My college plans + the hopeful yet terrifying abyss

As I begin my freshman year of college (um how did I get here) I thought it would be fun to share with you all what my plans are! In four years I can look back on this post and laugh at the wild dreams my younger self had. I mentioned recently on Instagram that I want to use this blog to chronicle my college journey, hopefully I can help one of you along the way. I’ve been homeschooled my whole life so I’m not sure what to expect from college but I’m excited to find out and share it with you all.

Years ago my parents and I decided the best option for me was to spend my first two years of college at a community college. A lot of factors went into making this decision, not just money (though that played a big part). It’s the best option for me right now. Last summer as senior year approached I knew I didn’t want to stay home for college, I could see my future very clearly; being sad at home as the rest of my friends were at fabulous universities, I didn’t want to live like that. I love my family more then anything but I decided to move away for school.

So I will be moving away to Northern California, which is four hours away from where I am now. I will be living with my very generous family members while attending community college. I’m really happy with the school I’m going to because they’re very transfer friendly and really want to help you get where you want to go.

Moving in with family gives me some new found independence, a fresh start (which I desperately need), while still making the best financial decisions. I move in less than two days which is terrifying yet also incredibly exciting.

I will attend community college for two years wile I get my AA and transfer credits so I might be able to go to a UC school in two years. This semester I will be taking French, English, and history. I’m not quite sure what UC school I want to go to but it has to be a school that offers

a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in English. I would love to attend a Christian University but it’s really hard to find one with these programs. Luckily I don’t have to worry about that right away.

If I could wish for three things for myself during the next four years I would wish that I stand firm in my values, get into a university of my choice, and make life long friends. I’ve never been the best at making new friends so the thought of leaving behind my childhood and high school friends behind is terrifying so I’m really hoping to make some great new friends especially during my first year.

I’ve been referring to moving away and college as the abyss to my friends, because thats what it feels like, a scary black mysterious abyss. I’m also hopeful. I just can’t wait to get out there and see what happens. Bring on the abyss.

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Mid Year Book Freak out Tag 2019

Well some how it’s already the end of June which means we are already a little over halfway through 2019. I always see people do this tag around this time during the year and I always enjoy it so I though I would do it myself! This tag is to check in on your reading goals and talk about the books you’ve read so far.

Q1: What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2019?

A1: So far I’ve read eighteen books and I’ve really enjoyed most of them. It was really hard to pick a favorite book but I have to say Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. This book was so much fun while also giving me a lot of emotional moments and great plot twist. I can’t wait for the sequel coming out later this year!

Q2: Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019?

A2: This question was not hard to answer, my favorite sequel I’ve read this year is ‘The Ask to the Answer’ by Patrick Ness. I LOVED this book! The characters really came into their own in this book, a lot of shocking and heartbreaking things happen in this story but Patrick Ness manages to always bring back a symbol of hope for the readers. The world development and payoff in this book is absolutely incredible.

Q3: New release you haven’t read yet but want to?

A3: I have so many! To name a few, Romanov by Nadine Brandes, Fifty Days by Brittney Kristina, Within these lines by Stephanie Morrill, and the Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds.

Q4: Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

A4: Again I have so many! Fall has so many great titles coming out but if I had to pick one I would say Rebel by Marie Lu. This is the fourth book in the Legend Saga which we thought ended a few years ago. This books takes place ten years after the events of Champion, I can’t wait to see what all my favorite characters are up to!

Q5: Biggest disappointment?

A5: This one is easy, for me it was definitely Seafire by Natalie C. Parker. I was expecting so much from this female led pirate story but it just didn’t deliver. The world building was too confusing to follow and I didn’t care for the main character. I do want to give this book another try later this year.

Q6: Biggest surprise?

A6: Every Bright and Broken Thing by Brian McBride. I’ve said many times how much this book surprised me. I was very lucky to be a beta reader for this book and help with it’s release. This book moved me and helped me through a difficult time when I wasn’t expecting it.

Q7: Favorite author thats new to you?

A7: Patrick Ness. I read A Monster Calls late last year and then at the beginning of this year I read the Chaos Walking trilogy, I really fell in love with his dynamic characters and unique writing style. I would recommend his books to anyone and I can’t wait to read more by him in the future.

Q8: Newest Favorite character?

A8: This character isn’t new but I got more invested in their story this year. Thomas Cresswell from Stalking Jack the Ripper. Thomas is a caring, witty, and charming male character. My favorite thing about him is how he supports the female characters in his story. It takes a while to warm up to his mysterious character but by the time you do you’re already head over heels.

