Paper Roses

In celebration of my finishing chapter twenty of my WIP, I thought I would come share another song from my booktrack! *Skims to chapter six* Let’s see… Ah!

‘Paper Roses’ by Anita Bryant, who apparently was a huge homophobe. Very disappointing, but not a shocker.


anita bryant

Anita Bryant


Truthfully, I don’t think I ever heard the song before stumbling on it. I just like what it symbolizes. Chapter six follows a very heavy, very emotional chapter. Emmylou is doing her best to stay strong for the masses, but Jake is still hanging around doing his best good guy act. All the girls seem to lean on him for support, but Emmylou isn’t fooled. She thinks Jake is a big fake, playing up his actions so everyone will warm up to him and eventually the idea of letting the girls sing in the show. He’s kind of a superhero in this chapter. Doing the impossible. From the novel:

I can’t tell if he really cares for the Jacksons, for Lee, or if he did all that for himself. And I know it won’t do no good me bringing it up. Seems like everyone done made up they mind ‘bout him anyway. He’s not fooling me with those paper roses.

Ergo, paper roses. Pretty to look at, but it ain’t real. It’s all a front. Useless.

Ironically, real roses aren’t that great. They die so quick. But they are beautiful flowers. If not a bit common. Also, I don’t know when I became a flower snob. I’m not, I swear!

Soon I shall be back with good news! Soon I shall be back with more booktracks!

Stay tuned,



I’m Getting There…

Wherever there is.

In pure me fashion, I’ve managed to hit a bit of a snag in my writing. (i.e. my story that I was using to get out of my original WIP’s writer’s block is now giving me writer’s block.) Well, let’s not call it writer’s block, I’ve honestly just not have the chance to write what’s on my mind.

There is another Scribophile contest that I had wanted to enter and while I have an idea/character/somewhat of a plot, those words aren’t piecing themselves together as I would like. Luckily, I’ve come up with another story. It doesn’t fit the contest’s requirements, but it’s something I could potentially send out for future publication. Maybe.

Speaking of publication, I’m sitting on some possible publication news, but I won’t say anything more about that until I’m 100% sure. Perhaps one day I can spill all the beans. It has to do with my flash fiction turned short story turned possible novel, but to be safe, let’s call it a novella. Actually, let’s call it what I titled it: “The Trees Won’t Tell.”

Things are heating up in Gussie’s world. And the poor girl can’t tell if her life is getting worse or better. To be honest, that’s kind of how I’m feeling these days. I’m thinking it’s all going to work out for Gussie. Maybe not how she originally planned it all, but it’ll work out.

Here is Gussie btw.


Okay, it’s not her, her, but this is who I picture when I write for Gussie. Only slightly younger, as Gussie’s supposed to be sixteen. At first I was only using the picture to help describe her hairstyle, but I fell in love. Whoever this young lady is, she’s gorgeous. No wonder Erroll would move a mountain for her. Let me tell ya, he has some mountains to move. Like his no good Mama, for one. Oh, and he had to stop his schooling. Not to mention he doesn’t get to see his baby sister, or any of his siblings everyday. Miss Gussie Hicks doesn’t always make it easy for him, but I don’t think he’d have it any other way.

I’m still not sure if Gussie’s story is a romance or a drama. Can it be both? I know it started off as pure romance and it still does have it moments of pure romantic gooeyness, but things have also gotten darker. There’s an incredible amount of tension taking over.

Maybe I shouldn’t worry about such things. Perhaps it’s time I focus on finishing first.

At the rate I’m going, “The Trees Won’t Tell” will be complete before Etta & Emmylou! But not to fear! I have made it a personal goal of mine to finish chapter twenty before the month of April is caput. Oddly, I feel confident I can do it. Not saying it’ll be my best chapter I’ve penned, but I’m optimistic I’ll have something to hate by the time May 1st arrives.

Wish me luck!



Next up in the Booktrack’s jukebox is “Yesterdays.”

Oooooh, this is an oldie for sure. It was written in 1933 I believe. Although, for the book, I had in mind Ms. Lady Day herself.



Billie “Lady Day” Holiday



Billy Holiday just has that tragic tone to her voice. And no wonder too, because if you google her life, you’d know it was tragic. I think it would be cool to use her life a bit and create a story around it. Maybe I’ll get to it one day. If you haven’t already, you should here Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday. You’d think you were hearing a recording of Billie herself!

Without giving too much away, chapter four ends on such a high note, naturally I have to find a way to dash it all. What happens in chapter five sits with the girls for the remainder of the story. It’s kind of the driving force for all that they do. At least for Emmylou. Etta too at some point. But definitely Pearl.

Don’t stay melancholy for too long. I’m feeling very talkative about my flashshortnovel. I suppose I’ll be back to spill about that.

