Read. Dream. Repeat


“Reading is dreaming with open eyes.” -Yoyo

What makes a good YA book? One that hooks you, takes you for a ride, and transports you to a world beyond this one, where characters live their lives, fight battles, fall in love, and sometimes fall apart.

Laura Lascarso, author of the award-winning YA book Counting Backwards and the Racing Hearts e-series, has spent the past decade creating imaginary worlds and filling them with complex and interesting characters. And she’d like to share some of what she’s learned with you!

On July 14th, join Laura from 4-6pm at the Leon County Library for a discussion on the craft of writing and what makes a good YA novel. Ask her questions, share your work, and get a sneak preview of her newest e-novella Racing Hearts 2. Cupcakes will be provided.

Reading and dreaming go hand in hand. If you love to read or love to dream, join Laura to learn more about the magical place where authors and readers dream together.

Twitterview with M. Molly Backes, author of Princesses of Iowa

A 140-character limit Twitter Q & A with M. Molly Backes, author of Princesses of Iowa, conducted around midnight on Sept 2, 2013. Yay!
Laura: With @mollybackes author of #PrincessesOfIowa M, from the Iowa 80 to small-town life, you seem to know Willow Grove intimately. Connection?

Molly: Willow Grove is fictional, but I went to college in small-town Iowa & grew up in small-town Wisconsin. I heart small towns.

Laura: What came first for you, the small-town setting, the character of Paige, or something else entirely?

Molly: Paige came first, but I was living in NM at the time, and homesick for the Midwest, so Iowa was always important.

Laura: Paige is a complex character who grows much throughout #PrincessesOfIowa What do you see as her greatest weakness? Strength?

Molly: Thanks! I think her greatest weakness is her extremely narrow world-view. She is the center of her own universe to a fault. So conversely her greatest strength is her willingness to start expanding her understanding of herself & the world.

Laura: You give a wide array of personalities in #PrincessesOfIowa Who did you most enjoy getting to know throughout the process?

Molly: Of course I love them all, but I think that Nikki is my favorite. She always made me laugh. & Paige’s mom was wickedly fun.

Laura: Does your mother bear resemblance to the mothers of Willow Grove in #PrincessesOfIowa Or, did you know these women growing up?

Molly: I have known some critical mothers! Not my mom, but other women in my family, the mothers of my students…they’re out there.

Laura: You wove many themes in #PrincessesOfIowa bigotry/tolerance, popular/not so, interior/exterior. What was your initial spark?

Molly: The initial spark was the way we label ourselves & each other, & how those labels keep us from seeing deeper, truer selves. Which I think is the thematic umbrella for all other issues: popularity, homophobia, class, race, gender, expectations, etc.

Laura: Confession time: Are you, or have you ever been, a princess of Iowa?

Molly: Ha, that depends on your definition of princess. I once crowned myself the “Rabbit Princess,” but have no idea why. #college

Laura: Lacey is what one might term a “mean girl” in #PrincessesOfIowa How do you feel about this label in general and/or for her?

Molly: I think it’s a popular trope for a reason, but I also believe that every human is far more complex than any trope would allow

Laura: What is your favorite scene in #PrincessesOfIowa? Why?

Molly: The argument between Shanti & Ethan about whether it’s better to do nothing & look cool, or do something & look stupid. It’s a small moment, but it was something that I absolutely believed in, & was proud to put out in the world.

Laura: Shanti and Ethan were v. enlightened throughout #PrincessesOfIowa Now a writerly Q, what are you working on now?

Molly: Oh lord, who knows. I’m battling my way through the jungle of doubt, self-loathing, & procrastination that is a first draft.

Laura: You sound like a writer! Last Q: What would you say to young women on both sides of the #PrincessesOfIowa spectrum?

Molly: Go easy on yourself. Take a deep breath. Be thoughtful. Imagine the kind of person you’d like to be, and work toward that.

Laura: Thank you for letting me Twitterview you! What a great experience to read #PrincessesOfIowa and then be able to ask Qs live!

Molly: Awww, thank you! It was a good exercise in brevity. I could have answered every Q with a paragraph.

Unnamed by Anonymous

What if my words, designed to fly gracefully on the page, jeweled butterflies are instead dark, shiny and black, tiny beetles that slowly chew through the pages, now brittle, crumbling

No rehearsals here, just a long paralysis, no failure as terrible as the imagined

What is perfection?

The unwritten book with gleaming pages,

The pure raw colours unmixed

The world at dawn of time with no people to slice and mix, to dig, to satirize


Daily Zen: Writing Words of Wisdom

I found this at, a great place to procrastinate: The Ultimate Guide for Writing Better Than You Normally Do

An excerpt:


Procrastination is an alluring siren taunting you to Google the country where Balki from Perfect Strangers was from, and to arrange sticky notes on your dog in the shape of hilarious dog shorts. A wicked temptress beckoning you to watch your children, and take showers. Well, it’s time to look procrastination in the eye and tell that seafaring wench, “Sorry not today, today I write.”


The blank white page. El Diablo Blanco. El Pollo Loco. Whatever you choose to call it, staring into the abyss in search of an idea can be terrifying. But ask yourself this; was Picasso intimidated by the blank canvas? Was Mozart intimidated by the blank sheet music? Was Edison intimidated by the blank lightbulb? If you’re still blocked up, ask yourself more questions, like; Why did I quit my job at TJ Maxx to write full-time? Can/should I eat this entire box of Apple Jacks? Is The Price is Right on at 10 or 11?

This stuff is priceless!