Q9: Book that made you cry?

A9: Honestly I don’t cry while reading very much but there have been a few books that got close to making me cry. Every Bright and Broken Thing by Brian McBride and Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness.

Q10: Book that made you happy?

A10: Most books I’ve read this year have been pretty uplifting but the first one that comes to mind is Again but Better by Christine Riccio. This book is a romcom debut about a girl who wants to change her college experience by spending a semester abroad. This book was the perfect read as I get ready to start college in the fall.

Q11: What books do you still need to read by the end of the year?

A11: There’s so many! Fifty Days by Brittney Kristina, The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer, and many more. There’s also a lot of books that I don’t own but want to read by the end of the year.

Now it’s time of the hard part, tagging people. I decided to tag some of the wonderful people in the write club from Instagram! @_chelseawrites, @savannahporterbooks, @downthewritepath, @glassauthor, @writing_mags, and @lizgriffinwords. I hope you all enjoy doing this tag!

So far I’ve had a great reading year and I can’t wait to discover more wonderful books through out the rest of the year!

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Summer goals!

Summer is the time for growth. Without the pressure of test and homework summer allows us to figure out who we are. This summer for me is very strange as I finish high school and get ready to go off to college. I have so many goals that I want to accomplish while I’m still living in the safety of my parents home. I have three different categories of goals to work on this summer. Reading/writing, fun (things I want to do), and self improvement.


• Finish draft six of A Pirate’s Revenge. Draft six will be my primary focus, I’m hoping this will

be a more line edit focused draft before sending it off to Beta Readers.

• Read ten books. I haven’t had much time to read of the past few months and I want to get back

on it and catch up on my reading goal.

• Send APR to beta readers. If all goes as planned I will be doing a round of beta readers in July.

If you want to be apart of that than follow me on Instagram!

• Start drafting new YA Science Fiction novel. During July while APR is off with Beta Readers

I plan to start writing the new sci-fi novel I’m currently outlining.


• Get a second job. I want a second job to provide a little extra cash before moving out. I’ve

already applied to a bunch of places and even had a interview!

• Walk every week. I want to work on walking more, just as a way to be active and stay healthy.

• Keep working on French. I currently have a forty four day streak on doulingo and I’m hoping

to keep improving over the summer.

• Get a hair cut. Honestly this is more of a to-do item than a goal.

• Work on cooking. Since I’m moving out soon I want to work on my cooking a bit. At least

learn how to make a chicken and maybe some fish.


• Go to the beach. One good thing about living in California is that you’re never to far from the

beach. Sadly I don’t go as much as I’d like to.

• Go to the last bookstore. The last bookstore is this amazing place in LA, I went with my friend

in eight grade and we already agreed we have to go back before school starts.

• Go to the drive-in theatre. I love seeing movies at the drive-in. It’s definitely one of the best

ways to watch a movie.

• Just have fun with friends. In a few short months I will be moving away from all my friends

and family and I just want to have as much fun with them before we all go our separate ways.

That’s all I have to talk about today. Maybe I’ll do a post at the end of the summer to see if I accomplished all these goals, let me know if you’d like to see that. What are some of your goals for the summer? Let me know!

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Instagram: @rebeccacarawaywriter

Writers and authors you should follow

Writing can feel like a solo activity, we often work alone. Many of us don’t have anyone around to show us the ropes for writing a novel. We can’t all be apart of amazing writing classes. But thanks to the internet, we don’t have to figure out everything on our own. There is a huge writing community online and you can find some great people with experience and trusted advice. Today I will be sharing four authors and writers that I follow and have been extremely helpful. These are all authors and writers from youtube so let me know if you would like to see me do another list like this for other social media platforms. The following list is in no particular order.

1: Kim Chance. I started watching Author tube last year and Kim was one of the first people I found. She is a traditionally published author, her debut novel is called Keeper and her second book Seeker releases later this year. Kim is my go to Author whenever I feel like I need motivation or a pep talk. She has so many great motivational videos about writing with anxiety, writing as a mom, and so many more. She bubbly personality never fails to make me feel motivated.

2: Alexa Donne. Alexa is another traditionally published author, her debut novel is a Young Adult science fiction called Brightly Burning, he second book called The Stars We Steal releases January 2020, and she is currently vlogging her experience of drafting a young adult thriller. Alexa is the go to writer for all things query and secrets about traditional publishing. If you are struggling with figuring out the strange world of querying than I recommend you check out Alexa’s videos.

