Post-NaNoWriMo Thoughts

I walked into this month knowing exactly what I wanted to write. I had a fully completed outline, even a few thousand words in the bag. With that being said, I did reach the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words (Yay!), but I didn’t finish my project. I am a little disappointed, but I can honestly say that I had a lot of fun writing this year. I went out to a few write-ins and met a lot of cool people. It was so nice to talk and joke with other writers and know people who understand the unique challenges NaNo provides. It also created a place where ideas could be thrown around and feedback could be given, because if I’m being honest I need more practice with critiquing. So I left this month feeling really happy, which is fueling my desire to keep writing.

What’s Next: Life after NaNo?

I’ve thought about it a lot and wondered if it were possible for me to just continue writing. (Yes I know that sounds silly, bare with me) I did enjoy and will miss the fun and good spirit of NaNoWriMo, but I want to continue writing outside of that. Participating in NaNo this year has proved to me that I really enjoy writing and I want to do this as a career and not just a hobby. I want to wake up, write, take a break, sleep, and repeat. To me, it’s fun and fulfilling, and in the past, I was okay with writing being number two, but now I want it to be on the same level as my (hopefully) career in wildlife. I can not express how much motivation I’ve gotten from this month, and I really hope it stays.

So it’s December 2nd now, and I’m still writing my NaNoWriMo project, I’m not burned out, and I love this new found productivity. I hope everyone who participated in NaNoWriMo had a great time, regardless if you reached the targeted word count or not because you really are a winner if you tried. And no I’m not just saying that. Writing is a journey that goes beyond 50,000 words and spans way past the thirty days of November. Don’t stop writing, the world needs your stories.

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Fun Times at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival

 

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Our Super awesome table at the VCBF, feat. illustrator Danielle Dooley (L) and author Blair Cousins (R).

 

This past weekend I was a vendor at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival in Farmville, VA. This was the first time I’d had a table at a big festival, and I was not disappointed. Despite some minor hick-ups, I had a great time. The volunteers, staff, and other vendors were all very nice and welcoming; I’ll be back next year.

Next year, however, I’d like to go for the whole event or at least step away from my table to see some of the presenters. Being the author, I thought it was more important to man my table, but after selling a whopping total of nine books, I think it wouldn’t have hurt to step away to see a few speakers. But, I did get to see some action from the vendor’s room. There were a lot of book signings, most notably, illustrator Brooke Allen made an appearance to promote her newest project Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power. I regret not buying her book, but it’s on my wishlist now. I was also lucky to share a table with author and illustrator of The Spy Next Door series, Jay Cooper. I did buy one his books. I couldn’t pass it up, the artwork was amazing.

Overall I had a pretty good time. It was nice to be out promoting my book again, and I was happy to have my good friend and illustrator Danielle Dooley with me. We have a coloring book coming out next month, and we’re really excited about the project, but more on that later. NaNoWriMo is on the horizon, and I need to have all my rations and supplies ready to knock this one out of the park.

A Review of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“The Hate U Give” is a story about a young girl, named Starr Carter, who witnesses the murder of her childhood friend and the events that follow. Very relevant to today, the story focuses on telling the story of how the impact of losing a loved one affects not only the family but the community as well. Author Angie Thomas does a fantastic job of giving a voice to a community otherwise written off by the public eye.

Aside from the heart-wrenching storytelling, the language is one of my favorite things I enjoyed about the story. It doesn’t try to be anything else, but itself. The authenticity of the narrator makes the story feel genuine and gives the story life. I truly enjoyed the time spent on the development of the characters.

Final Thoughts:

Despite my general dislike of the sensitive subject matter, this book demanded to be heard and demanded to be read. It was hard to find things I didn’t like, and I learned so much about myself and my own worldviews reading this. I would 100% recommend this book to teens and adults alike. I give it a 5/5.

The Hate U Give

A Review of The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

“The Jumbies” follows a young Caribbean girl named Corinne La Mer who lives happily with her father, next to a mysterious forest. Their world is turned upside down when they are visited by a beautiful woman wrapped in mystery. Now it is up Corrinne and her friend to save her family and their town from the dreaded forest dwelling creatures called the Jumbies.

I was very excited to read this book because I love stories about folktales and lore. Right away I was drawn in by the beautiful storytelling and bold and colorful characters. Tracey Baptiste does a great job of introducing us to Corinne’s world, through playful and detailed language. The more I read, the more I wanted to know about the Jumbies. Who are these creatures? What do they want? Where did they come from? That you’ll have to find out for yourself.

Final thoughts:

I loved the story, with its message of friendship, balance, and understanding. Read this to your child or have them read this to you, neither of you will be disappointed. I can’t wait to read the second book.

I give it a 5/5.

the-jumbies

Found, Ann Arbor, MI

Found

 

No one is lost here, out of place, or forgotten.
There are no bags labeled “To Goodwill, Free to a Good Home, Trash.”
Every button, every knob, every doll, and every photo, has a place on these shelves.
There are no teary eyes, lonely cries, or sad faces.
No reasons to fear or feel unwanted, only feelings of content and hopefulness.
Here in this place a second chance is given to be buttoned up, typed on, played with,
A second chance to be found.

 

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Updates!

Hi all, I hope you are well. It’s been a while since I’ve updated here, but know that I’ve been busy with many projects and events. The blog’s weekly posting schedule is still on hiatus, but as long as you’re following my blog, you’ll get notifications when I do. For the fall I’ve got lots of goodies planned. This year I’ll be doing a Spooktacular Writing Care Package Giveaway, just in time for Nano, along with the premiere of a new short story I’m working on. The giveaway will take place on my Facebook page, Blair Cousins – Author, starting October 1st to the 30th. The story will be posted on my blog on Hallow’s Eve.

Also in October, I will be running a table at The Virginia Children’s Book Festival in Farmville, VA at Longwood University. The festival is free to attend and runs from October 19th to October 21st, though I’ll only be there on Saturday, the 21st. I encourage you to go on either day for the amazing authors and illustrators attending. For a full list of guest and events check out the website below.

>>>>>>The Virginia Children’s Book Festival<<<<<<

Coming out in mid-November I will be publishing a cat-themed coloring book all about cats being cats. It’s perfect for children and adults of all ages and will even include characters from Ouji the Curious Cat. Visit my table at The Virginia Children’s Book Festival to enter for a chance to win a signed copy.

Lastly, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. There is a very special project I would like to complete, and I encourage all authors and writing enthusiast to participate. It’s truly a fun and rewarding experience. Nano starts November 1st and is free to sign up for. For more information, please visit their website: Here.

 

That’s all for now, happy writing everyone.

 

-Blair