The Agency Games

The Agency Games – Sign Up!

As you all know I have been working on my book, The Agency Games (working title) for the past several months and I turned it in (all 78,218 words) to the publishing house on May 11th!

Originally, I intended to send it to the Peer Reviewers on May 31st but I exceeded my own expectations and finished early! I also just received news that my rough manuscript is currently in the hands of two peer reviewers! Hopefully this means my book will be published and sold in late 2018 instead of early 2019, but it is too soon to tell. I have to wait a couple of weeks (possibly months) before I hear back from the Peer Reviewers, and I am kind of nervous, but I can’t wait to read their feedback! Hopefully they love it and also have some constructive advice on how to improve it.

As I get closer to publishing The Agency Games, I’m hoping to start a list of people who are interested in my book.

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Please note: putting your name below does not mean that you have to buy anything.

However, if you are interested in:

  • Information about Book Release Party dates and details
  • An online Book Release Party through WordPress
  • Early access to the The Agency Games
  • Discounted Prices or Signed Copies

Then, please leave a comment below!

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Again, if you leave a comment that does not mean that you have to buy the book and I promise not to spam anyone with emails. I am only trying to get a realistic idea of who is currently interested in a scholarly look at the beloved Hunger Games series!

Thank you!

And Happy Writing!

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Blogs / Life

Welcome

Welcome!

I write. I drink tea. And I live my life to the fullest, knowing that my abilities come from God.

My name is Kayla Ann, I’m an author who just recently signed with a publishing house to write a non-fiction, scholarly book on human agency in The Hunger Games series. I have loved to write ever since I was a little girl. I wrote my first story, “Kate the Pirate” when I was in second grade. It was then I decided that I would eventually become a published and established author. However, as any writer may know, this is not as easy as it seems. This wonderful world of writing is also complex and sometimes exhausting. So in this blog I will be offering up Writing Tips and my own experiences in the hope of encouraging other authors to continue on creating wondrous worlds of their own.

Feel free to hit me up in the comments with any questions you might have about writing.

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©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

blogging tips, College Writing Tips, Writing Tips

Life Tip: Stop Limiting Yourself

Today’s tip really can apply to just about any of my normal categories. Whether you’re a writer or a blogger, listen, stop limiting yourself.

Do you realize that our own expectations and beliefs in ourselves can ultimately limit us more than the world can?

Let me put this into perspective for you. This past semester, I had a conference with a student who did not believe that he could get an A in any English class class and so his goal was to get a B.

During our conference I discussed his current standing, how I believed he could get an A, determined by his effort and his own expectations in himself. At the end of our meeting, this student decided that he was going to shoot for an A instead of a B. Guess what he got in my class?

The point is this: why do we set these restrictions on our own goals and dreams? The obvious reason is self-doubt or a lack of faith in ourselves, which ultimately travels back to the idea of fear. We are afraid of being wrong, we are afraid on disappointing ourselves and others. We are afraid that if we aim too high, we have no choice but to fall.

Well let me tell you, I’d rather aim high and fall lower every time rather than never reach my full potential.

When we put our own limits on our goals, we will never see just how far we can go or what we can actually accomplish. So please, stop limiting yourself in your writing, in your dreams, in your blogging, in your relationships.

Think kindly of yourself and shoot for the stars!

Happy Writing!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry

In Her Dimming Eyes

It’s an ordinary day when

She begins to walk in my direction at the gym

And yet she catches my eye

This older woman with whitening hair

and dimming eyes

She clasps hands with a gentleman,

graying like herself.

What must it be like for her? To be

surrounded by those

younger, fitter, than she; those for whom

exercising is natural

and not yet the hard struggle that it

is for her?

Does she resent our youth, our agility that

so long ago abandoned her?

Does she see herself in the young women around her

and think, “If only they knew?”

Does she wonder where the time has gone or does she

treasure each remembered second?

She’s getting closer now, her eyes catch mine and

I can’t look away.