Ta, ta!


Writing Sprints!

Hey internets!

Midterms happened and then before I knew it, I neglected the blog a bit. So I got a lot to catch up on! I’m back with a story, though. As you all know, I’m a part of an online critique community called Scribophile. It’s great. A bit of what makes the website so awesome are the many groups you can join within the community. They reflect different writing genres and interest etc. I joined a lot of the YA themed groups as I primarily write YA fiction. One of these groups in particular has these weekly sprints. Basically, you get a quote of some kind and you have three hundred words or less to create a YA themed piece of micro fiction.

About a week or so ago I had a little free time and I decided to join in on one of the sprints, since I hadn’t done one in a while. Let me tell you, I’m so glad I did. I am tickled by my piece. Absolutely tickled. So I’m going to share it right now!

Here was my prompt/quote:

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

—Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

Here’s what I came up with:

How’d I get here? Missing lunch to read to this dumbass so he won’t fail. So he can finish up his math homework real quick and won’t be embarrassed when Mr. Hunter assigns him a number to do on the board, and he can’t.

“If you quit looking around at everything, you’d finish and I wouldn’t need to read to you like a toddler,” I tell him.

“I know, but that book is so boring!”

“It’s only boring because you refuse to read it.”

“Babe, come on. Don’t argue with me,” he sighs. “Alright. Just do this one last time for me. Please.” He’s got all the eyelashes in the world, and they all bat at me.

“Fine.” I give in. I turn back to the book and continue on. “Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.

He throws down his pencil like I read his father’s last will and testament and he didn’t get a single thing. “What in the actual fuck does that even mean?”

“Seriously, language.” I hate that about him. Cursing to be cursing. At least I curse in context.

“Babe. But what does it mean?”

“You need to figure that out, not me,” I tell him. “That’s what Humphries is gonna ask you. I can’t tell you. What do you think?”

I actually see a lightbulb go off over his head.

“I think it means she’s ugly.” He laughs. He teeters back in his chair. “Oh shit, he called her ugly!”

He laughs and laughs. I just sit here. Why am I like this?

“Yo, Amanda!” he calls across the library.

“What?” she asks.

“You look like art!”


Tell me, what do you think? I know I’m just surprised it’s contemporary and not a southern historical voice. Actually, I think all my sprints end up contemporary. Hmm.The sprints are great, though! They really help to get your juices flowing, they offer a little break from your larger projects, and they’re just really fun! You guys should try it sometime.

Oh, and we haven’t had a booktrack post in a while. I better get to it!



I’m In the Wrong Story

Can I be real a second? And by real I mean really confused. Perhaps you guys can remedy this and explain to me, why the WIP that inspired this blog in the first place, isn’t my top priority anymore? And by priority I mean actively writing. Because it’s always on my mind. They’re always on my mind. I smile at the thought of these two girls I’ve created and I want nothing more than to share Etta and Emmylou with the world, but I just can’t write for them as of late.

True story, as of right now, I have them stuck in a door frame. They deserve so much more than to be stuck in a google document, let alone stuck in a door frame! How’d I get here? I mean, how did I get so far just to not hate everything I attempt to write? It’s gotten so bad, I can’t write for them at all. All I do is think about what I should be writing. I just can’t connect the dots.

Ask me about my short story, will ya?

Oh that old thing? It’s going great. It went from flash fiction, to short story, and now I’m expanding it to a novella/novel. I’m not sure which just yet. I literally can’t stop writing it! I mean that’s good right? Any writing is good writing I suppose. And I was thinking and surfing the internet and stuff and found that Harper Collins has an imprint that focuses on YA romance. It’s an eBook imprint only, but they are looking for novellas.

In a perfect world I think I’ll polish it, send it off to them, get published and be able to mention it when I query Etta and Emmylou. If I ever get Etta and Emmylou back up and running. And I sure hope I do, ’cause that mock query I wrote is looking really useless right about now.


Alright, alright. I got it. Thanks, Edna.

You know what? This is temporary. I’m still writing. I still have the interest of an agent. Say what now? Did I neglect to mention that? Well it’s true.

A little while ago I asked agent Caitie Flum if a story that takes place in the 1960s was considered historical on twitter. It seems dumb, but honestly there’s a lot of opinions on the matter. I thought a story was considered historical if there was more or less a history lesson involved somewhere. Etta & Emmylou just takes place in the early 60s. I don’t go into the social climate or mention any key figures of the times. Anyway, Ms. Flum told me that even the 90s are considered historical fiction these days. Like the 1990s. And then it dawned on me, in like a hundred years I’ll be that girl who was born in the last decade before a new century…

I got off topic again!

The main thing is, she was like all, “A YA historical in the 60s?”

