stay



do you need a reason? i begin to type. Is that it?
what do you need me to say?

stupid, stupid question. I tapped my fingers against my upper lip, staring at the flashing line on the phone screen. late summer sighed through the screen.

no it's not you who needs me to tell you something, it's me. I need to. For me, but for you, because you gave me something super important today. the science fair ribbon you've saved since you were small enough for your mom to force you into cardigans. i asked you why and you smiled and said no reason. it was for a reason though, and I think I know what it is.

I swallowed, my jaw tight, then read the text over. I erased everything. deep breath.

Just say hi


TIMESTAMP 10:54 PM

m: heyyou

TIMESTAMP 11:05 PM

h: Hey

m: what's up

h: nothing

m: are you sure?

h: lol yeah I'm sure
what are you doing?

m: laying around in my room staring at my fairy lights like they're stars
did you eat anything tonight?

TIMESTAMP 11:07PM

m: remember the time we went for coffee

TIMESTAMP 11:30PM

h: we went for coffee lots of times

m: but this was the time when we sat in the car and talked about the trees

h: yeah
yeah I remember

m: you told me you felt like you didn't deserve to be here or something
Do you remember that?

TIMESTAMP 11:45PM

h: sry I was helping mom with dishes

m: this late?


He wasn't going to answer that. And I already knew that wasn't it anyway. I typed again.


m: heyy uh. Can I ask you a personal question

h: o boy

m: super personal

h: ok

m: you ready

h: getting dvared
*Scared

m: will you marry me

h: HollYYY

m: serious question

h: how
I mean

TIMESTAMP 12:01AM


h: dang I wanted to be the one to ask you

m: too late now

h: hahah whoa
kinda watery eyed rn tbh
I think legally we're too young

m: nah I think we would just need our parents to sign the thingie

h: did you just google it?

m: or we could just wait a couple months and we'll be 18

h: you got it all figured
why are you asking me?

m: to marry me?

h: yes

m: because it's a reason.

h: a reason?

m: a reason to fight the reason why you gave me that old ribbon today at school

h: I don't understand


I stopped typing. I dropped the phone into my lap and leaned back into the pillows stacked up against my headboard. I squeezed my eyes shut and a tear escaped by the skin of it's teeth.


m: I think you do

TIMESTAMP 12:18 AM

h: you don't understand

m: no but I understand you. I've grown up with you, I've eaten Pop tarts in pillow forts with you. I've climbed to the top of fire escapes to watch the sunset with you. I've heard your voice get stuck in that pitch between boy and man. I've watched your basketball practices from the bleachers. I've watched the way you play with little kids and the way you secretly feed the neighborhood cats the scraps from dinner. I know that you like breakfast late at night and that you have a falling apart collection of Jules Vern books. I know that you wear contacts and that you hated glasses. I understand that you like longboarding in the park at dusk and that you have freckles on your face and neck and back. I know that you're scared of heights and that's why you hate the ferris wheel. I understand that you pray when you walk alone because I see your lips moving and no words coming out. I know that the night is the hardest time. maybe that's why you like breakfast so late, bc it reminds you of morning.

no I don't understand IT. but YOU I understand a lot.

h: What do you want me to do?

m: nothing except think about all the other sunsets we haven't seen yet.
All the sunrises
The first kiss we've never had

h: i don't know what to say

m: you don't have to say anything

TIMESTAMP 12:25AM

m: just stay
please
stay for the road trips we've never taken
the feeling of the ocean rushing through the gaps between your fingers
dressing up fancy and blowing money on tiny portions of expensive food
walking in parks with our shoes in our hands and the dew between our toes

h: but what if we never do all of these things??


i paused, my fingers just above the screen.


m: but what if we do?

what if you stay
stay for running away and getting married. Me wasting money on a chennel lipstick for the occasion and getting it all over your face

h: I'm not lying when I say you're making me cry
I'm in my bedroom with the lights off

m: good
Just listen and pretend you can hear my voice around you instead of just reading these words on a lit up screen with a half battery

h: how did you know

m: stay for the honeymoon with nothing but packs on our backs and dreams in our heads
Stay for whispering "oh my gosh we're married" on the plane
For the nights I'll be with you
All the nights I won't let the nightmares have you.

