How I Developed a Valuable Life Skill (Hint: I Beat My Brain into Submission Using Zombies)

Remember that time I wrote a book and disappeared from the internet for basically months and months, except when I would occasionally monopolize Tumblr to make everyone look at animated gifs from old horror movies and relive conversations that I had with D about counting jellyfish?

I remember that time …

Continue reading

Brenna Admits (Temporary) (Internet) Defeat

I keep telling myself that I’m going to be a good blogger. SUCH a good blogger. One of those dependable, accountable ones who follows a schedule and is all about tidiness and consistency and showing up to appointments on time and remembering to water the plants.

However, as we inch closer and closer to December, it’s becoming more and more apparent that all my good intentions and my attempts at time-management are … kind of a lie.

The reason for this is that oh-my-god-you-guys, Paper Valentine comes out in less than three months! (How did that happen?)

Continue reading

In Which Brenna Fails Utterly at Being an Adult

Sometimes I dream that there’s a mean octopus on my ceiling.

The way I know it’s mean is that if it were a nice octopus, it wouldn’t lurk around on the ceiling in the dark like a creeper, it would just wait until morning and then come say hello.

But this is clearly a mean octopus, and as a result, I don’t trust it. I practice constant vigilance. I keep my eye on it.

Continue reading

It Transpires that I Am Writing a Book

Also, it’s in that awkward beginning stage where I absolutely can’t talk about it in any practical sense because it’s still only a delicate collection of impressions and ideas and assorted sentences and characters I barely know.

It’s still basically an ugly little grub just waiting to turn into something fancy—as in, Tess and Maggie have seen approximately one page, and Editor Jocelyn has seen none of it at all.

However, because I’m really bad about always wanting to share all the things I’m excited about, I think I’ve worked out a way to kind of act it out in sounds and pictures without really giving anything away.

Continue reading

Cast Iron

Sometimes I talk about baking on here, which doesn’t really have anything to do with writing, but is still a reasonable thing to talk about. Because I like baking. I’ve been doing it since I was really young, thanks to the fact that being homeschooled always left my afternoons free, and early afternoon is, as everyone knows, the very best time to prepare something delicious.

I am not, however, what I would consider a natural baker. My mom and my sister both excel at it. They have a flair for it. They have an inherent understanding of this crazy thing called craftsmanship.

I … do not. I’m too meandering, too unstructured. I like flourishes and tangents and experiments and never doing things the same way twice.

Continue reading

Today’s Favorite Thing: The Cabin in the Woods

While this probably constitutes retreading old ground, I feel that I should take this opportunity be very clear.

I like horror movies. A lot. Like … I really, really like horror movies.

It’s a condition that’s plagued me since childhood, and yes, I could probably even make some weird attempt to justify my obsessions or invent a cool little postulate as to why my little-girl thoughts were dominated by movie monsters, and not flowers or ponies or rainbow-dolphin-unicorns. (I was an English major with a psych minor—I’m uncommonly equipped to mangle theories into vague reflections of reality.)

But I just have this feeling that anything I could come up with wouldn’t mean that much. The true, honest thing is actually very simple. I saw my first horror movie when I was six (It was House. It was terrible.), and since then, I’ve just kind of been fixated.

Continue reading

Brenna Revises

Okay, so. This is the last post before Enforced Blog Silence, and I wanted to make it count. What I’m giving you now is what’s known as actual writing-related content. (I know, I know—we don’t necessarily see a lot of that around here.)

What happened is, Maggie Stiefvater recently wrote a wonderful and highly detailed post dissecting the intricacies of revision, and the response was tremendous. The resulting discussion involved a lot of people saying they wished more authors would share their process with this same level of detail, and since Maggie is by nature a helpful and motivated person (also, she is organized), she asked a bunch of us if we’d be willing to participate in what has essentially become a series!

Continue reading

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Today is high-school post day. I know that.


The thing is, it’s about to get very disorganized around here and I wanted to announce ahead of time that the next couple weeks are due to be pretty quiet.

The reason for this is twofold—first, I’m going out of town to work on the Merry Fates not-an-anthology with Tess and Maggie in an undisclosed location.* Secondly, the trip will immediately be followed by knee surgery.

Which, it’s cool. I’ve had knee surgery before and while I wouldn’t class it as fun, exactly, it’s eminently doable. However, based on my previous experience with the recovery process (specifically Vicodin), even typing out a series of four or five coherent sentences can take about twenty minutes. So, not only will blogging most likely not happen, it absolutely should not happen! I have one more fun thing that I’ll be posting on Monday, and then blog silence for the next two weeks.**

Okay, now I feel like I’ve just spent this whole post talking AT you, declaring things loudly and telling you how it’s going to be.

So hey. Hey, you. What’s up with you guys?

*Otherwise known as Tess’s living room, but it sounds way more glamorous if you imagine us working diligently in a dilapidated fortress. Or a rustic cabin above a fjord. Or anyplace else suitably isolated and weird.

**This might not work. I might disregard my own advice. I might subject you to incoherent post-surgery ramblings. Please, I hope not.


I’ll be brief today, since there is a lot of leftover-eating and lounging around to be done.*

D gave me these. For writing. Which is awesome.

Photo on 12-26-11 at 12.51 PM #2

Because as much as I like writing in coffee shops, sometimes the noise of them is … too noisy.

And also, if you’re wearing earbuds, sometimes people think that your small, non-confrontational headphones are an invitation to start talking to you right in the middle of a very crucial scene.

These babies, though? These are like a fortress to protect crucial scenes!

What about you? Do you write to music? To noise? In silence?

(And if in silence, HOW?)

*Okay, you got me. I’m actually getting caught up on email, but whatever. Lounge! Eat leftovers!