And I was all, “Yeah with African-American conjoined twins.”

Then she was like, “It better be in my inbox when it’s ready.”

In my head I was like:


But then I said, “Of course!”

That being said, it’s been about a month and she probably forgot about me. LOL. And this post got a bit long. I better get going.

Shouldn’t be too long,


I’m Published!

Oh what a celebration we’ll have today! Thank Goodness!


You read the title right. I’m announcing my first creative writing publication! Kind of. Not since high school have I been published, but I’m international now. You can now find my poem, “Tabitha’s Babies” in The Quarterday Review, Imbolc 2017 issue, alongside my friend, Sonora!


I’m over the moon excited! I’ve ordered ten copies. TEN. Got myself a hardcover one, too. They should be here in a few weeks, as they’re coming from the UK. Sounds fancy, right? Looks even fancier. It’s such a beautifully put together issue. But don’t just take my word for it. You can read my poem in the link. I’m on page 53, and prefaced by a wonderful abolitionist drawing. It compliments “Tabitha’s Babies” really well, which is an odd thing to say given the subject matter of my poem.

Nonetheless, I know how hard it is to find a home for your writing. And while I happened to be in the right place at the right time, I’m so honored and pleased and excited to be included. This is my first poem ever. I’m not sure how often first time writers, especially in a medium they don’t practice is chosen and recognized, but I’m betting not that often. So I’m thankful for that. This is a big deal.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here trying not to float away or smile too wide.

Thanks for letting me brag!


Wah Watusi/Gee Whiz

In this week’s jukebox, I have two songs!.

First up, “Wah Watusi” by the Orlons.


It was one of my favorites to incorporate into the text. I’ve since revised chapter four so the lyrics aren’t in them, but I still love the song. I don’t want to give away too much, as what happens is a big deal and makes thing difficult throughout the rest of the chapters, but I will say it’s the first time Emmylou sings. And it’s to Etta! Apparently it’s one of Etta’s favorite songs. After “Mama Said” of course.

Oh I just love it! It’s so… catchy!

Here’s Wednesday Addams doing the Watusi with Lurch!watusi

Next up is “Gee Whiz” by Carla Thomas.


The romantic in me swoons when I hear this song. I get a similar reaction when I hear Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”, but Carla’s voice is top notch. If I’m not mistaken she was fifteen when she wrote this. Fifteen years old. What boy was on her mind? Maybe her own Erroll Harris? Anyway, by the end of the chapter Etta’s feeling better and Pearl and Jake have joined the girls in their bedroom. Carla’s voice comes floating through the radio’s speakers and Pearl and Etta accompany her. Again, much to Emmylou’s horror. Or added horror. She’s still in a little bit of a rage having Jake see her in her night clothes!

Little WIP update: I’ve started chapter 20! Finally! I hit a little bit of a dry spell, but I’m back at it. Sort of. Still trying to get this short story in order before I delve back into it. I can see the ending. I can smell the ending. It smells like satisfaction…and what took you so long? Seriously. I think it’s been a year since I wrote the first chapter of Etta & Emmylou!

But it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Right?



I really can’t believe how this year is panning out already. I’m feeling good. Better than good actually. That’s a little inside joke I have with myself about a short story I wrote, that I absolutely adore and—I’m getting off topic! *clears throat* I placed second in another Scribophile contest!

Omigod you guys! (Can we take a minute to appreciate there were two quick changes in the first song of the show alone?)

Anyway, back to my writing! It was a Valentine’s Day/love themed contest. All I had to do was feel some kind of love and keep it brief. This was my first go at flash fiction too. Why didn’t anyone tell me how cool flash fiction is?

I LOVE and I do mean love that piece that I entered. And not just because it won me some cash and happy feelings, but because it inspired me to write a short story. Why didn’t anyone tell me how cool short stories are?! I couldn’t let my love birds go. I had to explore their relationship further. Now, I LOVE the short story so much, that I’m going to try to find a home for it. Actually, once I’m done with Etta & Emmylou I’ve decided to make them my new project. I’ve got plans! Yay me!


The original flash piece is called, The Trees Won’t Tell. It’s about 20 words shy of 1,000 words and in the description I have one sentence: If Erroll kisses Gussie in the forest and only the trees witness it, are they in love?

Well, are they? You can bet your bottom dollar they are! The short story is about 7,000 words. As of now, I’m just calling it Gussie & Erroll, but when I send it off, I’ll put it all under the flash piece’s title. It follows Gussie as she and Erroll struggle to advance their relationship and get into “trouble.” In pure Music Man fashion, oh she’s got trouble… With a capital T, and that rhymes with E, and that stands for Erroll! Here’s my little blurb about it:

Gussie loves Erroll and he loves her back. So much in fact she may be his wife one day. That is if they can ever get some time alone. What with his mama’s issues and Gussie’s mama not wanting her to get in “trouble.”

