Impatient Story Ideas

This is usually what happens.

I am working on a book, writing and writing like crazy, and then usually in the middle it will become a little less easy to write, but then I press through and finish it off and then feel super good about myself.

Only, sometimes, and all the more recently because I’ve been working on a vast array of completely different story-worlds, I get this impatient little knock in the back of my mind.

I am busy, tapping away, brain storming, caught up in the momentum of the current book I am writing, and then I hear it.

Knock, knock, knock.


Usually they let themselves in. My characters I mean. I  know it sounds crazy, but there, up in my head, they find the spare key – because they know where I keep it – unlock the door and let themselves in and take a seat in the back of my head.

Okay – I say to myself – so they’re there. They’re sitting in the back of my mind, which is fine, I’ll just finish what I’m working on.

But then, they’ll tap their foot, almost willing me on, without words saying ‘hurry up… come on Jess, you’re taking a million years.’

Every so often I’ll take a look over my shoulder at them, noting that yeah, they’re still there, just as I left them when I last scripted THEIR stories, and yes they want me to pick up their narrative and write it again but I am in the middle of something.

They’ll have to wait.

‘But you don’t understand how interesting I am.’ the character will whisper, ‘My storyline is SO different than what you’re writing now, my story is really awesome you’ll love it way more than what you’re working on now.’

‘No!’ I reply, ‘wait your turn. If I stop in the middle of this book I’ll lose momentum and it will be super hard to catch up again.’

The character rolls their eyes, ‘sure. Whatever.’

So I take up tapping again, writing and writing.

‘What about a brain storm? Just think about me? About what my story could be? Make some notes in your notebook, that’s not that big a deal right?’

But I know myself and I know I’ll get distracted, and if anything I need to keep my head clear for this idea I’m writing now. It’s a big one, I need to keep everything straight, not getting distracted.

So I tell them to wait. To sit quietly, in the back of my head and just chill the heck out til I’m done!

I’m not sure if you ever wrestle with your ideas like I do.

I am working on a pretty heavy book right now, and it is requiring all of my attention. But right now, I have one character, Dare – otherwise known as Romulus – sitting in the back of my head saying, ‘HURRY UP!’ as well as a little whisper from a series I write called EQUITAS, and they’re all nagging on me to just write them for a little bit, but I know better.

It isn’t a good idea to try and write more than one book at once. You have to stay focused to what you’re currently working on.

With story writing, a story isn’t one task, it’s made up of a ZILLION! Keeping characters in line, their conflicts, growth, the setting changes, everything! The worst thing you can do is write bits and pieces of different books.

So do what I do and tell them to wait their turn!

PS: if you’re not a writer, you will think I am 100% crazy here!

Check It Out: My Bridal Shower!

No secret I’m getting married in like… a month (which I am super excited about!)

Here are some pictures from the day I thought you’d like to take a look at!

It is super important to mark life with significant events, all a part of our narrative, so here’s mine!


Doesn’t the food look amazing! Catering and Décor done by Simply Good Catering, they are amazing!!! the carrot cake especially, just saying.

We had some super fun activities as well, like guessing how much nail polish I own… writing a favorite memory of me, and also making paper doll brides!


If you want the paper doll files just comment below and I am happy to email the PDFs!

And here are some pictures of my SUPER amazing dress – a sample I purchase from Little White Dress, the most stunning wedding dress designer. Yes I wore a wedding dress… but it was ADORABLE! and my shoes were amazing. Make up done by Kate Solley as well, who is FYI super lovely if you’re looking for a make up artist in the Auckland area.


It was the best fun!

I hope you enjoyed a little sneak peak into the story of my life!

X Jessica

Some Silliness

I have the most wonderful friend, Pam, who is a photographer, and she did Josh and I the immense favour of taking some photos of us for our wedding thank you cards.

They were too funny not to show you guys,

Here are some of my favorites – PS if you live in NZ, Pam is the BEST ever photographer, so if you need anything or anyone photographed, totally contact her!

