A Writer's Journey

April 22, 2019


Filed under: Announcements,off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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I leave for Milan today—I have a 6:35 PM flight to Malpensa, scheduled to land at 9:00 AM Italian time. I’m really excited and a bit nervous, but that’s usual. Maybe a little bit more because I’m a bit spoiled by being used to having courtesy vans to and from my hotels and I don’t have it this time. But I may be able to get to another airport and hop on a courtesy van there (though it does look like there’s a charge).

I’m not sure if my room will be ready by the time I get to my hotel, but I figure I might have a better chance since I figure the earliest I’ll get to my hotel is 12 PM. At the very least, I can have lunch there and maybe see if I can check in after that.

The main reason I’m going to Milan is for a Once Upon a Time convention. All of them are international this year and Milan was at the best time for me. (Birmingham is almost right after my trip to Hilton Head and Father’s Day to boot while Paris is only a couple weeks before a major work trip). The convention runs Friday and Saturday. I’m arriving a couple days ahead of time in order to do some sightseeing beforehand. 

I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends and getting to see Milan. And of course, enjoying the convention!

So there won’t be a post next week. And I will post a round up of my trip…probably in July like last year, knowing me.

Until then…ciao!


February 22, 2019

My Favorite Literary Couples

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My month of romance continues as I now discuss some of my favorite couples from books. The ones who made my heart race and whose love drew me to read more and more. Whose romance stayed with me even after I turned the last page. The ones who inspire me now as I write my own romances.

1. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

I think it’s been established by now that I’m an Austenite. And yes, I love these two. I’m a big sucker for the enemies to lovers trope, which Lizzy and Darcy can fall into. But I also love how they challenge each other, make each other realize their own prejudices and help each other work to overcome them. Their love is built on mutual respect and affection, two people who were more compatible than originally thought.

2. Eowyn and Faramir, The Lord of the Rings

Most people love Arwen and Aragorn. Some feel that Aragorn and Eowyn should’ve ended up together, which I understand. In fact, I believe it was supposed to be the original plan until Tolkien fell in love with Eowyn and so created Faramir to be his author avatar.

They are each other’s yin and yang. Faramir went into military life because it was expected of him while Eowyn longed for it. Together, they witnessed how the shadows of Mordor affected their loved ones and themselves. He showed her that there was more than death on a battlefield and that hope existed in the world. She supported him and listened to him, something he had lost with the death of his brother. Their romance was sweet and  I loved it.

3. Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, The Harry Potter series

Remus Lupin is my favorite Potter character. So I wasn’t too sure if I’d like any romance with him. But when Tonks grabbed his robes and declared that she loved him in the hospital wing at the end of the sixth book, I fell in love. It wasn’t the pairing for him but when I thought about it, it worked. He could be (understandably) serious and she brought some levity into his life. He grounded her and helped her mature (along with the war). So I rooted for those crazy kids as they got married and had a baby.

And in my mind, they live on forever with Teddy.

4. Robert Langford and Tess Fairweather, The Glass Ocean

I read this book over the holidays and loved it. It’s about the Lusitania and I encourage everyone to pick it up and read it.

Robert and Tess keep running into each other on the ship and have some great banter. He is pining after another woman for most of the book but to me, it was more that he put her on a pedestal and loved the idea of her, not really her. With Tess, he had a real connection and saw her as a real person, not some goddess. She slowly falls for him, realizing that she likes to spend time with him and talking with him. I spent the book rooting for them and I will tell you I was not disappointed.

Sorry for the delay with this post. I was part of a gift exchange for the Outlaw Queen fandom and one person did not get a gift. I volunteered to make that person something and so I spent the weekend just writing a new story for that person. I didn’t get to focus on much else.

I will still aim to have my last part up on Monday. So come back to hear why I write romances and maybe get a little more about my work in progress, The Christmas Wish.

Remember, you can always get sneak peeks and access to other stories by supporting me on Patreon.

February 12, 2019

My Favorite Movie and TV Couples

Let’s really kickoff my month of romance with some of my favorite couples from both the big and small screens.

