01 August

#BlinkBlog: Back To School

The Blink Blog is back! This week some of our authors are sharing updates on their New Year’s Resolutions, final summer plans, and their favorite back to school tips. Stay tuned for more next week…

The year is more than half over!! How have you been doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?

Alison Gervais:  I am sad to report that I never got around to making any New Year’s Resolutions!

Annie Sullivan: One of my New Year’s resolutions was just to be more grateful for everything I have, and I truly have taken that to heart. I try to notice small things I would’ve taken for granted before, and that’s really helped me when things aren’t going my way to see all the good things I still have going on.

CJ Lyons: I don’t actually believe in New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I think of a word to guide me through the year, become my mantra, so to speak. This year my word is: Explore. So I’ve been exploring new genres in my reading, trying new techniques in writing, taking classes in subjects I’d never dreamed of trying to learn about (abstract expressionism, anyone?), etc.

Laurie Boyle Crompton: After years of proving to myself over and over (and over!) that I have the willpower of a goldfish, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions anymore. They basically became an excuse to make bad choices for the weeks leading up to each new year. Now my resolution is to treat each day as an opportunity for a new start! Sometimes, I even restart my day right in the middle, which can often look a lot like taking a nice nap. Maybe next year I’ll just resolve to take more naps!

Lorie Langdon:  I’m not great with resolutions…I rarely make them. I do start the year with writing goals and I’ve done well keeping those commitments so far.

McCall Hoyle:  New Year’s Resolution? Those are meant to be broken, right? Just kidding. I think mine was to be healthier and to live in the present moment more often, and I think I’ve actually done that this year. I’ve lost a bit of weight by investing in a standup desk and getting up and moving more. And I’ve spent more time reading for pleasure this year. So, yay!

Stephanie Morrill: I am doing pretty well! I’m a big dork, so in June I sat down with my goals from the beginning of the year and a notebook to evaluate how to best spend my time in the last part of the year. I’m glad I did this because some goals I’d completely forgotten about!

Any plans for the remaining weeks of summer?

Alison Gervais: Work, work, and more work! There’s no rest when your job is in social services.

Annie Sullivan: Well, my book A Touch of Gold comes out in August 14th, so I’ll be getting ready for that. I’ve got a bunch of book signings, school visits, and even a HUGE launch party I’m planning. Outside of that, I hope to spend some time at the pool with my niece and nephews and to read a few good books!

CJ Lyons:  I live at the beach so summers are hazy, hot, humid and crowded by tourists. This makes it my main time to hide inside to read and write—my two favorite activities!

Laurie Boyle Crompton: One word: BEACH!!

Every moment I’m not working I plan on having sand between my toes. I will also be spending a lot of time working on my next novel (details to be revealed soon – wheee!) and I’m excited to start ramping things up for the release of PRETTY IN PUNXSUTAWNEY early next year. I have a number of fun book swag giveaways in the works and hand-making buttons of my covers always makes me obnoxiously happy!

Lorie Langdon:  Writing! I’m working on a YA Fantasy novel (It’s top secret!) that has been a huge undertaking. I’m determined to finish by the end of the summer!

McCall Hoyle: I live in the southeast where we go back to school super early. So there are no remaining weeks of summer. My husband and I are both teachers and return to school August first, but we love what we do, so we’re actually looking forward to it.

Stephanie Morrill: Yes! I am so excited to be going to Manzanar National Historic Site, one of the key settings for my next release, Within These Lines. I live in Kansas City, and Manzanar is about four hours outside of Los Angeles in the desert. It is a tough place to get to! I am really excited that I will get to bring my kids too so they can learn about the unfair evacuation of the Japanese Americans during World War II.

What is the best back to school advice you have for Blink readers?

Alison Gervais:  Just do it! The time you spend in school is a very short amount compared to the rest of your life – you’ll be graduating before you know it!

Annie Sullivan: Don’t be afraid to be yourself this year. The things that make you different are what make you unique and special. It’s easier to be you than to be anyone else.

CJ Lyons: Enjoy! (yes, I was one of those geeky kids who loved shopping for notebooks and pens and heading back to new classes to learn new things, lol!)

Laurie Boyle Crompton: Embrace the school supplies! There’s something so promising about a brand-new box of ink pens (Pilot Precise V5s of course). And maybe think about getting a dog or two if you don’t have one. They will always be excited to greet you after school with a massive amount of love. We have three dogs (small, medium, and extra-large) and they give us a full-blown celebration at the door any time we come home. Perfect way to end those long school days!

Lorie Langdon: Be yourself! In middle school and high school, it’s easy to fall into “clone mode” where if you aren’t dressing and acting like everyone else, you feel weird. Weird is good, my friends! If we were all the same what a horrible world it would be. Oh, and also do some studying.

McCall Hoyle: Make time to keep reading even when school starts and life gets hectic. My high school students all know my beliefs on reading for pleasure. First, reading fiction improves our ability to empathize with others, and I personally believe this world would be much better off if we were all a little more empathetic. And reading for pleasure is the single greatest indicator of academic success in all content areas. How cool is that? Over the long haul, reading books you love will do more to improve your grades than studying or anything else. Stephanie Morrill: Have grace for yourself. Going back to school always comes with mixed emotions, and I think it is helpful to remember that as you get used to being back in a strict schedule.