• Vlog: Q&A Video

    Your questions, answered!
    If I didn’t get to your question or you have something else you want to know about me, feel free to ask in the comments! Thanks to everyone who submitted a question – I had SO MUCH FUN filming this vlog.


    What did you think of these questions? What questions or comments would you like me to answer in my next video?

    Tweet tweet:

    Writer @brianawrites answers questions about reading, writing, and life in this Q&A vlog. (Click to tweet)

  • 23 Before 23 Update

    Cherry Soda in a Glass with Two Straws
    It’s been a while since I talked about my 23 Before 23.

    In my last post on the subject, I made a list of 23 things I wanted to accomplish before my 23rd birthday. Since my birthday is now only three months and one day away (June 17), I thought it might be a good time to update you on my progress.

    Long story short – I haven’t accomplished as much as I’d hoped to by now. I could really use some help.

    Once more, here’s my list of 23 Before 23:

    1. Stop drinking soda. I’ve cut back a lot, and at the time of writing this post, I haven’t had soda in five days or so. (Thanks, Chris!)
    2. Read 23 books. I think I’ve read about seven so far. Eek.
    3. Pay off my cat’s veterinary bills.
    4. Make a dent in my student loans. I need to make this goal more specific somehow… Any suggestions?
    5. Host a dinner party. Oops. I actually forgot about this one.
    6. Get published. Working on it!
    7. Join a club. I’ve signed up to volunteer with the local theater. Fingers crossed!
    8. Comment on at least one blog post per day. I need to get better about this one, too.
    9. Trade guest posts with three bloggers. One down, two to go!
    10. Mentor someone. WHO NEEDS A MENTOR??
    11. Get a new laptop. Found a MacBook Pro for pretty cheap. I just need to save some money.
    12. Save $1000 dollars. I was close, and then I hit some financial hardship. *sighs*
    13. Go ziplining. I found the place, but I don’t want to go alone.
    14. Try out for a play. See number seven.
    15. Consistently post three times a week.
    16. Say “yes” to invitations.
    17. Volunteer.
    18. Contact one writer, blogger, or person I admire per week.
    19. Compile a blog directory. Ava Jae’s blog directory is absolutely gorgeous and an excellent idea.
    20. Support my favorite authors and beloved writing tweeps.
    21. Stop biting my nails.
    22. Make my bed every day. Why is this so difficult?
    23. Visit New York again. Except I don’t really want to do that anymore – I want to go somewhere new instead.

    So, there it is. I have my shortcomings. I’m running out of time to accomplish all these things, and I’m going to need help and support from all of you. Please keep me accountable to this list! If you could ask me how I’m doing with it every so often, I would love you forever.

    Well, more than I already do, anyway.

    I’m also thinking about starting some kind of club where we all try one new habit or routine each month, like a thirty-day challenge. Let me know what you think!

    What tips can you give me to help with this list? What would your list look like? What do you think about my thirty-day challenge club idea?Tweet tweet:

    Three months before her birthday, @brianawrites discusses the items on her list that have yet to be crossed off. (Click to tweet)
  • Favorite Screen Characters Blog Hop

    Surprise Saturday post! I was tagged by one of my favorite people in the world, Rae Oestrich, to participate in this blog hop.
    Instructions: For this quick, fun blog hop, you just name your 10 favorite characters from movies or TV, then tag 10 friends to do the same!

    Oooh, this is going to be difficult. How do I narrow it down? 

    • The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant – Doctor Who)
    • Rose Tyler (Billie Piper – Doctor Who)
    • Rupert Giles (Anthony Head – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
    • Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott – BBC Sherlock)

    • Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black)


    • The Master (John Simm – Doctor Who)
    • Amy Elliot Dunne (Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl)
    •  Margot Verger (Katharine Isabelle – NBC Hannibal)
    • Gary King (Simon Pegg – The World’s End)
    • Annalise Keating (Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder)
    Whew, that was a tough one! I’m too lazy to tag people. If you want to participate, just write a post and send me the link in the comments or on Twitter! 🙂
  • A Letter to My Younger Self

    Photo Credit: insEyedout on Flickr

    When I first started writing, I didn’t know which way was up. I loved reading and understood that writing would open up all kinds of new worlds for me to explore, but beyond that, I had no clue what I was doing. Heck, I didn’t even know if I was allowed to be a writer. I felt like I needed to ask someone for permission.

    I required constant validation for my work and sought it outside myself. This painful endeavor caused my to badger my friends and family to read my half-finished drivel. The feedback I received was less than stellar. The more I read and listened to criticism, the more I felt I wasn’t cut out to be a writer. I would never publish anything. No one would want to read my work.

