Category Archives: Inspiration

Inspiration Quote for International Women’s Day

But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary.

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Inej Ghafa, Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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What are some quotes from books/movies/TV shows, etc. that deeply affected you? Or characters?

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Inej is one of my all-time favorite characters. Yes, she’s a bad ass. Yes, she and Kaz are awesome. But, for international women’s day, I thought this quote from her would be quite fitting.

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Not to spoil the story too much, but Inej has this realization during a confrontation with another character who, by all rights, has lived a life of privilege and has advantages Inej never had and this character should be the one who comes out on top. This moment is a turning point for not only Inej, but the reader as well. I’m not gonna lie. I cried after reading this part in the book because as a WOC (Inej is too), this quote spoke to me so much! I’d never seen my feelings captured so well in one moment in a book.

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Needless to say, I highly recommend this series!

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This shot is a little different from the usual because I wanted to address two prompts for #marchlitwrit: How/where you take notes | National Proofreading Day: Whoops! I take notes at my office desk, dinner table, while sitting on my bed! But I always use my notebooks when I do. The other night, I spent time setting up my revision notebook and I have to say, it’s pretty awesome. For proofreading, if you haven’t noticed, Inej’s quote that I lettered had a word missing, so I edited it. I wrote the quote when I was still learning to letter and I didn’t want to start over again. But I am learning to embrace imperfections and to care more about content than perfection.

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#readlikeagirl Inspiring Quote—This is such a great challenge—it celebrate’s women’s month!

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Marvel Movie: The Black Panther (spoiler-free review)

Ramonda: (to T’Challa) My son, it is your time! —Black Panther the movie

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I’m having a hard time writing this in a coherent manner because I really don’t have a point of reference to compare the Black Panther movie to. The hype is real my friends. It’s everything you heard and much more. It has the trademark Marvel movie action scenes these movies are known for. The imagery and costumes come together to create a seamless story that’s visually dynamic and breathtaking at the same time.

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But what I think makes this movie stand out is the respect and love that went into the details of creating Wakanda—its people, culture, and beliefs. I’ve been researching ancient Filipino culture (pre-colonization) for my book and seeing indigenous beliefs and customs included in a major film was so inspiring! The last time a movie affected me like this was Moana!

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If you’ve been on the fence about seeing Black Panther, please consider seeing it! Even if super heroes and/or action movies aren’t your thing, it’s worth the experience to see what true representation looks like!

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To get ready for the movie, I started reading the Black Panther series written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I had to stop when I realized the storyline took place after the movie. 😅 I do plan to finish it now but I’m also going to try to find earlier issues too. I need more Black Panther in my life!

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And don’t worry! Okoye will be joining my Funko collection too! She’s only available directly through the Funko website! Ordered it after I saw the movie! 😆

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Writing Update: #dvpit

“Fear is your enemy only if you allow it to be.” An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir @sabaatahir

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What inspires you? What keeps you motivated to keep trying?

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Whether you own a small business or you’re building your account, or in my case, writing a book, we all are inspired in some way to start but how do you keep going?

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It’s been a while since I last shared my progress on my novel. The quick explanation: for the last two years I’ve been writing a fantasy inspired by ancient Filipino culture and I finished writing it last summer. I took a break and at the beginning of this year, I began the revision process so that I can start querying by summer.

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I will admit, I haven’t made as much progress in my revisions as I had planned to at this point, but now I have a definite goal to shoot for. I will be eternally grateful to Vanshika @thatreadingraven for bringing #dvpit to my attention. It’s an opportunity for marginalized authors and/stories to pitch their unpublished MS to editors and agents. And FRIENDS, I’M GOING TO PITCH MY STORY.

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I’m putting this here to hold myself accountable, but also to keep me inspired. In my experience, when you open yourself to opportunities, they present themselves in different ways. I’ve already had so many people offer to read my pitches which has been incredible and empowering at the same time.

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My original inspiration for writing this story is my daughter. I wanted her to have a story where an empowered biracial female was strong, clever, and valued her family. Then I read a book where a brown girl was fighting alone against a patriarchal society to save her brother against terrible odds. It was the first time for me seeing in print a brown girl as a main character with her own narrative. I knew then that Sabaa Tahir’s book was proof that brown girls had a place in fantasy stories (not just as a side character or in token roles), and there also could be a place for my story too.

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If you’re curious about #dvpit, check out the hashtag for more details or visit dvpit.com. It will take place on Twitter from April 25-26.

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What are your plans this weekend? I’m spending time with family but Sunday I’ll be going to see Black Panther!

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AEITA inspired magnet from Owlcrate @owlcrate.

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Jane Austen: 200 year anniversary!

