REMEMBER: Things can ALWAYS get better. If you want change, go out and do it.

Actions speak louder than words.

Michael Jackson said it best, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror/ I’m asking him to change his ways/ And no message could have been any clearer/ If you wanna make the world a better place…/Take a look at yourself, and then make a change…”



I found a great quote that explains the difference between depression and grief, I think, by Patton Oswalt.

As serious fans of his comedy know, Mr. Oswalt has suffered from depression, but this, he said, was far worse. “Depression is more seductive,” he said. “Its tool is: ‘Wouldn’t it be way more comfortable to stay inside and not deal with people?’ Grief is an attack on life. It’s not a seducer. It’s an ambush or worse. It stands right out there and says: ‘The minute you try something, I’m waiting for you.’

Source: Patton Oswalt: I’ll never be at 100 percent again.

Image info: The comedian Patton Oswalt at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, Calif. Mr. Oswalt’s wife died in April, and it has been a long, hard climb for him to return to comedy. KENDRICK BRINSON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

The difference between Depression and Grief

 Last week, an article in The Guardian, “Most YA Fiction is Grown-Up Fiction in Disguise,” argued that YA writers are missing their target audience. Now, publishing in the UK looks very different from publishing in the US, but the article got me thinking. What makes a YA book YA, and are teens still connecting with new YA books? Who are we writing YA for?

First, what makes a book YA? The simplest answer is the age of the main characters — typically fourteen to eighteen is considered YA, though there’s some flexibility there. But making a character sixteen doesn’t automatically make a book YA. The characters have to sound like teens, and they have to be dealing with problems teens face. If a book is high fantasy, the characters’ struggles can still mirror those of contemporary teens — figuring out who they are, navigating changing friendships, assuming more responsibilities, dealing with parental/family/community expectations, first loves and first heartbreaks … I could keep going, but I think you get the idea. For a YA book to resonate with teen readers, the characters must be authentic teens — they must worry about things teens worry about, and they must talk and act like teens. Voice is huge in kid lit. Whether you’re writing a chapter book, middle grade, or YA, your characters have to sound like kids their age. (If you want an excellent example of this, check out All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. While I’m sure many adults will enjoy this book, it’s hard to argue, as the Guardian article suggests, that this is adult fiction in disguise.)

So, are teens still connecting with new YA books? The teens in my community are. And teens are lining up to meet YA authors at book festivals all across the country — at the Texas Teen Book Festival, at YALLFest, at Book Con, and at hundreds of other smaller gatherings at libraries and bookstores. I’ve heard teens in heated debates about their favorite characters and series. And if you look at all the fan art and fan fiction created by teens about teen books, I think you’ll find teen interest in YA is alive and well.

Still, the question remains, who are we writing YA for? Most YA writers I know say they write for teens. Diverse authors often say they write the books they wish they’d had as teens. And I’m thrilled to have those books now to share with the teens in my community.

As a YA writer, I’ll be thrilled if adults connect with my books. I hope some adults will. But I don’t write my books for those readers. I write them for the teens who may see themselves in my characters, who may be facing the same challenges as those characters, who may read my books and realize that they’re not alone. Because that’s what I wanted from YA books as a teen.
If you’re a writer, who do you write for? Do you feel YA has become more adult lately?


Who are we writing YA for?

Good Morning Readers,

While looking at Dungeons and Dragons related posts, I found this wonderful article that I recommend reading. It was so nice to find someone else who had a similar experience, thoughts, and feelings with depression, anxiety, and gaming.

I hope it helps. Enjoy!

It goes without saying, this post is going to talk a fair bit about depression, anxiety and related issues. This takes up a good part of the first couple of sections of this post, but if you want to avoid the nitty gritty bits of discussing depression and get to the “This is how my […]


How Roleplaying and Fantasy Helped With My Depression

It never fails. Every time I color my hair, I end up with a miserably itchy scalp that flakes a few days after treatment. You might think I’m crazy to put myself through this torture every six weeks or so (unless you’re the same way), but I just can’t stand to have glistening silver roots. And if you’re wondering why I haven’t tried other brands to correct the problem. Trust me, I have. No matter how natural or gentle a brand claims to be, my scalp gets irritated.

So when I explained my situation to pro hairstylist David John at the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in Los Angeles, he had a simple, but surprising, solution: Sweet’N Low. Yes, as in the artificial sweetener.

He just added a few packets of the sweet stuff to the hair dye, before application, then let it sit in my hair to develop. It was just one extra little step that felt like a complete miracle to me. My scalp didn’t itch, the color still looked beautiful post-rinse and I didn’t see any change in my scalp a few days later.

Of course, I had to find out the science behind this discovery so I asked cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos to explain. She says, “Cream of tartar, AKA potassium bitartrate, is one of the ingredients in Sweet’N Low. It has a low pH buffer, while saccharin [another main ingredient in it] also has an acidic pH. Because of these properties, it is believed that the addition of artificial sweeteners helps neutralize some of the ammonia used in hair color and mitigate irritation.”

Really? I couldn’t believe someone hadn’t suggested this to me before, after all these years of coloring and complaining. Either way, I had to share my newfound knowledge. If you get an irritated scalp when you dye your hair, you might as well suggest this solution to your colorist to see if it works. I’m completely sold on it and think it’s worth a try before you commit yourself to a dye-free lifestyle.

via A Surprising Way to Stop Scalp Irritation Caused by Hair Dye – Dry Scalp – Hair – DailyBeauty – The Beauty Authority – NewBeauty.

Isn’t that amazing?! Even though Sweet’N Low is not recommended for consumption since it has carcinogens, these two products in it will help prevent irritating and dry scalp from dying your hair! I wonder if it is applicable to shampoos.

Have you tried this? What are you thoughts on the science behind this? I look forward hearing from you! Have a great day.

Sincerely yours,


A Surprising Way to Stop Scalp Irritation Caused by Hair Dye