Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ready or Not...

If you're like me, you know what's happening tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and so on until the end of time. On occasion, a twist appears in the road. Sometimes instead of your regular run of the mill twist, there's a loop-the-loop wicked enough to trigger your vomit reflex.

The question is, do you take the curves or do you stay on the well-known path? 
My life has been upside down since 2013. In a good way. Because of the experiences related to publishing Becoming Beauty, I've reevaluated how I see myself. For over ten years I have been The Queen of Kindergarten. My career as the Kindergarten Teacher Extraordinaire has been my entire identity. Not that anyone knew about it, but writing was always just something I did. It had never defined me. Until my name was printed on the cover of Becoming BeautyOh so quickly I became Sarah E Boucher, author

Accepting that there was more to me than my chosen career as an educator was a huge mental shift. The ups and downs aren't what I'm used to, but the process is amazing. Each day I'm learning more about who I am and who I am becoming. And I love that.  

 We all encounter twists and turns in life. How we respond to them defines us.

In writing: The planned outcome. The perfect resolution. The safe road. But sometimes the best ideas come mid-project when the only option is doing some substantial rewriting. Throwing your heart and soul into a project is what makes life exciting and makes stories magical.

In editing: Passing your work into someone else's hands is an act of faith. The most horrifying thing you may ever do is trust someone to make your best better. No matter what the outcome of that interchange, the process will grow you as a writer. (And hey, nobody said you had to listen to any of their comments...)

In life: There's nothing wrong with being happy with your place in life. There is something terribly wrong with going through the motions and feeling miserable and out of place. Believe me, YOU and I were built for something amazing. Whether big or small, in the limelight or behind the scenes, your life should be beautiful.

The question stands: will you take the curves as they come or will you stay on the well known path? Life is teaching me the importance of questioning the easy choices and embracing the good ones. I have no idea how things will turn out, but it will prove interesting!

Thanks for dropping in!  Good luck finding your happy place!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My First...

2014 was riddled with firsts for this girl! I feel like the learning curve was pretty steep. There were times when I felt like the proverbial cartoon character who runs headlong into a wall and slides to the floor with a screeeeeeee

Of course, there were also the times when I felt like the Queen of Everything. Little Miss Oh-So-Popular. Let's be honest, those were the best!

Since it was also my first year with a bonafide website, all of the ups and downs are nicely documented. And since it's an anniversary of sorts, I'm sharing them with you!  Enjoy!

My Year of Firsts:
  • The first time I called myself a writer. In public. Out loud. (And yes, people were quite surprised.)
  • The first time I became a Seriously, I had no idea what I was doing. (Most days I still don't. I just do my best to be genuine and positive--or at least funny--in my online interactions.)
  • My first writing conference. I was so scared. And everyone was so lovely. I can't wait to go back this year.
  • The first time I worked with professional editors. That was interesting. You never know what will happen when you pass your work onto someone else. In my case, I couldn't have been more happy. They caught a multitude of rookie mistakes, helped define my characters, and basically made me look good! Thanks Cedar Fort!
  • My first Geek Fest at Salt Lake Comic Con! Let's just say I found my Mecca... And yes, I discovered that I can rock Geek Chic! (And I'm going back! Doctor Who Panel--what?!)
  • The first time I saw Becoming Beauty's cover. Can you say gorgeous? The moment was swoon worthy. I've never enjoyed looking at any boy as much as I have loved looking at my cover. (Okay, maybe Stephen Amell. Or Tom Hiddleston.)
  • The first time I could call myself an author because my book had been picked up! Of course, I had to establish an online presence. Inside, I was still freaking out and feeling like an impostor. Outside, I was pasting on a big smile and pretending like I'd done it all before.
  • The first time I held my book in my hands. And took my first #BookSelfie. That was surreal, wonderful, and terrible all at once.
  • Running my first Blog Tour. Again, so scary. Who knows what people will really say when you ask them what they really think. But they were all so kind, patient, honest, and for the most part complimentary. (And yes, they do it for free! Amazing, amazing people! I'm so happy to have connected with them)
  • My first Book Launch Extravaganza. My family and friends basically took over Barnes & Noble. The staff members were so kind! I loved working with them. It was absolutely awesome. And each author event I've done since then has been a reward in itself.
Yes, it's been an amazing year. More than anything, it has been a journey worth taking. While I can't say I've loved every minute, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. After all, a girl only has so many firsts. 