It’s actually been a while since I posted about Jane Austen and in case you didn’t know, she’s one of my favorite authors of all time! She got me through my first year teaching and during that time my father passed away, so she also has a sentimental place in my heart..

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of hers and got me into writing fanfic and eventually pursuing my dream to becoming a published author.

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I was able to visit her home Chawton Cottage and saw the little writing desk where she wrote her novels in secret. She wrote during the Regency era in England when women’s standing in society was restricted to respectable positions–being a writer was not respectable for a woman, but she wrote anyway and 200 years later we are still reading her books!

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Notable facts: July 18, 1817 marked the anniversary of her death. She was 41 when she died. While she was alive, she published four novels which were noted to be “By A Lady”. After her death, two more of her novels were published and those were published under her name.

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Do you have a favorite Austen novel? Which author inspires you?

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Monday Inspiration!

Happy Monday! I want to spread some inspiration because Monday. 😩 .

I’m so grateful to have found this community not just for the fact we’re all readers, but also for how creative everyone is! From candles, bookmarks, to temporary bookish tattoos–I love how people express their enthusiasm for the books we enjoy.

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If you don’t know this about me, I’m a notebook addict! Creamy, thick paper that stands up to fountain pens? Gorgeous graph lines? A5 size? You are speaking my language! And if the cover has some type of bookish and/or writing design on the cover? Dead. I can not even handle it!

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Do you guys know Hafsah? @hafsahfaizal She’s got a gorgeous feed and is the owner of Icey Designs. She’s got some gorgeous bookish candles and also notebooks! I had my eye on this particular notebook because as a writer, the quote speaks to me! My very dear friend and #booktwin Amy @ladyofthelibrary got it for me as a gift and I nearly cried because it was a surprise and it arrived at one of those times I was frustrated with writing my book!

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Where am I going with this? If you don’t follow Hafsah on Twitter, you should remedy that situation immediately! She announced after years of writing her Arabian Fantasy book, she found an agent! I’m so thrilled for her and excited for her book! If you visit her Twitter, you can see her book aesthetics and friends, it’s amazing! Also, check out her “The Obligatory ‘How I Got my Agent Post’ ” at her blog, iceybooks.com. It’s so inspiring and gives me hope.

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Hafsah, I’m so excited for you and I can’t wait to add your book to my shelves! Congratulations! 🎉🎉🎉

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Grateful for diverse books!

We had plans to celebrate the 4th with my mom, but had to cancel because we had to have some electrical issues in our house sorted out. (My landlords spent hours trying to figure it out, but in the end, they’re going to call an electrician who’s supposed to come today.).

Rather than focusing on what I missed out on–seeing my mom and sister, eating my weight in Filipino BBQ, and seeing fireworks–I decided that I was going to focus on what it’s front of me–my family and our home (even though only parts of it are getting electricity). We watched the Macy’s Fireworks show on TV and ate popcorn. It was actually a really fantastic way to end our evening–especially since my kids hate how loud fireworks are.

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Which also made me think about how grateful I am that YA books are starting to represent diverse authors. I’m American, but I’m also Filipino/WoC. Two years ago when I started writing my book, I was worried that no one would want to read it, but I kept writing because I wanted my daughter to have this book. Now that I’m almost done with my draft, I’m so grateful to the authors who went before me who shared their story because it gives me hope that others will want to read it too.

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Which books/authors inspire you? If you’ve read any of these, what did you think?

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I hope you all had a great holiday! I hope you also have a fabulous Wednesday!

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Wooden burned bookmark Shh…I’m reading made by the lovely Mary @markedbymary. Please check out her profile on Instagram for her Go Fund Me page that explains her current health situation.

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Book Challenge: The hype is real!

Wednesday🐪🐪🐪! Anyone else feel like it’s the weekend but then you realize, oh hey, it’s not. 😩 .

For today’s #grimdragon Challenge, the prompt is The hype is real! I’m trash for Laini Taylor and I loved the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series so much. I was excited to hear that Laini Taylor was coming out with a new series but I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure if Strange the Dreamer would be as good as DoSaB. I love Karou and Akiva. I thought, how can Laini Taylor top them?

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Friends, I should not have doubted my Queen! It was so good to be immersed in her words again in a new world with new characters. Lazlo and Sarai has made it on to my list of favorite OTPs and the writing! 😍 Laini Taylor is a skillful word smith and if you like lyrical writing, you’ll love her books. 

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I highly recommend Laini Taylor! If you read it, what did you think? What are some books you’ve read that lived up to the hype? 

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Also, I’ve included a picture and a couple of videos of that time I met Laini Taylor at the LA Times Book Festival and died. One video is of me giving the letter I wrote to her and the other is of me talking to her and her agent about my book. One of the greatest moments of my life! 

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