TIMESTAMP 12:30 AM

m: stay for the cake in our freezer.
for buying our first place
having a lawn out the front to watch the stars
stay for fourth of July
for dancing in the driveway
for autumn leaves and bleached out Polaroids
stay for the day I tell you we'll be three
And the tiny fingers that might resemble yours
stay for picking out names
And buying a vw bus and going to all the national parks
for rainy days in
reading her picture books

h: whoooaaa
who says it will be a her?

m: why don't you stay and find out

why don't you stay for the hundreds of
thousands of
things we could do together

stay to take the earth by storm.

with me.

TIMESTAMP 1:00AM


i was almost asleep when my phone vibrated. i looked down.


h: ok
ok
i'll stay
but it's just

m: i know
i know its hard
just focus on the next thing

h: like what?
what else should i stay for?
other than you and everything

I thought for a moment. then i smiled and thought about the sound of his laugh.

m: stay for breakfast




___________________________



nothing big, nothing fancy. almost was going to revise this to make it something more, but i wrote it on a long drive as just a stream of thought, and i felt it deep when i typed it. so i thought i'd just let it be. i wrote this as a part two of this post i wrote a year ago. i imagine the characters to be the same.

i was just thinking about how you never know when that text you're almost about to not send could really change something around for someone. don't be shy when showing kindness... the world needs more people who aren't afraid to show someone they care & that they're worth it. because every single one of us has so much to stay for. so when you get that urge to say something or reach out, maybe just do it. it may just be exactly what they need in that moment. you never know.

love you guys so so much


lOVE,
kATE



i just want to say thank you



Hey beautiful soul, and happy happy weekend. :) This post is a very very special and humbling one for me because this one is about the blog tour. I'm sitting in my office rn (pumping this in my headphones) and honestly, looking back at this summer...pshh I don't know HOW to thank you guys for the support you've given me and continue to give me.

i mean, i'm just one girl. i write down the things i feel and see, and the fact that these things i write mean something to someone blows my mind and fills me with ridiculous amounts of joy. you literally don't even know how often i've wept reading reviews, blog posts, and notes from some of you who have read the blood race and been affected by it in some way.

there are not enough words in the English language to properly capture how grateful I am for you. yes, specifically YOU, you beautiful soul. Honestly, I'd just like to take you all out for coffee and quiche, but being limited by this laptop screen, the least I can do is say a great, big, massive THANK YOU to the beautiful, creative, and talented people below, who were kind enough to blog about my very first book's release. I love you guys so much. <3 Please, please go check out their (beautiful + life giving) blogging spaces and show them some love.


- THANK YOU - 


extra special thanks to these 2 ladies for hosting the whole thing. <3


Beth



If you would like to snag a copy of my novel, you can do that right here. :) Every copy helps me keep writing.






lOVE,
kATE

the rivets



it's not always the big things. the long trips, the far reaches, the epic climbs and the butterflies as we take to the stage. no, it seems the more i fly, run, reach, and do the things i've always dreamed of, the more i realize that though these are all beautiful, sparkling gems of life... this pure, sweet existence is stapled together not by these grand gestures and gallivants.

but by the dawn creeping through the curtains. the coffee in white mugs. the scent of my husbands tee shirts. the sound of my sister's orchestral laughter. afternoon talks with my mom. the time between sunset and dusk when the crickets and stars start to come out. my dad's jokes. snapbacks. lemonade. worn bible pages. sweaters. passing cars with "just married" written on their rear window. warm clothes that just came out of the dryer. eating cereal late at night. long hugs. shooting stars. car rides going no where in particular. spotify playlists. tangled hair. open car windows. how my sister's eyes get really big when she's excited. i love you texts. seeing the ocean. stretching. doodling the the edges of shopping lists. holding someones hand. 

mm. these. all of these are the things that make up life - happiness. not the big big things; the dreams, the careers, the whirlwind tours... wouldn't it all be nothing without all of these little stitches that make up life's tapestry? 

sometimes i forget. sometimes i'm stressed off the wall and i just want to 'succeed so i can be happy'. but then i remember that i'm a funny little child who needs to be reminded that these "little" things are the successes. because 'success' without them is hollow and echoing. success is in these little things; like rivets, they hold up the bridge.

they are the stuff of life. what we have sought, we already have.






just some sleepy, afternoon, jetlagged thoughts. i'm editing book two and marketing book one (!!!) and it can get stressful and sometimes make me lose track of how beautiful beautiful and exciting everything is. thinking about all of these beautiful pieces of life brings me back to earth and shows me the stars again. <3 

can you name me ten little things that make your heart hum please???




xo
kATE

9 reasons why you should write that book you've been talking about




I feel like I don't write about writing as often as I should or would like to. I mostly just...write things. But writing about writing is important, because as a storyteller myself, I know how bombarded writers can be by negativity, the comparison game, or just burnout in general. Writing books and giving them to the world takes loads of time, energy and effort - and sometimes the going can just be downright tough.