3: Kate Cavanaugh. Kate is a aspiring author who does tons of writing vlogs and writing experiment videos. She works on many different projects at a time so she always had videos and the drafting and revision process. Her fun personality and passion for writing always makes me want to sit down and write.

4: Jenna Moreci. Jenna is a self-published author with two novels, Eve: The Awakening and The Saviors Champion. She makes tons of list-based videos talking about tropes and also tons of videos about the publishing market and how to build a successful author platform. She isn’t afraid to say it how it is, her honest and harsh advice is not only entertaining but very helpful.

Well I hope you all enjoyed this post and check out any of these lovely writers and their books.

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WIP UPDATE #9: Starting draft five

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I will give another WIP update! Im going to talk about starting the fifth draft, camp NaNoWriMo, and some of the changes I’ve made to this book.

If you’re new here, since October I’ve been revising a young adult historical fiction novel called A Pirate’s Revenge. During march I took a break from APR but on April first I finally got to start the fifth draft! In the end of march I started working with a few new critique partners and one of them said that I was starting the story in the wrong place. This wasn’t something I had been told before but I have noticed some people struggle to get through my first Act. This made me completely re-examine my whole first act. So without any spoilers here are a few changes I’ve made to the first Act so far:

• Added a new female character. I added this character for a few reasons but mostly for her to

balance out the first act and make my MC more likable and sympathetic. I really like this

character so far and I think she adds a interesting dynamic to the story.

• Move up my inciting incident to earlier in the story. A few people have said the beginning is a

little slow so to fix the pace I moved up when the inciting incident happens.

• Cut six thousand words. There are so many scenes I’ve cut, but its okay because most of it

is being replaced by better scenes.

• Added a new prologue. I know prologues are a little controversial but mine is only one page

and its from the POV of my villain. I did this to give the readers a hint of whats to come in the story.

I’ve been working on this draft for a little over a week now and I’m not even past the first act yet, this story has needed a lot of work but I’m really excited about all these changes I’ve made.

Now April is the first session of camp NaNoWriMo! If you don’t know, camp NaNo is a month long writing session which encourages people to pick a project, set a goal, and work towards that goal. Camp is really cool because unlike the the November version of NaNoWriMo you don’t have to write 50,000 words for a novel, for camp you can choose any form to write in. This month my goal is to edit 130 pages of my book. As of writing this post I’m at 47 pages.

It’s been pretty hard to get back into editing after taking such a long break so I’m really thankful to camp NaNo for making me edit. This draft is going to be really interesting and will need a lot of work but I’m ready.

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My top five favorite writing advice

Happy Thursday everyone! Today I will be sharing my five favorite pieces of writing advice! Disclaimer: This is not my advice, this is advice I’ve gotten from more qualified writers and authors. I am a aspiring author, I am not qualified to give writing advice but this is advice I’ve heard from others that has really helped me. Okay without further a due, here are my top five favorite pieces of writing advice, in no particular order.

1: Know the rules so you can break them. This applies to grammar, story structure, craft, and sentence structure. To be a writer you don’t need to have a English degree from Harvard but you do need to know the basic rules of grammar and story structure. Not only should you know the rules but you should also know why there are rules. The thing with writing is that there is no 100% hard and fast rules, everything can be manipulated and twisted for artistic sakes. I got this advice from Alexa Donne’s YouTube channel so go check her out!

2: Study the genre. If there is a certain genre you want to write in, than you should try to know everything about the genre. You should know the tropes of that genre, know what the market is like for that genre, is there room in the market for your genre, read older books in your genre and also newer books so you can know whats changed and why. Read as much in your genre as you can!

3: Get a writing habit and stick to it. I’ve talked a lot about this before but I think its really important. You need to have a weekly writing habit or even daily if thats something you can do. If you can only write on the weekends than carve out specific time on the weekends to focus on your writing. You can’t wait to feel inspired to write because you wont get anything done that way. Its not about forcing yourself to write, its about training yourself to feel inspired when you need to write.

4: The first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, you just need to get it on the page. The first draft is really hard, and sometimes your inner editor and perfectionist can come out. You do not need to make the first draft perfect. The first draft is just to figure out the story, your characters, and your voice as a author. After the first draft is when you can focus on making your story “perfect” as it can be.