We share a smile as she passes by and for a moment

I can see it in her eyes

The young woman she used to be who has formed the

woman she is today.

 

Today’s poem was inspired by a real moment that only consisted of a few seconds at the gym. As I get older, I begin to be more aware of everyone else around me and I feel a grand sense of sonder (or the realization that everyone I see has just as complicated a life as I do with their own hopes, dreams, fears, and desires). When I saw this older woman, I felt instantly connected to her and wondered if she too had gone to the gym some 60 years ago, working out, trying to look her best for her future husband. Did she see older woman and wonder about them the way I wondered about her? I don’t know, but it was such an interesting moment, I had to write about it.

What about you? Do you ever see a stranger on the street and all the sudden realize that they are living their own unique life, they are not just a backdrop, but a real identity with wants and fears?

In other news, I’m heading off to my Bachelorette Weekend tomorrow! I won’t be on WordPress until Monday.

Have a great weekend!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry

Time

In the time that it takes

For your lips to form

A smile

Time has flown

No, time has raced

Past us.

Before we can even

Share a moment in time

Time

Speeds past the moment

Time,

The ever-elusive entity

That we strive to capture in our

Hands as

Hands on the clock

Spin in a dizzying dance

As time

Flies

Right out of our hands.

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Challenge Yourself

Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about blog scheduling, more specifically, how often you should post a week.

I know, I know, I’ve already freaked out half of you and the other half of you are staring at the screen like this:

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Blog scheduling, meaning how often you post on your blog (not to be confused with scheduling your posts ahead of time–which you should do), is going to be different for every individual. Some bloggers post every single day. *Hats off to them*

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Some bloggers only post on the week days, taking weekends off. Other bloggers, like me, only post 3 times a week, some only post once and so on and so forth. Like I said before, blog scheduling is different for every blogger. However, there are some consistencies that every blogger should keep in mind.

  1. If you want to grow your blog, you need to be posting at least once a week. If we only see you once a month, odds are, we won’t remember you all that well. (This may not be true for all circumstances but it’s a general rule).
  2. If you want to maintain followers, you need to be reading and commenting on other blogs the same amount (if not more) than when you are posting your own content.
  3. Lastly, (and what today’s blog is really about), you need to challenge yourself with your scheduling goals.

Blogging is hard, I know, trust me, I completely understand that. I have been blogging for about a year and a half now and some days I feel burnt out, not just in blogging but in everything. However, if you don’t push passed your walls, you will always find yourself blocked by something.

While it is wise to set realistic blogging goals, it is unwise to “settle” in your goals. For instance, if you work two jobs and you’re in school or a parent, it might be a tad unrealistic to say that you are going to blog every single day. So I would suggest that you to set a realistic goal, but not a “settling” goal. What do I mean by a “settling” goal?

Story Time! At the beginning of Fall 2018, I was heading back into the busiest season of the year for me and I had thought long and hard about my blogging schedule in the next coming months. I considered reducing my weekly posts. I knew that every day, or even 5 times a week was unrealistic for my schedule, but I also knew that I did not want to settle and simply pop in once a week. So, I decided that with a little extra effort, I could make 3 posts a week work. (Now, I’ve been about 90% successful in this, which ultimately shows me that I chose the right number. It’s enough posts a week that I am challenged to complete it, but not so challenged that I continuously fail).

So today, I encourage you to take a look at your blogging schedule. Are you being unrealistic, realistic/challenging, or are you just settling?

What do you think? Should we challenge ourselves in our weekly blogging schedule?

Happy Blogging Everyone!

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©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: STOP Writing

“Stop writing?!”

“But Kayla,” you may ask me, “how can you tell me to stop writing? Shouldn’t we keep writing? After all, we are writers! How can we be writers if we are not writing? How does stopping our writing actually help our writing? Isn’t that contradictory?”

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Now before you turn away from me and shake your head in disgust, hear me out.