20150829-_MG_8391 20150829-_MG_8464 20150829-_MG_8552 20150829-_MG_8614 20150829-_MG_8633  20150829-_MG_8605220150829-_MG_8647

What I Am MOST Looking Forward To: Girl Online 2, Girl on Tour

My day?

Basically spent fan-girling over the up coming release of Girl Online 2: Girl on Tour.

I need you to appreciate something. I LOVE the Girl Online books. I know blah blah blah, controversy as to who wrote it whatever, but I seriously don’t care. Girl Online – a book by Zoe (Zoella) Sugg, following the life of blogger Penny is one of my go-to reads.

Anyway, so I first read this book last year, December, and I will forever associate it with Christmas Good-Times… and now, the next installment, Girl Online 2: Girl On Tour, is due for release the 20th of this month (October)

By the sounds of things it is going to be more drama, more embarrassing times for Penny and over all a cotton candy-like read.

Get in the mix and pre order like I did!

Books I Read When I Am Stressed

Let’s be honest, sometimes in life you go through periods of just feeling quite stressed.

Perhaps there’s something coming up you’re preparing for (like me and my wedding)

Perhaps you’re somewhere doing something that’s quite emotionally tense?

Perhaps you’re mind is cluttered because you’ve got a lot happening at once?

Either way, here is my list of books that I read when I am stressed.

Unlike a lot of people, when I need distracting of the woes of every day life I don’t like to sit down with some enormous epic such as War and Peace.

I don’t want something I have to think too hard about.

I don’t want anything that has any of the complications of my own life or anything that is super dramatic that it makes me feel MORE stressed.

I want something stupid, warm, fluffy and silly.

So here is my list:

1- Any of the ‘Angels Academy’ series by Annie Dalton. Look. I am aware I am not eight years old, but there is something intrinsically relaxing about a series of books about a time travelling angel who solves issues in the past and future. The books follow the life (or… after life) of Melanie (Mel) Beeby, who dies young and instead attends a school for angels. It’s all adorable happy times basically. The books are around 120 pages and I have this ritual of reading them once every summer.

Get in the mix!

2 – Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. I know the controversy about whether she wrote the book or not etc… but Girl Online is a go to book for me. I have already decided it will be my holiday read on my honeymoon. The story is about a teenager girl who has a super popular online blog… only no one knows she’s the one writing it and her life is not super glamorous… I love this book because it is adorable and it is Christmas related. Penny (the main character) goes to New York to help her parents with a flashy wedding, she meets a boy, he’s actually in real life really famous, it has ALL the feels. Seriously, this book has a pretty bad rep for being shallow, but it is the perfect de-stressing read

3 – The Selection by Kiera Cass. Little known secret, Kiera Cass is like… probably my favorite author personality. I secretly think we’d be the best of friends if I ever met her. She just seems super lovely, and her books are really quite beautiful at the core of it. The Selection Series is really awesome. Previously I described it as the Bachelor but in a novel form, but actually Kiera got the idea from the biblical story of Esther. It follows the romantic endeavors of America – a girl in a competition for a prince’s heart. I love these books, and again… Kiera Cass is just SO cool, down to earth and all around lovely.

Anyway, so those are three of my de-stressing books… do you have any de-stress books? Sometimes it is important to take time out for ourselves and relax… and no one wants something intense and weird and emotionally full to read while you’re chilling out

Keeping It Fresh

Don’t you just hate it when ideas get stale?

By that I mean when they’ve been in your head super long, or you have had a long break between periods of writing, or the idea itself is quite comprehensive so takes a while to work through.

Either way, it’s annoying when the idea gets stale. It loses it’s magic, you lose your enthusiasm or even just the ‘vibe’ or ‘feeling’ of the book.

The problem is it isn’t exactly something you can avoid.

This is because sometimes you write a long book, so it takes a while to get through.