Thanks, my dears, for all you kindness, support, and love. I wouldn't have made it without you! xoxoxo

Friday, January 16, 2015


Don't be afraid of big words. Just use them well, my friends.
There's nothing worse than using an awesome word in the wrong way. Today I'm sharing a few of my favorites along with the correct definitions. Because I'm here to make you look good.

Plethora: an large or excessive amount of something.  
Would you say I have a plethora of piñatas? (The Three Amigos)

Décolletage: the low neckline on a woman's blouse or dress, or a woman's cleavage as revealed by a low neckline.
Gentlemen do appreciate a nicely trimmed décolletage. (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation)

Tete-a-tete: a private conversation between two people, literally meaning head to head.
I mean, where's the harm in having dinner tete-a-tete with an old flame? (Rescuing Rose)

Epiphany: a sudden and profound understanding of something.
Smee: I've just had an apostrophe.
Hook: I think you mean an epiphany.
Smee: Lightning has just struck my brain.
Hook: That must hurt.

Incandescent: passionate or brilliant.
If ever a mind was incandescent, was Shakespeare's mind. (Virginia Woolf)
Oooh! This makes me want to add five hundred extra-long words to my current work in progress. They are incredibly wonderful, amazingly descriptive, and an absolute pleasure to use. Sadly, I usually take them out instead. Still, I promise to always use some words that send the typical YA reader rummaging for the dictionary. (I certainly did in Becoming Beauty!) What can I say? I'm all about educating the masses. 

I'd love to hear your favorite big words. Leave me a comment! As always, thanks for dropping in! Grab your thesaurus and happy writing, my dears!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Author Envy

Pity party for one, please! Here's your complimentary box of Kleenex, ma'am: 
love my fellow authors. I love interacting with and learning from them. I love how freely they share, uplift, and inspire. Yet here I sit, bawling my eyes out and having a full-on lady moment.

Why? You might ask. Because I'm finally admitting that I have a nasty case of Author Envy.  

I envy full-time authors, those making money and those who aren't. See, that's just not my reality. No matter how much I wish it was. Nope. If I don't pay the mortgage, nobody does...

I envy authors who know what they're doing in a veritable sea of social media. Sometimes it feels like I'm drowning. Sometimes it feels like I'm riding the waves. (Really, I have no idea what I did differently.)

I envy authors who GET what marketing is all about...and those who sit back and let someone else do it for them. Oh, how I'd love to have a personal marketer! But once again, if I don't hop off the couch and put myself out there, nothing will happen with any of my projects.

I envy authors who schedule time daily, weekly, & monthly for writing. Frankly, I run out of energy. The sweet little cherubs I work with every day have something to do with that, I'm sure. The little funny darlings.

I envy authors who can stay home and write in their pajamas. Why do pajamas just feel more inspiring than say, slacks and a blazer?

I envy authors who know what their characters are going to do and when they're going to do it. I regularly argue with my characters. You're making me sound like a woman! My main character keeps yelling at me. I do feel like I've emasculated him. Poor, poor Jonas. I shall try to make a man out of you, my dear.

I envy authors who seem to have it all figured out. Hold the phone! These guys don't even exist do they? If they do, I don't like them anyway. Nevermind. It's like complaining about unicorns, anyway.
I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this. Unless you really are one of those authors who has everything figured out, then I really don't want to talk to you. 

The thing I'm trying to remember throughout this whole process is that Author Envy goes both ways. And instead of comparing myself with others, I need to stand tall and be proud of my strengths as a writer

With an open heart and mind, I can participate in the wonderful community of professionals who freely help, uplift, and inspire one another as both readers and writers. And isn't that what we're here for?