1. Outlaw Queen (Regina Mills/Robin Hood), Once Upon a Time


the picture

I figured I would get this out of the way because I’m sure by now, some of you are probably tired of hearing about this couple. Robin Hood and the Evil Queen still sounds like a weird combination but in the hands of the Once writers (well, the ones from Season 3) as well as Lana Parrilla and Sean Maguire, it was magic. They were two people who loved and lost and who were both loving parents. Regina was still working on becoming a better person and Robin saw the good in her rather than just the Evil Queen. He believed in her and supported her when she she needed it, giving her romantic love.

2. Lucy Preston/Wyatt Logan, Timeless


An intelligent historian meets a jaded soldier and magic happened. Lucy and Wyatt built from coworkers to friends to the hint of something more. By the time they kissed in season 2, I was cheering—and so were other fans. Of course, a wrench got thrown into their relationship in season 2 but it was still clear that they cared about each other. Thankfully, they had a happy ending. (Unlike Outlaw Queen).

3. Belle and the Beast/Prince, Beauty and the Beast

beauty and the beast

Belle is my favorite Disney princess, a bookworm who loves to learn and tries to see the best in everyone. She sacrifices her own freedom to save her father, even if it means living with a beast. In some ways, he’s like Mr. Darcy and she’s like Elizabeth Bennet (with far less sass). Beast starts to change his behavior when Belle stands up to him and finally confronts him on how awful he treats everyone. He starts to care about someone other than him and it makes him more human, which draws her closer to him. Tale as old as time indeed.

4. Newt Scamander/Tina Goldstein, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


I wasn’t expecting to love them as much as I do. But there was just something about watching the rule-abiding, no-nonsense Tina slowly warm up to the kind-hearted if a big fan of loopholes Newt. They worked well together, balancing each other out—he brought out her more spontaneous side while she grounded him. Things were a bit tense in the second movie but hopefully we’ll see more in the third.

5. Usagi/Sailor Moon and Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen, Sailor Moon

sailor moon

I think the new version of the anime has done a better job at capturing their relationship than the original (or at least the dub). They are star-crossed lovers who are reborn and find each other again. Mamoru grounds Usagi and she gets him to not be so serious. They are also partners when fighting (once they realize they are on the same side and not foes) and support each other through all the weird things that come with fighting other worldly forces.

Those are just some of my favorite couples from movie and TV. Who are yours? Share below!

Next time: My favorite couples from books!

Don’t forget to support me on Patreon!

January 6, 2019

Year in Review: 2018

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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So, 2018 has come and gone. At the beginning of the year, I made some “anticipations” for the year. Let’s see if how I did.

    • Work on The Christmas Wish with aim of self-publishing by Christmas

I have worked on The Christmas Wish all year long, though I didn’t manage to publish by this Christmas. Looking back, that might have been too lofty a goal.

    • Jump start the Big Project and work for self-publishing in 2019

I’m still focused on The Christmas Wish so the Big Project has remained on the backburner—for now.


December 11, 2018

2018 Reading Challenge Update

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Another year is about to come to a close. It’s amazing that it’s December already. So since it’s the end of the year, I figure it’s time to do my final Reading Challenge update.

My goal was to read 13 books. So how did I do?

I reached my goal! And I’ll most likely surpass it by one book. I’m currently reading three books but Wives of War is almost done as my Kindle says I’m about 90% of the way through it. According to Goodreads, I’m only about 38% through The Glass Ocean and 28% of The Impossible Girl. So I’m comfortable in saying that Wives of War will be my last finished book of 2018.

I am so proud of myself for hitting my goal. I worried there for a bit this summer but I made it.

How about you?

September 15, 2018

Paris: Wednesday and Thursday or All Good Things Must Come to an End

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Grace and I said our goodbyes Wednesday morning. She left to head to the British Embassy and I got a little bit more sleep before I headed into Paris myself. It was my last day before heading home and I had it all planned out.

I started off by going to the Arc de Triomphe. I walked up to it, admiring it, before following the pedestrian crossings through the roundabout that encircles it to get to the entrance. My Paris Pass let me use a separate entrance where I did have to pass through a metal detector. I then started to climb a narrow, metal circular staircase and I worried I had just signed up for a Bunker Hill mistake.