BUT, we're all in this together. And the more I learn along the way, the more I want to share it with my fellow writers and aspiring-writers, and swap ideas and advice with pilgrims further down the path.

Writing is home for me. It's hard for me to imagine what my life would be like without writing. It's hard to imagine what my upbringing would have been like without the element of storytelling. I know that I would be a much different person than I am today.

All that said, I find it particularly depressing when I hear someone depreciating their own story ideas, or desire to write a story - whether it's their first book EVER or whether it's just another possible epic to add to the quiver.

Like... why? WHY DO WE HAVE TO SHOOT DOWN OUR IDEAS SO HARDCORE? Why do we have to tell ourselves that our idea isn't good enough, or that we aren't good enough writers to do the story justice? Why do we have to call this little neophyte idea names? In simple terms, it's just kind of mean.

As someone who thrives off the thrill of chasing words, I hate to hear people give themselves a heaping pile of reasons why they can't, shouldn't, and won't. What I want to ask instead is...why not? Why on earth NOT? Give it a try - see what happens. :) In fact, here's 9 pretty darn good reasons why you should.




1. because you just might be passionate about it


Do you find yourself talking about this idea a lot? Maybe all the time? Do you think about it at night before you go to sleep, or maybe lay awake in bed for hours, dreaming up new twists and turns to weave into the plot? Do you find your mind always always returning to this idea - this story that exists only in your own mind?

The French call it raison d'ĂȘtre, the Japanese ikigai. In essence, it means a big, huge, beautiful purpose - a reason to get up in the morning. Sure, writing this potential book isn't the only reason you're here, breathing the sweet air on planet earth. But it might be one of them. And if you've been able to answer 'yes' to any of the questions I've asked above? Then this idea is something you're passionate about. It's something your heart requires; something your soul needs.


2. because you can learn things from your own writing process


Without hesitation I would say that I learn new things from each and every story I have ever written. Like a journey into a country you've never been to before, each one is different. The views are different; the vibes, the tastes, the sounds... it's all new and vibrant. It's impossible to walk away without taking something with you. It's impossible for the experience to not change you in some way.

Contemporary stories, spiritual stories, coming of age stories, thriller stories, fantasy stories, or a combination of all of those - each book I've written has helped me understand myself and the world around me better. I'm a very spiritual person, and I've always said that I feel God speaks to me the loudest when I'm writing. It's the language I am most familiar with/connected to.


3. because it doesn't have to be like anyone else's book. 


It doesn't have to be a 300,000 word epic. it doesn't have to be about witches or vampires or a world war. It doesn't have to be long and filled with puffy soufflé words. How about it's just honest? and raw? and written like how you would talk to me if we were sipping coffees at 9:49 pm? (yes, i'm that person in starbucks while they're mopping the floors.)

Who said books had to be long? Or pretty? Who said they had to be about a certain subject, or peppered with large, smart words?

I've walked through a heck of a lot of museums, friends. I'm a museum person. I love staring at paintings for long periods of time and thinking hard about the cosmos and why we eat cereal (while my husband follows close behind, carrying most of my belongings). I'm that person. And because I've been to so many museums, I can attest to the fact that not all of the paintings look the same. It's like, in one room you've got Degas and his delicate ballerinas; pink and pale blue poofs of dancing motion across the large canvases, in the next room hangs a plethora of Rembrandt's almost startlingly realistic portrayals of human life, and in another room there's a display of wild, colorful, abstract Picasso's that will bend your mind and capture your eyes for moments at a time.

Art is not alike. And unfortunately we live in a world where 'art' is largely thought of as paintings and sculptures and the like. Not so much writing a novel, or drawing manga, or recording techno music. But the thing is, it's all art. And it's all different.

