I'm Reading with Lauren Groff & Hunter Choate at Functionally Literate!




Hi, all! I was invited by the lovely folks at Burrow Press to read with National Book Award Finalist, Lauren Groff, and Hunter Choate! The reading is part of their Functionally Literate series, which I am a huge fan of. I still have to pinch myself to believe that it's actually happening, but I'm thrilled and honored to participate. The best part about this event is that it's free and open to the public. Now that I've had a little time to stop fangirling, I must figure out what piece I'm going to read.

Teaching Fiction 101 at Orange County Public Library


I had the pleasure of teaching a general fiction class this past August at the Eatonville Branch of Orange County Public Library. One of my favorite things to do is meet new writers. The writers who attended the class were eager to learn and asked a lot of thoughtful questions, which I was happy to answer. The best part was teaching about novel beginnings. I read from a few outstanding novels and was happy to see students writing down titles and author names. (The books I used are pictured below.) When I first started Writer's Atelier, I would teach the workshops. Since moving to our own space in central Florida, I've taken a back seat to teaching and plan them instead. Teaching Fiction 101 made me remember just how much I love helping other writers learn. Maybe I'll do it again soon.



Summer Days: Visiting My MFA Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University

I was ecstatic when the director of my MFA program, Rene Steinke, emailed to ask if I'd be willing to sit on a lit mag panel during the Alumni residency this past August. I had always dreamed of going back to good old Fairleigh Dickinson University and sharing what I learned in the writing and publishing world, though I knew I'd have to serve my time. 

I had a great time meeting new MFA candidates and even fellow colleagues who had graduated after me. One of the highlights was getting to hear the book editor of O Magazine, Leigh Newman, talk about writing and publishing book reviews. I learned a lot in a workshop on writing voice in YA led by Donna Freitas. I also got to catch up with writing friends like Lynette Renda, Heather Lang and Letisia Cruz.

I spent a good deal of time wandering around the campus that I once called an enchanted forest. I missed my sisters, Pam and Marquita, who I met in the program and who are now my critique partners, business partners and close friends. Being back there reminded me about how much magic that place holds. It's good to know that some things never change, and even if I can't make it there every year, at least I know FDU will always be waiting with open arms.









Reading at Art & History Museums Maitland


I had a lovely time reading at the Art & History Museums Maitland this past Friday! Thank you to everyone who came to support me. A special thanks to Naomi Butterfield for inviting me. It was a wonderful night!

Ready. Set. Write! Check-in (Week 7)

Hello all! I'm checking in today for Ready. Set. Write! My summer goals are posted here, if you missed my post a few weeks ago. If you'd like to participate in Ready. Set. Write, you can find out more information on Jamie Morrow's blog. Below are my answers for the check-in questions.

1. How I did on last week's goals.

I have almost fulfilled my goal for Black Fox submissions. I'm almost done reading submissions for the period and we're on schedule for the next issue! Woot! Exercise wise, I only exercised once (I have to do better). Revisions: pretty much nothing, but I did hunker down this morning and currently I've analyzed 16 scenes.

2. My goals for this week:

  • REVISION: Analyze more scenes/rewrite my first chapter. 
  • Finish up Black Fox Literary Magazine submissions and be ready for the launch! 
  • Exercise at least 3 times. 

3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

Still identifying/analyzing scenes at the moment.

4. The biggest challenge(s) I faced this week.

Would I sound like a broken record if I said time? I've been out of town for over a week helping my sister move states, so it's been tough trying to balance work, writing and life. 

5. Something I love about my WIP.

This probably won't change. Again: my protagonist. Even when I get frustrated with the story, she keeps speaking to me. She won't let me rest until I get her story right.

Ready. Set. Write! Check-in

Hello all! I'm checking in today for Ready. Set. Write! My summer goals are posted here, if you missed my post last week. If you'd like to participate in Ready. Set. Write, you can find out more information on Jamie Morrow's blog. Below are my answers for the check-in questions.

1. How I did on last week's goals.

Mediocre. I read a lot (especially submissions wise) and exercised, but revisions could have been better.

2. My goals for this week:

  • Identify ALL my scenes so I can address what needs to stay and what needs to be cut. 
  • Rewrite my first chapter.
  • Read more Black Fox Literary Magazine submissions.
  • Exercise at least 3 times. 

3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

I honestly didn't revise as much as I wanted. And I'm really just identifying/analyzing scenes at the moment.

4. The biggest challenge(s) I faced this week.

TIME. Always time.

5. Something I love about my WIP.

My protagonist. Even when I get frustrated with the story, she keeps speaking to me. She won't let me rest until I get her story right.

Goals: The Ready Set Write Challenge

Hello all! As writers, we can sometimes be intimidated by our seemingly endless to-do lists. That may be the very reason why I've been avoiding revisions on my novel. There is some work to do and to be honest, it seems daunting. Enter Ready. Set. Write. Some wonderful writers created this lovely accountability system for the summer to hold us all accountable! You can find the details on Katy Upperman's blog. Ready. Set. Write. started two weeks ago, but I'm joining in on the fun (it's week 3) and this will be my first official week. Better late than never, right? You can also follow the hashtag on Twitter: #RSWrite. And if you're not on Twitter and your're a writer, what are you waiting for?

My goals for the summer:

1. FINISH revisions on my YA contemporary (this will be the fourth draft) and be ready to restart my query process.

2. Read at least 3 books (preferably YA novels or poetry collections).

3. Write at least one new short story and five poems.

4. Finish planning Writer's Atelier events for through August.

5. Exercise at least 3 times a week.

6. Finish reading Black Fox submissions and get the summer issue published!

Now, who is with me?


Black Fox Literary Magazine

Black Fox Literary Magazine
Open for fiction, poetry and non-fiction submissions

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Good Reads 2016 Reads

Racquel's 2016 book montage

#GIRLBOSS
Be My Valentine Peter Rabbit
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight
Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation
Haiti Glass
Don't Kiss Me: Stories
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
Some Churches
Life on Mars
Smash & Grab
The Sea at Truro: Poems
The Black and White Factory


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