    I’m not finished growing, but I’ve come a long way since that low point in my creative life. If I could write a letter to my younger self, here’s what it would sound like:

    Dear Briana,

    You won’t be the next Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Rowling. You probably won’t even be that kid who got published when she was twelve. But you know what? That’s okay. You’re not meant to be any of those people. You’re meant to be you.

    As a writer, you need to focus on two things: reading and writing a little each day. Nothing else matters. Sure, you can listen to what people say about your work, but you should take their words lightly. They’re as terrified as you are, and still figuring out the whole “writing” thing, too. So don’t let the critics get you down, my darling. You can do it.

    Keep reading and writing even when it feels like the world is falling down around you (because it never truly is). Art is a support system for life. Draw strength from your work.

    Above all, keep moving forward. I believe in you.

    Love always,

    What do you think? What would you write in a letter to your younger self?

    Tweet tweet:

    In a letter to her younger self, blogger @brianawrites shares some writing advice. (Click to tweet)

  • Sisterhood of the World Blogging Award

    I’ve never heard of this award, let alone been nominated. I love answering questions, though! Special thanks to the lovely Rae (@Rae_Slater) from What Happened to the Wallflower for nominating me!

    Rules for the Tag:

    • Thank the blogger who nominated you, and link back to their side.
    • Post the Award Logo on your blog.
    • Answer the ten questions they’ve sent you.
    • Make up ten questions for your nominees to answer.
    • Nominate ten people (I did eight, deal with it)

    Now, let’s get down to business (TO DEFEAT THE HUNS!) of answering Rae’s questions:

    1. Favorite genre to read or write?

    YA and NA, mostly dystopia.

    2. Favorite genre to watch in a TV show or movie?

    Tough call. I like a little supernatural elements mixed in with everyday life, e.g. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural. Honestly, though, I watch a little bit of everything, especially when it comes to movies.

    3. Favorite social media platform? Why?

    Twitter. I don’t know where I’d be without it. If you’re reading this, you probably got the link from Twitter. I’ve become part of such a wonderful writing community there, and everyone is incredible. I can’t thank my tweeps enough.

    4. Winter, summer, spring, or fall?


    5. Pancakes or French toast?

    French toast. With the egg, I can pretend it’s healthy.

    6. You can have any job in the world. What is it, and why? And, no, you can’t say “writer” or “author” for this one.

    DARN YOU, WOMAN. Okay. I’m going to go with forensic psychologist because that’s what I wanted to do when I went off to college. Crime fascinates me, and I love figuring out why people behave the way they do. Plus, I don’t think anything could be more satisfying than capturing a criminal and putting him or her behind bars.
    7. Captain America or Iron Man? Whoever you don’t choose becomes your mortal enemy, so choose wisely.

    I’m going to go with Captain America, because if I had him against me, I’d feel like a terrible human being. Also, Tony Stark and I run in different social circles, so that’s a safer bet.

    8. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten, and who gave it to you? What was the situation?

    That’s a tough one. I’m going to go with something one of my fiction professors said: “People are interested in characters, not plot.” You can craft the most intricate plot, full of twists and turns, but if your characters are flat, no one will care. People want to read about people. I try to focus on that point.

    9. What inspires you?

    Visual stuff, usually. Art exhibits, stunning films, intense theatrical performances… all of that makes me want to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. When I got back from seeing Interstellar, for instance, I started writing and couldn’t stop.

    10. It’s the apocalypse. Would you rather be stuck fighting zombies for the rest of your life (probably ending by getting eaten or at least bit by said zombie), or be stuck in some kind of environmental disaster (intense heat, water shortage, flooding…)?

    Oh, goodness. Well, I’m pretty terrified of zombies, for one thing. Getting eaten or turned by a zombie would be a rough way to die. At least with the environmental stuff, I could die a more natural death. Jeez, what kind of question is that to end on? It’s depressing!
    Wow, wasn’t that enlightening? 

    Here are my questions:
    1. What’s your fondest book-related memory?
    2. First novel you remember reading on your own? How did it make you feel?
    3. What’s your favorite time of day?
    4. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?
    5. What’s one of your pet peeves when it comes to writing? What errors or quirks make you cringe whenever you come across them?
    6. If you could hang out with any author for a day, living or dead, who would it be? What would you do together?
    7. How do you feel about writing in multiple genres?
    8. What’s something you need to do right now that you put off to answer these questions?
    9. What’s your favorite quote? Who said it?
    10. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
    My nominees: Ava Jae @ Writability, Colleen @ Colleen Halverson, Angela @ Angela Caldwell, Erin @ Erin Kelly, Kimberly @ Where the Sidewalk Starts, Isabella @ Isabella Redwood, Shelby @ How Not to Suck, and Madeline @ Write Dream Live.