Imagine if Picasso, or Rembrandt, or Degas had one day sat back in their director chair (not historically accurate, but roll with me) stole a quick look at the canvases of the other painters around them and thought anxiously "Oh my gosh, my painting...! It... it doesn't look like his, or - or hers! Shoot... I must not be doing it right."

The museums would be pretty boring, let me tell you that. Everything would look very similar; the walls would be an ombre of the same color pallet. Long story short: don't write like 'le fancy published authors' write like YOU. You is fresh, you is different, you is unique, you is what you do best.


4. because what you have to say may just be what we all need to hear


Your idea, your story could be what this world needs right now. Look at Harriet Beecher Stowe who changed America with her book Uncle Tom's Cabin. Never never never underestimate the power your words have. Let your voice shine through your writing, and let it be raw, and vulnerable. Because it's the real, vulnerable, true things that reach out and grab hold of our hearts the most. The vulnerable things are the things we can relate to - the things all of us deal with but rarely talk about. The vulnerable things are often the scariest things to write, but write them anyways. Not fearlessly, but bravely.

So remember that, as you toss the idea back and forth in the middle of the night; the idea may just be something you were given. Something the rest of us need in our lives just as much as you do.


5. it's a completely different experience from everything you've ever done. 


Even if you've written other books before, each and every single writing experience is unique. Maybe your idea isn't even for a book, perhaps it's for an essay, or a blog post. Maybe you want to write something non-fiction, or maybe you want to start a collaboration.

Whatever it is, embrace it as a brand new opportunity. One that will be unlike anything you have ever done before. Keep an open mind, try finding new spots to write in, buy yourself a new notebook. Remind yourself that this is a new journey, and remind yourself with a few 'external' things like the aforementioned. Enjoy the ride and be open to learning.


6. because there is no right or wrong way to write


Let's put away that giant stack of books on how to develop all the characters and how to plot the 'perfect' story line. Let's stop thinking so much about doing it 'the right way' and think a little more about 'doing it our way'. Like I said, your voice is unique. No one else has your voice. No one except, well, you.

Make characters they way you want to make them. If you want to take notes and plot like crazy, cool. If you want to fly by the seat of your pants and see what happens, cool. If you want to write it in a totally new style or format than anything you've ever seen or written before, cool.

Remember... no one looks at a Rembrandt and a Picasso and, rubbing their chin, declares that Picasso did it right. There is no right or wrong in art. So make your art. (and if you need a little extra inspiration on that score, watch this.)



7. because you don't have to be the 'world's greatest writer'


You don't have to sound like Charles Dickens. Or your sister's favorite poet. Or Anthony Doerr. You don't have to have a big vocabulary, or even a mature voice. You don't have to wait until you're a 'better writer' or go to a learning establishment to become one. All you need is a story. A good, real, story that comes from somewhere deep in your gut; from the marrow of your being.

So stop saying you can't write well enough. If the story is there, it will write itself. Trust that... trust the story, trust yourself. Trust that passion we talked about in #1.


8. because you can't can't can't let the haters get you down


Maybe you're not dealing with only internal voices telling you you can't make it as a writer, or that it's a fantasy to think you can just write a book. Maybe a family member or a colleague or someone you know is giving you negative feedback on your idea and you feel unsuited to the task because of this.

I'm not the greatest person to address this one, because I deal with this too. I see a negative review or comment about my work, and sometimes I find myself questioning whether I am good at what I do, or whether my story is worthwhile. But the thing is... there's always going to be someone who says something negative about something you do. The haters will always have a comment to make no matter what. The only one who decides whether they keep you down or not isn't them... it's you.

You are your only limiter. You are the only one who can hold you back. Not him, or her, or anyone. (and if you need a little extra encouragement...this should do the trick.)


9. because you might just enjoy yourself


When it comes down to it, why make art if you don't enjoy it? In order for art to be anything or go anywhere, it has to come from a place of passion inside of you; a place of joy.

Even though all these other reasons are great, write because you want to. Because it will be fun. It will be an adventure. It will be something you will enjoy. And that is 100% okay and awesome and part of the experience. If you don't have fun writing it, who's going to have fun reading it?

So enjoy yourself a little. ;)





Please, please, please add to the list! Tell me in the comments WHY you're writing your current WIP! Or maybe you have a book idea you've been tossing around...? What would you say is the top #1 reason why you write or make your art?




lOVE,
kATE