SATurdate: It Ends With Us, TikTok Cookies, & Love is Blind

Remember these? It’s been a loooonnnggg time since I wrote a SATurdate. (The last one was in 2016.) For those of you who haven’t been with me for that long, they were generalized Saturday posts just updating everyone with what I am up to in writing, publishing, and my personal life, like what I’m watching on TV or what recipe I recently tried to bake. I really loved writing these, but when I started blogging only twice a month, I cut them out. Alas, this month has been full of sickness and busy work schedules, so my brain is a bit fried on writing tips. I thought bringing back this oldie would be fun. I might try to bring these back permanently every third Saturday of the month…Until then, here we go!

What I’m Writing:

Right now, I’m revising my young adult issue-driven novel-in-verse. I’m hoping to get it to my agent by June. My original goal was May, but alas, baby girl’s daycare closed due to COVID, I got sick (tested negative for COVID, though!), my husband started a new job, and we’re just surviving the day-to-day chaos of it all. I’m definitely still learning how to adjust my expectations. That said, I LOVE my revision plan, and I’m really enjoying watching this book come together. When I first set out to write it, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. (It’s also dual timeline.) But I think it’s working! We will see! 

What I’m Up To In Publishing:

This past week, I met with my agency for some social media training. That was super neat. Other than that, I am gearing up to teach three virtual writing workshops in the near future. The first one is for SCBWI KS/MO, but anyone can go! It’s a My Process Shoptalk, where I will discuss how I wrote my middle grade novel-in-verse about my mom dying due to the opioid crisis. I’m talking about rhythm, revision, and the ethics of basing a novel off of a true story. Get more information and register here. You can also check out my other upcoming events here. Other than that, my quarterly newsletter is going out in May! It includes a bookstore gift card giveaway, so make sure to sign up here

What I’m Reading:

I’m slowly chipping away at CHAIN OF THORNS by Cassandra Clare. (What can I say? It can be hard to read a 800-page book for fun with a baby around.) But I did manage to read CALL ME HURRICANE by Ellen Hagan, a young adult novel-in-verse about teens living on the Jersey Shore during tourist season. I also finished THE WAY I USED TO BE by Amber Smith, an issue-driven young adult novel about sexual assault. It’s a heavy read. It leans on why a victim might lean toward having more sex after trauma, which I think is a unique viewpoint compared to similar novels. Other than that, I also read IT ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover, because it’s going to be a movie with Blake Lively and everyone was talking about it. Lots of folks were saying it romanticizes abuse, but I don’t see it. I definitely feel like I read a book that was very clear about what is abuse and why people don’t leave. Did it have a cleaner ending than real life? Yes. But that’s fiction for yah. I’m looking forward to picking up something fun and light-hearted soon. (For some reason, all my heavy reads came in at the same time.) I really want to jump into COURT by Tracy Wolff, #4 in the Crave series. It’s such an entertaining paranormal YA series! 

What I’m Watching:

I am making my way through Love is Blind Season 4, and what a messy season! Between awful serenades and mean girls, I think this might have been the messiest season yet. I hope Netflix isn’t purposely trying to get messy people. I much preferred it when it seemed like the couples were genuinely trying to fall in love and not trying to get internet famous. 

What I’m Baking:

I made these TikTok-famous browned butter toffee chocolate chip cookies, and honestly? Wasn’t super impressed. Not only did it take me forever to find toffee around town, but the recipe took super long. It just wasn’t worth it to me. I have much better cookies recipes that are easier and taste better. (Not that these were bad. They were good. But the amount of work that went into them made them feel lackluster.) Honestly, make these salted brownie cookies instead. That recipe is one of my favorites. Other than that, I usually make a big meal for Easter…but like I’ve said, I’m learning to adjust my expectations. After making a huge meal for Christmas with a two-month-old, I decided to just order Easter dinner this year. It was a lot easier. And everyone was happier. That’s what the holidays are about. 

What I’m Wanting:

My “wants” are a lot more simple nowadays. Mostly, sleep. I always want a chance to sleep. And I’d love for baby girl to say mama more. It absolutely melts me. 

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I’m functioning on such little sleep that I had a dream where I was driving a boat and thought, “Hmm, what a great time to take a nap.” And I took a nap. THE END. 

What Else Is Going On: 

Baby girl is growing so fast! She’s six months old now, and we’re getting close to reading 200 picture books together. (We’re trying to do the library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading challenge.) That said, being postpartum is hard. I’m still dealing with complications, mostly severe anemia. I had to start iron infusions this past week. (I need five to get to where I’m supposed to be.) It’s so time-consuming and incredibly expensive. I also have to go to a cancer center to get it done, and the whole thing is just very humbling. I’m feeling grateful for what I do have. And I’m trying to keep my chin up! 

Now, back to writing…


6 thoughts on “SATurdate: It Ends With Us, TikTok Cookies, & Love is Blind

  1. Lovely blog Shannon, how you find the time and energy for all you do is incredible, glad to see you’re cutting yourself a small amount of slack, Baby girl looks gorgeous 🙂

  2. I have to agree with you on IEWU. It doesn’t glorify abuse. In fact, Hoover has said MANY times that it is not a romance. It’s the Booktokers who seem to have a thing for Ryle and think it’s a romance. I feel bad for the way people have reacted towards her as an author because of it. It’s so weird.

    1. Thank you for sharing! It’s definitely not a romance. I admit that I haven’t seen the TikToks about it, but I have heard of them. Sounds like a lot of misinterpretation is happening.

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