We live lives outside of writing stories so you can’t just sit there and type 24/7.

It is – however – something you can deal with.

Today, I want to talk to you about what to do when ideas get stale.

I have actually been in that space recently. I’m working on a pretty large book, and I’ve been super busy otherwise, so I have had to duck in and out of the story rather than having momentum on my side.

The problem is not having momentum can make the story seem distant and the emotions flat. So to combat this, to combat the story becoming stale this is what I have done.

1 – keep a notebook with the full storyline of the book. If you don’t write with a storyline, you’re crazy. Storylines take the pressure of you having to remember every single detail. They also mean if you suddenly lose momentum you can track where you are in the story. Are you at a high or a low? Storylines allow you to become orientated.

2 – Ascribe situations and feelings of characters to music. I am a massive fan of having writing playlists. If you need to refresh where you are or the feelings of a particular character, jam your music! Some favorites of mine are Aven and the Waving World by Falling Up and basically anything by Owl City

3 – Try a test patch! Often if I am stuck or I have lost the feeling is I write a short ‘test patch’ of another, more emotional point in the story. Generally that acts as a compass to centre me back on the overall picture of the story.

Anyway, so those are my three ways of combatting a story getting stale. If you’re stuck with a stale story today, give one a go!

We Have To Decide Not To Forget

This morning I felt super awful because I was driving into work with dad and I realized it was September 11th and I’d totally forgotten the significance of the day.

Anyway, so we were chatting about this at work when everyone came in just how much everything was one way before the World Trade Centre attacks happened, and how now it is a completely different way.

I live in New Zealand, so obviously we have a very different account of witnessing that awful event. One which is a lot more removed, and more of a spectator than a participator, because I cannot imagine what it must have been like to see that sort of thing happen to your own country and people and buildings.

I was eleven years old, and I don’t remember much about 2001, but I remember this. My dad – who gets up a lot earlier than us – heard about it on the radio, and he phoned my mum. Mum woke me up and my brother as we got ready for school, and the whole thing had already unfolded and they were playing out the pictures and the videos over and over again.

The thing I remember most was the people in the buildings, jumping from the upper floors. I know for kids these days they may have grown up in a world where intensive security checks are the norm, and the idea of terrorists and Jihad totally obvious but before that, especially to a nine year old, they weren’t.

It was like a movie, like looking into a crazy world that you never knew could exist. After that, everything after that, the July attacks in London, or Madrid, or Mumbai or any of the others felt like aftershocks in this new world dynamic.

I guess I am reminded today that while it’s been a long time, and there are people who may not remember the world before, or whatever, we have to chose to remember the things that matter.

Things that have become the authors of the world we live in today. They help us understand context, they help us navigate our understanding, and see that while sometimes, things like ISIS, or civil unrest in towns and cities, and fights and world views and sudden occurrences may seem like a one off… they’re not.

We have to endeavor to remember the events that shaped our world. Because it is our world, and at the end of the day we are all people, sharing the same planet and this is all our story.

I met someone who was telling me how there were ‘atrocities committed on both sides’ during the First and Second World Wars. That the Allied Forces were just as bad as the Japanese and need to re-look at history. When they said that, I was super, super grumpy. Because they’d forgotten what really happened. That the Japanese Army used tactics that were so incredibly awful they were basically the same as ISIS.

I have family members who had been captured, and made to dig their own graves before being beheaded into them. Another who worked as a radio communicator on an pacific island and was eventually rounded up by Japanese along with a bunch of nuns and tortured.

This doesn’t mean we hold things against people, or never forgive, or anything. It just means that we understand our narrative, our story as humanity, and we understand that we cannot allow some things to happen again. That we understand why the world has happened the way it has happened.

We have to decide not to forget, and that comes from actually engaging with the story of human kind.