5: If you write, you are a writer. This isn’t so mush advice as it is validation. A lot of writers feel like the can’t call themselves a writer because they don’t believe in themselves and their work. But here’s the thing, if you are actively pursuing writing, you are a writer. If you are studying craft to become a writer, you are a writer. If you write, you are a writer. It’s important to believe in yourself, don’t let self doubt become the thing that gets between you and your dreams.

Well thats all for today! I hope you all enjoyed this post, let me know your favorite piece of writing advice in the comments!

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What I do to destress

Spring is a very busy and stressful time for a lot of students. Between sports, theater, midterms, and graduation, there is a lot going on in the spring time. Even when theres so much to get done its still important to take a few minutes out from your day to focus on yourself and destress. Today I’m going to share with you all a few things I do to relax and destress.

1: Listen to podcast and music. I know this one is pretty basic and is talked about a lot but it really does help. Putting on some fun music and dancing around like a idiot is a really great way to forget about your problems and just have some fun for a little while. I also love listening to podcast, all kinds of podcast. It can feel like you’re actually having a conversation with someone.

2: Color. Ahh remember the simple days when the only homework you had was coloring in a letter of the alphabet. Well those days are long gone but coloring is back. Adult coloring books are a big thing right now and I really love to do it because its a great thing to focus on while having a few moments of relaxation. If you’re like me and don’t like the sound of pencil and paper than I would recommend a color by numbers app.

3: Pets! There is nothing more calming than curling up with a dog or cat. (Or any other pets of your choice)

4: Walks. Yes another basic thing but going on walks by yourself (though in some areas it’s best to walk with a dog or someone else) is really great. I love going on walks because it’s not only a great way to exercise but you also get away from your phone and whatever else is stressful in your life.

Well thats all I have for today, I know a lot of these things are really common but I just wanted to share what works for me. I hope you all have a great week!

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Spring cleaning book tag!

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday and happy first day of spring! After a unusual long and cold winter I am so excited for spring! Also I’m really feeling that spring cleaning itch! So I decided to do the spring cleaning book tag which was created by booktuber Book Syrup. You can see her original video here . If you want to do this book tag than consider yourself tagged!

1) The struggle of getting started: a book/book series that you have struggled to begin because of its size. The Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo. If you aren’t familiar with the grishaverse, basically theres a trilogy than a douolgy that isn’t connected but its in the same world, and now theres a new book called King of Scars that I believe connects the two stories. So anyways there is a lot of books in that Leigh Bardugo world. I do plan on starting shadow of bone soon and I really hope I like it because a lot of people love that world.

2) Cleaning out the closet: a book/series you wan to un-haul. Just a few days ago I actually un- hauled the Fifth Wave trilogy by Rick Yancy. I had been wanting to give away that series for a while now so I’m glad that I finally did it!

3) Opening the windows and letting fresh air in: a book that was refreshing. The first book that came to mind when I saw this question was A Cactus in the Valley by Olivia J. Bennett. I found this book really refreshing because it had religious themes and was written by a Christian author but it wasn’t afraid to go in and dig deep with hard topics. It was really nice to see real- world issues talked about by a fellow Christian writer.

4) Washing out sheet stains: a book you wish you could rewrite a certain scene in. I honestly couldn’t think of anything. As a writer I know that every scene is there for a reason and I wouldn’t want to change anyone else’s work.

5) Throwing out unnecessary Knick-knacks: a book in a series that you didn’t feel was necessary. I had a few options for this question but I chose to go with A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. This book is literally a 229 page novella. We were told that this book was going to be a bridge between two series but honestly I don’t think it did that. It was a fun silly story but it was not necessary at all.

6) Polishing the doorknobs: a book that had a clean finish. For this I would have to say Winter by Marissa Meyer. I’m actually currently re-reading this book at the moment. This is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles, its one of the best book finales I’ve read, it wrapped up the plot and character arcs in a really satisfying way.

7) Reaching to dust the fan: a book that tried too hard to relay a certain message. For this I would have to say the Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser. This book was kind of a love letter to classic stories but most of the time it just came off really cheesy but not in a good way.

8) The tiring yet satisfying finish of spring cleaning: a book series that was tiring yet satisfying to get through. For this I would definitely say the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. These books are so long! This book started off really great but I didn’t enjoy a few books in the middle, but by the last book I was completely in love with that world and series. I’m really proud that I finished the whole series.