I’m not saying that we should stop all writing. I am saying that you should stop working on the project you’re currently working on once you have finished it. For writers there is this huge urge that once we finally finish a project we automatically want to go back through, edit, and send it to a publisher. It’s just not realistic guys. In order for a work to be good you need to utilize the power of distance.

Now some of you may be wondering what the power of distances and others of you might have already heard of it. For those of you who are unfamiliar or need the refresher: The power of distance is, as it sounds, distancing yourself from your work after you have finished it.

Once you have finished a project you set it aside. If it’s on your computer, exit out of the file for a while (I know it’s scary but don’t worry it’ll still be there when you get back to it). If you’re writing in a notebook (hey kudos to you not a lot of people do that anymore),  close the notebook, put in a drawer and leave it alone. Give your work at least a couple of days if not weeks to rest and work on other projects in the meantime. Heck, go outside and see the sun once in a while (you know us writers are vitamin D deficient).

After a few days or a few weeks whatever you can manage, although longer is better, take your work out. The distance that you have given yourself and your writing will now do several things for you:

  • You will no longer be wrapped in the euphoria of finishing your project. As such, you will be able to remove your rose-colored glasses and look at your work for what it is: beautiful, but in serious need of some editing.
  • Due to the above, you will also be more willing to do what needs to be done, even if this means cutting out whole sections or chapters of your work.
  • You will gain a new and fresh perspective. I’m sure many of you college students out there know the feeling of turning in a paper, believing it to be 100% free of errors only to have it returned to you with red marks and think to yourself, “How did I miss that?” Do you know that when we read the same thing over and over, our brain will automatically fill in the gaps because it knows where we are going? That is why students often miss entire words in their essays, because their brain automatically assumes the words are there. By placing distance between your work and yourself, you give your brain a chance to restart and give your eyes a fresh chance to look at your material (making it easier to spot mistakes).

Try for yourself guys and let me know how it goes! Once you do finish a project and utilize the power of distance I encourage you to NOT EDIT, but rather, to Rewrite Instead.

Happy Writing Everyone!

 

Poetry

Anticipation

….growing inside my chest

A tiny seed when we first began

Watered, tended, nurtured by love

By tender hands that wiped away tears

By gentle words that spoke apologies and forgiveness

By crooked smiles that burst into laughter

The years have passed and this seed has grown

Rooted in you, rooted in us.

Growing, it reaches and stretches out. It longs to touch the sky

Only a few more weeks until we become one

Until this anticipation in my chest

Blossoms into sweet reality.

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry

Yearning

Ice

Frozen Over

Hard, Packed Dirt.

Forming an Impenetrable Roof

That Forces Me Down, Forces Me To Remain

I Crack and From Within Sprouts a Tender Root

That Demands, Insistently, to Break Through That Roof

I Am Pushing, Yearning, Propelling Through the Dirt,

Asserting My Presence. I Will Not Be Ignored. I Will

Not Be Held Down and Smothered. With One

Last Shove, I Break Through and Find the

Ground Damp Not Solid, the Air

Warm Instead of Chilled. I

Stretch Toward the Sun,

My Small Arms Raised

in Salutation. I am

Spring.

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: When to Follow/(Un)follow?

Hello Bloggers!

Recently, one of my blogging friends reached out to me and asked about the rules of following. Should we follow every blogger we come into contact with? Should we follow any blogger who follows us? Do we unfollow bloggers after a time?

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First off, let me just state: there are no official rules. For the most part, this is based on your individual preference as a blogger.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me get down to what I believe about following.

If Someone Follows My Blog:

  • I will click on theirs and look around. I’ll probably even read a post or two.
  • Now, just because they followed my blog does not mean that I will follow theirs back. I will only follow a blog back if I like the content (for instance, I probably will not follow back a traveling blog while I will follow back fellow authors). So, I already have a limited amount of people who I follow.
    • There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. For instance, I follow a couple of travel blogs and make-up blogs, not necessarily for the content, but because I enjoy the blogger’s writing style.
  • In my opinion, you should not follow someone just so heighten your follower count or theirs. I prefer bloggers to follow my blog only if they are genuinely interested in what I have to say.

