Tag Archives: young adult

My ‘Love for Writing’ Journey: Part Two.

I was finally doing what I loved in my classes: writing. I took poetry and fiction workshops, Greek mythology, Shakespearean studies, young adult literature, children fables, drama and much more. I loved every moment.

During my workshops, I realized I really enjoyed editing and critiquing other writers’ works. I thought maybe I could be an editor if I didn’t find success as a novelist.

I landed the position as the administrative assistant and editorial assistant supervisor for Saranac Review the spring semester of my freshman year. Saranac Review is an international literary journal published by the English department on campus.

I also began editing my friends’ papers and came to the realization that it was more frustrating than I had thought. I don’t like to boast about myself or degrade my generation, but I was appalled by my peers’ lack of proper grammar usage and writing techniques.

Editing wasn’t for me, to say the least.

Then spring semester of my sophomore year came along. I was taking a writing fiction workshop where we focused on writing a short story for the whole semester with multiple drafts. I wrote the short story “Stability.” I received a lot of great feedback and constructive criticism.

However, I realized that becoming a novelist was just a dream; a dream that I could not reach; a dream of from which I would not be able to make a living.

I had to give my dream up.

I freaked out. What was I supposed to do now? What will I do for the rest of my life? I still need a bachelor’s degree to be somewhat successful in life. What was I going to major in now?

These thoughts and questions were swirling through my mind until I found help at SUNY Plattsburgh’s Career Development Center.

I went to them at least twice a week for a month taking personality and aptitude tests and consulting about what my next step was.

I was pointed toward the Department of Public Relations. At first, I didn’t really know what PR was, just that it involved writing and people skills, both of which I possess.

So I filled out the necessary paperwork to change majors but made sure my English writing arts major wasn’t fully wasted. I used 18 of those credits towards an English minor.

I started my PR major by fulfilling the prerequisites, which included public speaking. I fell in love with public speaking. It gave me the confidence that I now hold in speaking to a large group.

I was still working for Saranac Review at the time, so I was also able to maintain my love for literature by working in the department.

My first immersed PR course I took was also with my academic advisor, Professor Colleen Lemza. She sparked my interest in the field with her enthusiasm and great stories of her experience. With PR, I was able to really make a difference in people’s lives with my writing, which, in the end, was what I always wanted.

I undoubtedly believe that without Colleen’s passion for PR, I would have second-guessed my major choice. She helped me find the passion I now have for PR.

Saranac Review gave me the experience as a valued leader in a publication, while the PR department gave me the great knowledge and enthusiasm of the industry.


Look for the third part coming soon. Haven’t read the first? Be a part of my journey here.

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New Book! No New Money. Insert Sad Face Here.

Fallen by Lauren Kate looks really interesting. Now, if only I could afford to buy her two other books in the Fallen series, Torment and Passion. Also, the final book, Rapture, but she hasn’t said when that’s coming out yet. Obviously not for a while considering the third book, Passion, is coming out this June.

Very exciting!

Sarah Ockler’s “Twenty Boy Summer” Novel Review.

Just like the critics says, Twenty Boy Summer was made for grieving, loving, forgiving, and moving on. By the first two chapters, author Sarah Ockler had me literally balling my eyes out so much that I had to put the book down and go to sleep.

Anna Riley has lived next door to her two best friends, older brother Matt and younger sister Frankie, since diapers. It starts out with Anna, the narrator and main character, telling us about her fifteenth birthday party. She made a wish on her birthday candle to make Matt kiss her. Anna’s had a major crush on Matt since she was, like, ten. Somehow, the birthday gods grant her wish and they end up kissing. After a month of sneaking out at night to talk, look at the stars, and kiss, they make a promise to wait to tell Frankie about their new-found love for each other, hoping she won’t freak out. Matt decides to tell his sister on their vacation, where they’ll be at Zanzibar Bay in ol’ sunny Cali. Tragedy strikes when the day before their big trip, the three of them get into a car accident and Matt dies. Anna can never tell Frankie about Matt and her, she’d be breaking her promise, and now Frankie will never know now that Matt is dead.

And that’s just the first two chapters!

After a year has past, the third chapter brings us to the present. Frankie has found her own way of grieving, becoming boy-obsessed and overly flirty. Anna has become attached to anything that reminds her of Matt, writing letters to her ghost-lover in her journal she never leaves the house without. Frankie and Matt’s mom, Jayne, grieves by buying and buying furniture and decorations, becoming a fanatic in interior decorating. She decorates every room in her house, except for Matts. It’s still the way it’s been over a year ago. Red, their father, grieves by trying to make everyone happy and keeping the family together.

Soon, Jayne and Red come up with the idea of going back to Zanzibar Bay, their annual summer vacation, this time taking Anna along for the fun. This is when Frankie and Anna plan on meeting twenty boys the whole three weeks of living in a rented beach house. When they first arrive, it’s difficult for everyone. All the memories are just too much. Zanzibar Bay is just like Matt always described to Anna through postcards that she still has locked up in her room.

Through-out those three weeks, Anna meets a boy named Sam, starts to forgive but not forget, and move on with her life. After a couple ups and downs with Frankie, they make it out together, closer than ever. Anna realizes that people don’t have a before and an after. They just change into something beautiful, yet stay themselves.

This book will make you laugh and cry. It will make your heart speed up with anticipation, with dread, with the heavy feeling of grief. Sarah Ockler is an amazing writer. I seriously related to Anna and felt what she felt. So much so, that I had to put the book down to stop myself from hysterical crying in the middle of study hall, which would have been very embarrassing.

Sarah Ockler has another book that was published this past December, Fixing Delilah. I hope to read this one soon and am adding it to my Novel List. Sarah Ockler has a WordPress blog, so go check her out! :D

I would definitely suggest this book for anyone!