9) Looking forward to next Spring: Tag four people you wan to do this tag. I’m going to tag a few of my writer/bookstagram friends from Instagram but if you want to do this tag, than do it! I tag @silver.moon.reads @Amytheteenwriter @cleopatramargotauthor @author_angela_anne

Okay I hope you all enjoyed this tag! If you want to see me do more tags than please let me know! I hope you all have a great day and I will see you all next week!

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WRITING TIP: Take breaks

As writers we often hear people telling us to write every single day, to get a steady write habit and stick to it. Which I agree with but I also feel like we need to talk more about the value of taking breaks from our work. Though at times its hard to tell when we need to push through and when we need to just step away. Also at whats points during the process should we take a break? And for how long? What do you even do during a break?

Drafting stage

For me when I’m in the drafting I tend to write almost everyday because I like to fast-draft. Many writers say that you should try to write at least something everyday. But honestly if you feel like you need to take a day or two off from drafting, that is perfectly fine. When we draft, we get so invested in our story and characters. It feels good to come up for air once and awhile. When you go back to your book you’ll feel more motivated and excited to keep writing and to finish.

Than once you finally finish that first draft, I suggest you take AT LEAST a month off from your book before you jump into the revising stage. This will allow you to come back to your book with a more open mind, you won’t be as attached which means you will be able to cut and revise in a better way.

Revising stage

Now here’s the thing about revisions, you are supposed to go slow. You are supposed to take the time to carefully go through you manuscript to make it the best version of itself. You don’t have to worry about writing a thousand words everyday. Take you’re time. Revising is a marathon, not a sprint. This means that it’s perfectly fine to take a few days off or even a week if you’re really busy. But don’t let yourself get distracted, don’t procrastinate. Stick with your book and don’t give up on it.

Than in between drafts theres a bit more freedom on how long you’re break can be. Some writers take a full month off between each draft but I usually only take a few weeks off. I’m currently on a month long break after finishing the fourth draft of ‘A Pirate’s Revenge’. This is the longest break I’ve taken since my break after the first draft. Now some writers need more than a month so if thats you than that is totally fine. Take the time you need.

What to do during a break

While on a break from your book, its very easy to get bored and restless. You need to find something else to focus on. During my break I’m currently focusing on catching up on my reading goals and practicing my plotting craft. You can start writing a new project, edit a old project, or take up a new hobby! Do whatever you want, just do something.

Well thats all I have you today! I hope you all enjoyed this post and found it helpful. I hope you all have a great week and I wish you the best of luck with your writing!

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WIP UPDATE #8 |Taking a break + New project

Hello everyone! Today I will giving you all a update on my novel A Pirate’s Revenge, tell you about my plans for March, and tell you a little bit about a new project!

First off I’ll update you all on A Pirate’s Revenge. In the end of February I finished the fourth draft! I spent two weeks editing two chapters a day in order to get that book ready for Author mentor match. Author mentor match is basically a pitch contest where aspiring writers get paired up with published/ agented authors. If selected you will receive feedback on your entire novel! The main point of this contest is to help aspiring writers get ready to query their novels. I submitted A Pirate’s Revenge last Friday and I’ll find out if I got in by the end of march. I’m really excited to see where this contest takes me!

Anyways as I was saying before, I finished the fourth draft of APR! Honestly I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far! I know this book still has a long way to go but every draft brings me a little bit closer to my goal. In the fourth draft I ended up adding a little over two thousand words which im very excited about! I ended draft three with exactly 65 thousand words and I ended draft four with 67,326 words.

Now let me tell you a little bit about my plans for March. Since ive submitted APR to Author Mentor Match I’m not going to work on it until I find out if I got in or not. I haven’t taken a break from APR since the holidays and I just feel like I need a little bit of space before I jump into draft five. But as every writer knows, just because you take a break from one project doesn’t mean you stop working. So during March I will be outlining the sequel to A Pirates Revenge! Yes theres a sequel! I got the idea for this book before I was even finished with the first draft of APR. Now a quick disclaimer: I plan to traditionally publish APR which means the sequel may never happen, I may never get to write it. But I’m outlining the sequel now because I really like the idea I have and I want to know the basic points of the sequel while I still have control of the first book.

Now you might be thinking “Rebecca outlining a book that you may never write is a waste of time.” Well here’s the thing, this is the first thing I have ever tried to outline IN MY LIFE. I have been a hard core pantser my whole writing journey. I love pantsing and I swear by it but I just feel like in order to take my writing to the next level I need to at least try outlining. And if it works than great! If not than all well, at least I know I can still be a pantser. I’m really excited about this month and I can’t wait to tell you guys how it goes!

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