Thanks for reading, my dears. I appreciate your support and expertise more than I can tell. Keep it coming!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Love Triangle, Shmove Triangle

I didn't plan to write a Love Triangle. Really.
In writing Becoming Beauty I struggled to reconcile my love for the classic Beast with my dislike for the Prince he transforms into. Somehow that struggle translated into the creation of two distinct male characters: the crabby Beast and his companion, Jack, who both fall in love with Bella.  That, of course, results in romance, humor, and a fair amount of jealousy. Yes, it's a Love Triangle. Since it came up in a review* (notice I'm not ranting here), I thought I'd give you my take on Love Triangles in literature by discussing a few prime examples:

The Twilight Conundrum:
Bella, Edward, and Jacob (blech)

Although my main character has the same name as Stephanie Meyer's, I hope my Bella deals with the entanglements of the heart in a more mature fashion. Bemoaning your sad, sad life while two men who would do anything to make you happy fight over you seems like a waste of time, waterworks, and hunky-hunky men. Also, the resolution of this Love Triangle was a little creepy, if you ask me. Especially if you're either one of the men. (Really, why should Bella have her cake and eat it too? No one else is offered that option. And in my mind, underdog Jacob--pun not intended--is a much more likable character. Sunny, daring, and fun rates higher than Ice Man in my opinion.)

Teen Angst and Tigers--The Tiger's Curse Series:
Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan (better)
This is another Young Adult series featuring two beefy brothers who fall for the same girl. Though certainly less well-known than the Twilight Series, The Tiger's Curse introduces the Love Triangle between Kelsey and the beautiful Indian brothers, Ren and Kishan. I think the key is that the audience knows which of the two Kelsey prefers, even if she hasn't figured it out completely. (She is a teenager after all. What do they know?) The only possible flaw is that Kelsey actually acts like a teen, which can be annoying at times. Unless teen angst is your thing.

Love & the Supernatural--The Mortal Instruments: 
Jace, Clary, Simon...& a few more thrown in for fun (fantastic!)
Recently finding its way to the big screen, this Love Triangle is much more on target. Not only does the audience know who Clary prefers, but so does she. Clary is a fabulous female lead with brains, skills of her own, and a certain level of maturity. The behind-the-scenes tension (beyond the engaging plot) that drives the story is the will-they-won't-they of her relationship with dynamic Jace. It's a stellar example of a Love Triangle done very well. (And let's be honest, there's probably more than one Love Triangle in this series...) My only beef is with Jace's character. I have a hard time loving and rooting for someone so erratic that I want to throw a shoe at him. (Though that's better than Twilight, where I wanted to throw the entire series of books at Bella Swan's head.)

Shadowhunters meet Old England--The Infernal Devices
Will, Tessa, and Jem (FABULOUS!)
The prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices follows the path of seemingly normal Tessa who stumbles onto the world of shadowhunters, werewolves, and vampires. Will and Jem--gentlemen, best friends, and comrades in arms--both claim her attention from the get-go. The reader quickly learns who Tessa prefers, but whether self-destructive Will is capable of letting her in is another matter entirely. Indeed it's Will's actions, paired with Jem's kindness, that push her into Jem's arms. (Can you tell I LOVE this one?) However, over the course of the series, Will's true character is revealed. Cassandra Clare does a magnificent job of presenting two equally wonderful heroes and a dynamic heroine who could choose either one. My only issues are a) the finale (though it's perfectly satisfactory, it has issues similar to--if less creepy than--Twilight) and b) the fact that they haven't made this into a series of movies yet! Seriously, the costumes alone would be amazing!

This obviously isn't a comprehensive list. I could add The Selection Series, The Mocking Jay Series, as well as a load of others. But I'd rather know what you think. What are some of your favorite Love Triangles in literature? Or do you condemn them altogether? Please leave me a comment! 

*By the way, my favorite criticism of Becoming Beauty was that it contained a Love Triangle within a Love Triangle. One reader in particular found this difficult to stomach. My only rebuttal is it's all part of the Beast's history and Bella's path to becoming Beauty. (Did you see what I did there?) 

FYI, dear friends, I didn't set out to write a Love Triangle. I set out to write an origin story

* * *

If you'd like to learn more about Becoming Beauty and jump into the conversation, here are a few links:
Barnes & Noble
Also, each of the above books' titles are linked to their webpages. So you can quickly jump to any you'd like to learn more about. As always, thanks for dropping in!