Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

… is a really precious book I wish I had in high school. I am not even going to review it, because I want you to read it yourself. All I will say is it is not perfect but even its flaws make it worth reading. if you read the book, I have had a similar experience to Claudia and it really struck a chord with me. If I read this as a teenager, I would have identified as a feminist earlier in life.

As a bookseller, I will be recommending this book to all kids of all genders, and parents and aunts and uncles and people who like YA and people who don’t. I think this is a really quick, but important read that could justify or change your perspective. I would love to hear your thoughts, and hope you might purchase this book upon its release.


As detailed in my last post, I have so much writing planned, and I am very particular. I want everything to flow a certain way and I have so much to say, but I am feeling self-conscious. I have people I want to write about, at least where their story overlaps my own; I’m feeling vulnerable. In the first essay collection, One Dark Thing, I detail times in my life of deep pain. There are pieces about friendship gone awry, my body, and even a piece about someone who got away. I have to dig deep and go to a really emotional place and let go of inhibition, but I am scared. What if it’s draining? What if people hate me after they read these pieces? (Everyone – not even necessarily the people who I’m writing about). Okay, well it’s one thing for strangers and acquaintances to hate me, but what if my close friends, my partner, my family judge me?

How do writers write without feeling insecure? How do they push through it? How do they write with such vulnerability knowing their mother is going to read the piece. How do I tell my family I might not even want them to read my work?

On a different note, I submitted a piece to a literary magazine in November and it is MAYBE getting published. They are still culling through the submissions, making sure the collection is cohesive, et cetera. It was a big step for me to finish the piece, and then edit it without prompting. It was a big step for me to submit it. I really, truly, definitely want this piece included in the collection but if it isn’t, I’m still proud of my work, and I will make it better and submit it elsewhere. The older I get the less time I have for my own bullshit. I want to be a writer. So while it’s lovely that I have all of these ideas, it’s even lovelier that I am sitting down and actually writing them and making plans to publish them. I am ready.

an invitation

INVITATION by Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er. a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by the fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

I am a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer and a pretender. Because I am a writer. I was born a writer, I will die a writer. I am also a person who likes deadlines, and to-do lists, and unambiguity. So I have given myself a deadline for my first essay collection (I have eight possible essay collections, five retellings, eleven original novels, some short fiction, children’s stories, three spec scripts, and many ideas that have not fully formed yet planned…)which I will self-publish on kindle. And I will be attempting to chronicle my journey along the way while I finish my Master’s,  and finish the essay collection, and there will be more posting about the personal on this blog as well. My writerly journey is personal, but I am excited to share it with you. If you would like to tell me what you want to know more about, I will be happy to share with you. Please email with any suggestions, comments, questions, concerns.


Things that might come up –

Bookseller musings, Writer musings, reader musings, my coffee recipe, francophilia (both james franco and france), smoker musings, team jess musings, art musings, sexuality, yoga, portland…. and anything you suggest that i truly feel i can write about.



modern poetry

Poetry is becoming less of an art and more about skipping a line while mid-sentence. A customer once told me if it doesn’t rhyme, it isn’t poetry. I disagree. However, i do think there is a thin line between what constitutes as poetry and what is really just writing what you feel is an insightful paragraph or sentence and breaking it up with space.

Tumblr is an amazing website that I love to waste time on. I go on there for hours (hours I could be spending reading, writing, or cleaning, or sleeping, but that’s a whole other issue I plan to address with myself!) and reblog (share), like, and scroll. Many popular poets of the 2010’s got their start on Tumblr, and have gotten book deals for their poems. I spoke in one of my previous posts about how instead of complaining “I could do that….” I would start actually doing “that.” The thing is, I did do this, we all did, when we were in middle school. It is time to grow up. If you’re a poet, show it. Study poetry, and show that there is more to poetry than fake insight and blank space on the page.

A poet I think is really killing it out there is Clementine Von Radics. She is one of the aforementioned Tumblr famous poets, but she also founded her own press, Where Are You Press. I would really love to be friends with her because she writes openly and honestly about her life as a woman, a former teen girl, and a girl with real struggles. Not just blank space, but substance. Check her out if you are into poetry and want to try something modern.

UpDaTeD rEaDiNg LiSt 2016-17

Grad school has gotten in the way of my reading! (But my writing game is strong… I just completed the first draft of a short story that I will be submitting to an anthology, and I am already prewriting for a novel). The list below is my “short list,” but you can follow me at to see what I have read and intend to read 🙂 Happy Rainy October Day 🙂



Carve the Mark – Roth – ARC
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Rowling
The Red Car – Dermansky
The Land of Enchantment – Stein
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -reread
Talking As Fast As I Can – Graham


X-Mas Break
Assasin’s Blade – Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
Crown of Midnight- Sarah J Maas
Heir of Fire- Sarah J Maas
Queen of Shadows- Sarah J Maas
Empire of Storms- Sarah J Maas

Frida: A Biography Of Frida Kahlo – Hayden Herrera
Chocolates for Breakfast
Bonjour Tristesse
Tender is the night – Fitzgerald
I’ll give you the sun – Jandi Nelson
Furthermore – Tahereh Mafi
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
I love dick – kraus
Still Life with Tornado – AS King
What Light – Jay Asher

My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
The Story of A New Name – Elena Ferrante
Those Who Stay and Those Who Leave – Elena Ferrante
The Story of the Lost Child – Elena Ferrante
Ready player one – Ernest Cline
M-Train – Patti Smith


Swear on this life – Rene Carlino
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday
The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
Arrows of the Queen – Mercedes Lackey
The Beautiful Struggle – Ta Nahesi Coates
Desert Tales – Melissa Marr
More Happy than Not – Adam Silvera
Jazz – Toni Morrison – reread of the first half, new read of the second – research
Middlesex – Eugenides
Black Wave – Michelle Tea
Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It ends with us – Colleen Hoover
My Mad, Fat, Teenage Diary – Rae Earl
Orphan Black Clone Club Science Book
The House on Mango Street – reread – research
The Bell Jar – Plath – reread – research
The Virgin Suicides – reread – research
Smashed – Zailckas – reread – research
Fury – Zailckas – reread – research
Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johannsen