Oh yeah, I go there. I was blushing writing some parts too, but readers tell me it’s still PG-13. I guess I’m just sensitive. 😛

It’s was a bit of a challenge writing about the more sensitive aspects of being a teenager and having the urge to merge. As Matthew Broderick told us in The Producers, “the urge to merge can rob us of our senses.” I wanted to stay true to the times. Oh, did I neglect to mention it’s historical? In my head it’s 1939. Finding euphemisms to support the sketchy knowledge of the past and an impressionable, sheltered country girl, and keeping it YA has been interesting. But I lurvvvve it!

Did I mention I’m in love with this story?

Here’s hoping I can find someone willing to give Gussie and Erroll a home. If/when it does happen I’ll be sure to let you all know. Speaking of finding homes for my work, remember I told you guys about my prose poem, Tabitha’s Babies? Well, I saw the proofs for the review that’s publishing it and I’m still speechless. It’s so pretty! And it has this s’wonderful illustration to go with it. I’m so honored. I should be able to share a link soon!

Well that was a mouthful! If you’re still reading, I’ll check ya later,



This is one of my favoritist songs ever! Yes, I know it’s not a word. If you’ve seen Dirty Dancing, then you’ve heard this song. Remember when Baby first goes to where all the staff parties at the resort? And everyone is dirty dancing and she’s walking around dumfounded and intrigued at the same time? Well, this is that song.

The vocals are provided by the wonderful Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. I just about fell out my chair when I found out the biggest guy was the tenor. Watch this. Does he look like he would be the one to hit that falsetto?


For the record Etta and Emmylou do not dirty dance at any point in their story. I just thought it worked well, what with all that was going on in chapter three. Besides the fact that it’s on the car radio, Etta is praying for a miracle. She’s hoping her father will over look the fact that they’ve gotten a ride from two strangers, one who happens to be white and asks them to stay for supper. If he invites them to stay, then maybe he’ll hear them out about letting she and Emmylou sing at their show.

I’ve said it already, but I looooooove this song. Emmylou would totally be Baby.

I’ll try to be back soon. I promise.

Pinky promise,



Apparently I’ve been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. I’m thinking the award is pretty self-explanatory, hence my uh…confusion as to why I’ve been nominated. I guess my buddy/critique buddy Lauren (visit her blog here) thinks I have a lovely blog, horrible grammar, punctuation and typos aside. 🙂 Thanks Lauren! She’s also on the twitter.

Here goes seven things about me that are not in my bio:

  1. I flunked out of college my first semester. Sorry, did I make it uncomfortable? Even now, knowing that I’m graduating in May I think back to that first semester and get so…ashamed. I know I shouldn’t be, but it happens. Less often now that things are going my way.
  2. I don’t know how to drive. I’m from NYC. Technically I don’t need to know how to drive, but my mother, who had a car on and off while I was younger thinks it’s time I get my life together and get my license. I agree with her there. Mom if you’re reading this, I got you this summer. Then I can move the car for you in the wee hours of the morning so you won’t get a ticket and/or towed.
  3. I’ve never been out of the United States of America. This one really bothers me. I even took a cruise once, but get this, it was a cruise to nowhere. We just sailed up and down the east coast for about 5 days. Luckily my mother has a trip planned for when I graduate. Where to?  It’s a secret apparently, but I’m brushing up on my Spanish just in case it’s Spain.
  4. I really, really, really, really, really want to go to Spain. Ever since the Cheetah Girls went, it’s been on my bucket list. I even have a pen pal from Spain. We’ve been pen pals for about 7ish years. I’d love to meet up with him one day.
  5. I don’t have a gallbladder. For years I was having gallstone attacks and had no idea. One morning I was in so much pain I spent the rest of the day popping advil. Finally sometime around 8pm I asked a friend to drive me to the emergency room down the street from our school. Turns out I had gallstones and like the nurse told me, “You really shouldn’t have taken so many pills. You can’t do that.” In hindsight nearly the whole bottle was a bit much. But I had a really cool test done and we found out my gallbladder wasn’t even working. It was functioning at like 9%.
  6. I hate ankle socks. I don’t know who in the world thought those were a good idea, but I can’t do it. They’re not okay! *shudders* I mean why even wear socks at all? What’s the purpose?
  7. I think Judy Garland and I would have been really good friends.

So that’s me. Kind of. I wish I had some cool pictures, but I’d have to do some serious searching and I got labs that I need to finish up. But here’s who I’m nominating!




  • When you get his award, thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself that are not in your Bio.
  • Pass this on to as many people as you like (max 15).
  • Include this set of rules.
  • Inform your nominees.