Book Review: The Fate of Ten

Honestly? I give the ‘I Am Number Four’ series a lot of flack sometimes… mostly because to some extent it has been too long, and there are moments that do feel a little unnecessary.

As a matter of fact, when I found out that the latest book wasn’t the finale, I was a little unhappy too, because I just want to see what happens now. I’ve been on board this train a long while.

All that aside to say that despite the fact that I can’t remember what happened in the last two books (The Rise of Nine and the Fall of Five) I did really, really enjoy The Fate of Ten.

This is my review of it.

Quick overview: The Fate of Ten is the sixth book in the ‘I Am Number Four’ series. Aliens, cool stuff, it’s awesome and way, way, WAY better than the earlier movie, so if you haven’t read it, totally get on board.

WARNING: I am gonna reveal some spoilers.

First off, can I just say that the opening was probably one of the best first chapters I have ever read. I actually posted the first page in an earlier blog because I was so impressed. There is an awesomeness to the author’s language. The use words in an interesting and creative way.

Even now I am reflecting on how I loved the way they described the city as ‘razored’ after it had been totally annihilated by the Mogadorians.

So here’s the deal, in the last book, the Mogadorian invasion had begun. The super bad guy, Setrákus Ra (who I am going to call SR from now on because what the heck even is that name?) came to earth and tried to sweet talk them, even though the Mogadorians are totally going to destroy everyone and Earth. The Loric Aliens are split up (along with their non Loric helpers) Four – John – and his friend Sam are in New York (as are Five and Nine) and Six, Adam and Merina (Seven) are in Mexico at the Loric temple thing.

Basically a lot goes down in this book, but at the same time… not a huge amount. It’s weird, it felt like heaps occurred, but it was mostly this:

John and Sam run around New York and into some girl who while being human also has the Garde super powers and they are like ‘Whaaaat?’

Six and her crew are crusing around Mexico trying to figure out what is going on with the sanctuary and end up in a bit of a hide and seek match with a Mogadorian.

Sam and John are recruited by the government to help save the world, John gets this vision from Ella from on board the space craft and she is all like ‘tell the others to get away from the temple!’ but they don’t they want to stay and fight and protect it.

Then Five is all ‘come and get Nine’ and seeing as he betrayed them to the Mogadorians in the first place, they think he is going to kill Nine so John and Sam (and new human girl) go to save him.

There’s heaps of vision stuff, and they find out the true origins of SR and their real place now that the spirit of Lorien is now in earth. Then they fight SR to the death, and Six NEARLY kills him! But then he may or may not have escaped and Sarah (John’s girlfriend) dies.

That literally is most of the book, not a huge heap happens, but I still felt this pang of ‘oh…’ when I finished it.

I was sad for it to be over. I enjoyed the Fate of Ten, and I was excited to see the Characters again, and I was on board with their journey and what happened and I wanted them to kill SR.

All in all, I am glad I read it, and I demolished the book in about… twenty six hours, so I’d say if you’re into this series, you’ll really appreciate it because while it isn’t as super amazingly awesome as I found ‘I Am Number Four’ – the first book – It is totally up there.

If you have not yet gotten into this series, or have never heard of it before or whatever, I do recommend you pick up a copy of the first book (I Am Number Four) by Pittacus Lore. It is worth reading because genuinely there isn’t anything out there much like it (at least the first one or two) it has a creative new take on Aliens, and it is actually really enjoyable.

In saying this, it isn’t the kind of series I read and re-read over and over. The first book, yes I have gone through a number of times, but the others… like their storylines, have faded. Maybe this may be the case for ‘The Fate of Ten?’ Probably. Either way this series is still worth it.

Well executed writing.

Cool storylines.

Unexpected plot twists.

The way of taking a concept and building out not up on it, and making the idea seem larger rather than simply making the same concept heavier.

The characters are really likable too. John and Sam in particular, with BK the dog/alien thing, and human, Sarah.

But heed my words, do not watch the movie. It is the worst and does the books no justice at all.