscript?? But I’m not hysterically excited about this or anything… not dancing around holding the brick of a thing above my head and singing LALALA I WROTE THIS BRICK!!!! Definitely not. Ahem… anyways!


So I just got back from a trip to Vermont and Boston, which was amazing. Here area a few quick snaps from the trip:

We climbed a mountain! :-) With my lovely cousin, Anna.
We climbed a mountain! 🙂 With my lovely cousin, Anna.
Only in Vermont.
Only in Vermont. Yes, that does say powered by veggie oil.

My awesome cousin, Anna made the long drive out east with me! We had a wonderful time visiting with our cousins, aunts and uncles, hiking, swimming in ponds, tromping through the cute shops of Burlington and Montpelier and eating great food. And of course smuggling some such food back with us! Then it was on to Boston for two days to see a few friends there!

Namely, my amazing critique partner, Janella. We reunited. And played with puppies. And marathon trained, in a manner of speaking…

Reunited over sangria! #marathontraining
Reunited over sangria! #marathontraining

And we obviously had to stock up fully for said puppy sitting and training with wine and cheeses, because come on.

And of course stocking up on wines! #marathontraining
Wine and cheese time. #marathontraining

Then Janella took me hiking through the Borderlands, an awesome state park in MA. It was beautiful, and gave me even more of that dose of green/fresh air/oxygen!

Hiking in the woods with Janella!!

And of course, brunch wins always.

Brunch is better with blueberries and bellinis. #marathontraining
Brunch is better with blueberries and bellinis. #marathontraining

But, at last, I had to say goodbye to my awesome friend and drive back to Chicago…. don’t feel too bad for us though, because as we speak, we’re skyping with Akshaya and enjoying some (definitely not smuggled across the states) cider from VT and pretending we don’t all live across the country. 🙂


Short list this week, but just finished and LOVED Erica O’Rourke’s Tangled, the second in her Torn trilogy. SO good!! It’s… what would I call it? Young adult urban/paranormal/fantasy romance, set in Chicago??? Amazing?? Great love triangle, cool setting (especially as someone living in Chicago) involving an all girls high school on the south side, a hidden society of magic, and one girl’s quest for revenge on behalf of her best friend. And while I enjoyed the first one, I love the series as a whole – well planned, and gets more complex and in depth as it goes. I am almost done with the last book in the trilogy, so more updates to come on that front next week!


Really only one, enormous (like 347 pages) update this week – I printed my manuscript!!! So now I have it in hard copy – my back may break under the extra weight – and I have finished reading it through this past week. Now on to 1) rewriting conclusion 2) fixing major plot changes/rewriting a few scenes as needed and 3) making the rest of my noted revisions, in order.

In print at last!
In all it’s backpack breaking, weighty glory!

And that’s all for now! More books and writing updates next week – hopefully fewer life updates *hides face in hands at shamefully un-hermit like last two weeks*. No, really though, if I can go be a cave creature for the next week or two, I think it will be best all around – for manuscript and sanity’s sake. Be well everyone, and good luck in your writing/reading/life endeavors in the meantime!!!

❤ Maddy