(For reference: My family went to Boston ten years ago and we did a bus tour, including a stop at Bunker Hill. It has a monument and you can go up to the top—but there are nearly 300 steps to do so. My family managed to do it, though I then had to crawl down the middle when curiosity got to me and I looked down a giant hole. There was nothing there but it triggered my fear of heights. Anyway, we all made it back down and our legs felt like jelly until we got back to New York a few days later).

Thankfully, it was not a Bunker Hill mistake as I only had a few minutes of climbing before I got to the big space dedicated to the arch’s history. It included some statues as well as video of the Allies marching through the arch after taking back Paris. There were then more stairs to the roof and I decided to go up there. It offered some great views of Paris but I never strayed from the middle of the roof as my fear of heights yelled at me to GET OFF THE ROOF!


(Pictured: The Arc de Triomphe)


September 14, 2018

Paris: Tuesday or Musees Ahoy!

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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For those not  familiar with French—“musee” is the word for “museum.”

I actually slept late on Tuesday. Originally, I had planned on doing that on Monday but when my friends offered to let me into Paris with them, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. But I really needed to sleep in. The con had called for early mornings and Monday was even earlier. So I needed the rest.

Grace decided to stay behind to work on her situation, so I headed into Paris by myself. I went straight to the Musee de Rodin, dedicated to sculptor Auguste Rodin. You know—The Thinker:


(Pictured: The Thinker)


September 13, 2018

Paris: Monday or My First Day in the City

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 11:00 pm
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I must say, nothing seemed sadder than the hotel on Monday morning. The crowds of people that had been a constant presence were gone as most people had left or were leaving. It made me miss everyone but I was eager to head into Paris to finally see the city.

I had met one of my Twitter followers the day before at the con and she had invited me to come into the city with her and her friend. I accepted, grateful for the offer as I had been nervous about going into the city by myself. But I had them with me as I learned how to navigate the train system as well as how to get around the city. And it was nice to have the company.

They came with me as I went to pick up my Paris Pass, which I had to do right in the middle of the district bordered by the Louvre on one end and the Opera Garnier on the other. When I emerged from the Metro, I stopped to admire the buildings around me—gorgeous ones that I had only seen in pictures of Paris before. Now I was seeing them with my own eyes, drinking in the ornate architecture of the city.


September 12, 2018

Paris: Sunday or Con Day #2

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Sunday started around the same time as Saturday. We all gathered in the panel room and the guests came in to greet us. This time they were joined by Robert Carlyle (Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold/ Weaver) and Emilie De Ravin (Belle). They stayed behind for a joint panel in which Robert shaded the writers and the show quite a bit.


(Pictured: Robert Carlyle on the left and Emilie de Ravin on the right)

After the panel, I had my meet and greet with Sean Maguire. There was about twenty of us who headed up to a private room where we sat in a circle. Someone from the con made sure we turned our phones off so we didn’t take pictures or secretly record the meeting and greet. These are private sessions where the actors can be more candid than they would be at panels, which are generally filmed and put on the internet. So I won’t get into specifics about what Sean said but it was essentially a master class in writing.


September 11, 2018

Paris: Friday and Saturday (Con Day #1)

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Well, maybe I should back up and talk about the flight. But it was relatively uneventful. I watched Black Panther, ate, tried and failed to get any sleep, ate breakfast and then landed in Paris. I had to wait about forty minutes to get up to the border police but I was quickly waved through after they checked my passport. I grabbed my luggage and went up to catch the shuttle to my hotel.

I stayed at the Hilton in the airport but unfortunately, I couldn’t check in yet—check in wasn’t until 2 PM and I got there around 9:30 AM. So I got to kill a lot of time in their lobby, which was very lovely. I fooled around on my phone, did some writing on my laptop and when that started to die, in a notebook. And I was able to spot one fandom friend, Grace, when she walked in. We chatted for a bit before I went back to waiting.

At last, I could check into my room. Once I was all checked in, I went up to the 8th floor where my room was and dropped all my stuff off. It was a nice sized room with a comfortable bed and a good bathroom (that had both a bathtub and a shower stall). It would definitely do for my stay.


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