When to Unfollow a Blog:

  • I never unfollow anyone (even if I haven’t commented on their posts for awhile) unless they post something that I find repulsive or antagonistic.
  • For instance, if a blogger I choose to follow is a fellow author and all the sudden their whole blog turns aggressively political, I will probably unfollow because I don’t want that on my feed. Otherwise, I don’t really unfollow anyone.

What do you think? Are your “rules” different from mine?

Let me know in the comments!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Engaging in Reciprocation One Reply at a Time

Hello Bloggers!

I keep talking and talking (and talking) about this word “reciprocation.” According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, reciprocation means:

reciprocate (v.)

“to return, requite,” 1610s, back-formation from reciprocation, or else from Latin reciprocatus, past participle of reciprocare “rise and fall, move back and forth; reverse the motion of,” from reciprocus (see reciprocal). Related: Reciprocatedreciprocating.

 

Let’s focus on this idea of “to return.” Reciprocation means to give back what has been given, or to reflect in equal measures. Now sometimes, we can reciprocate above and beyond what we have been given, but for now, let’s just look at the prospect of equal reciprocation.

What does this look like in blogging? In some ways, it is extremely simple:

If someone visits your blog, visit theirs.

Of course, we can take this even further with a like for a like or a comment for a comment. 99% of the time, I do my very best to engage in this method of reciprocation. For instance, if someone visits my blog and leaves a comment, I open their blog in a new tab before I respond to them and so on and so forth. If you examine the photo below, you’ll notice that I have 17+ tabs open.

Reciprocation

The first tab is my site, this is where I open my notifications and check my likes, read comments, and respond. As I am going through my notifications, every time I come across a comment on my blog, I do my best to open a new tab with that bloggers blog. After I have finished my responses to comments, I then spend about an hour or so going through the blogs and reciprocate!

When I go to their blogs, I often read the latest post or find a post (if they have many) that stands out to me. Sometimes, if I have nothing to say (which happens rarely), I’ll simply “like” their post because I hate leaving empty, meaningless comments. For the most part however, I usually leave at least one comment on one blog post before moving on to the next blog.

“Now Kayla Ann,” you might be asking, “Does that mean I have to follow everyone who follows me?”

Goodness no! Following should be a response of genuine interest, but I’ll discuss this further in an upcoming blog post!

So what do you think of my rules of reciprocation? Do you have a similar system? How do you engage in reciprocation?

Happy Blogging!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry

IBS is . . . (for IBS Awareness Month)

IBS is multiple doctor’s visits

and the look in their eyes when they diagnosis you

with anxiety, or depression, or mental instability,

Anything to explain away your symptoms

 

IBS is finally finding the answer

crying first tears of joy to be told that you are not

insane, or over-reacting, and then crying again when

you realize it’s permanent.

 

IBS is waking up at 2am and

wondering if the pain in your stomach will pass

or if it something life-threatening but not knowing

how to stop the agony.

 

IBS is writhing on the bathroom floor

in excruciating pain while loved ones beg to take you

to the hospital, but you know if you go, there’s nothing

they can do.

 

IBS is giving in to the pain,

Nearly passing out in arms that carry you to the car

Then waking up at hospital doors before you even

realized what happened.

 

IBS is waiting, waiting,

waiting for the pain to stop as doctors ignore you

and when they finally run their tests, you know that

they are inconclusive.

 

IBS is returning home

Feeling the fool for wasting time and money

on a hospital that can never give answers or solution

only frustration and debt.

 

IBS is wondering

when the next attack will hit and desperately

trying to live your life regardless of the secret enemy

that strikes when you least expect it.

 

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©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.