WLBW: The Kidney Donor’s Journey by Ari Sytner

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Discover why someone would donate a kidney to a total stranger! 

After an unexpected year-long journey of exploring kidney donation, Ari Sytner became a kidney donor to save the life of a single mother of 3 children. The experience was so inspirational and transformative, that Ari revealed the entire journey in this first ever question and answer book, outlining the 100 questions he struggled with before deciding to proceed with his transplant and give the gift of life. The Kidney Donor’s Journey walks you through every stage of Ari’s process, from researching, struggling and telling his family, to testing, undergoing surgery and recovery. The book inspires readers to weigh the personal and ethical values of kindness and human life, while sharing a moving and uplifting tale of one man’s journey to make a difference in the world. 

Some questions include:
– How do I tell my family?
– How risky is the surgery?
– Who pays for the surgery?
– Can I back out if I change my mind?
– Will my insurance go up?
– Do I meet the recipient?
– Will I have to take medications forever?
– Can I still drink coffee or alcohol?
– How long will I be in the hospital?
– Can anyone be a donor?
– How long will I be in the hospital?
– Will I regret my decision later on?

Plus many more powerful questions and answers!

**Review Coming Soon!**

 

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Manuscript Monday: S.F.D.

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Hey, lovelies! I’m back again, and with school being out for the summer, hopefully I’ll be able to focus my attention more on this blog as well as my writing.

Today’s topic is going to be about SFDs. And for those of you who didn’t have the privilege of having a Professor Oxendale, a SFD is what we referred to our screenplays during the first stages of writing; Shitty First Draft. Referring to our first draft screenplays as SFDs made me seem like we had permission for it to be as shitty as possible because we were going to be rewriting it anyway; and this made me love and appreciate my SFD even more.

At this point you’re probably wondering what screenplays have to do with novels and who the heck is Professor Oxendale? To answer the last question, Professor Oxendale was one of my favorite professors at the Academy of Art University, and she taught Feature Film 2:  Writing Act I. She taught more than that, but this class was my favorite. It was one guy and myself in there, and because it was only the two of us, it allowed me to really focus on their feedback, appreciate it, and put myself (and my work) out there without fear of judgement.

Anyway, the reason I’m bringing up all this screenwriting stuff is because I pulled a Christina Aguilera. And no, I didn’t belt a great high-pitched note; I went back to basics. What does this mean exactly? Well, to focus more on dialogue, character development, and less on tedious things, I decided to write the screenplay for The Family Secret.

This will allow me to make sure I have good dialogue versus description balance, all characters will have their own voice and can be tested by hiding their names on the script and writing which character I think said it. Lastly, I can double check to insure all my scenes don’t take place in all internal or external settings.

Does this mean I’m giving up on my dreams of becoming an author? ABSOLUTELY NOT! This is simply another step of the writing process before I jump into writing another novel.

In the meantime, it’ll make the process of read throughs and edits for Sliding into Love easier because I’ll be working on two formats of writing; a screenplay and a manuscript.

I’ll be updating y’all throughout the processes of both. Wish me luck!

Manuscript Monday: Big, Messy Synopsis

messyGood morning, lovelies. A few Mondays ago, I spoke about my writing process with you guys. Well today I’m sharing one of my steps with you. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that this is done during the process of all the stories I write, but this has been working for my current work in progress.

I’m not sure about for you, but for me, characters are almost always the first element to pop in my head when I’m plotting a new story. For my most recent project, The Family Secret, I plotted all my characters first. Depending on how in depth you want this to be, it can be a lengthy process. I know for me, it took me a good two weeks. I wanted to ensure all the characters were unique in their own special way. Next up were the locations that were going to be detrimental to the plot of the story.

Aside from plotting characters and locations, the first thing I did was came up with a big, messy synopsis for my story. What did that entail exactly?

I’ve been sitting on this idea for years, so it wasn’t hard to write down a general idea of what I wanted to happen in the story. The hardest part for me was taking off my editor cap, so to speak, and just write whatever came to my mind.

I wrote my big, messy synopsis at least two or three weeks ago. Once I was done with it, I put it away and indulged in Backstreet Boys and New Kids on The Block YouTube videos. This gave me enough time to step away from my story and obsess over two of my favorite boy bands. I read the synopsis a few days ago, and it wasn’t terrible, but I’ve also came up with changes while it was resting.

I’ll admit I was a little hesitant at first to write a big, messy synopsis. When you’re a perfectionist like me, you tend to stay away from anything that has the words messy in it, but I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t bad at all. What you write in your big, messy synopsis doesn’t have to be set in stone, so give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen?

We Love Books Wednesday: Novel Spotlight

34879387I’ve had a crush on my best friend’s brother for years. Which wouldn’t be a problem, if he wasn’t such a cocky jerk.

It’s okay, though. My crush is based on shallowness, a simple attraction, so my heart isn’t at risk of getting broken.

Well, that is until my best friend decides she needs to teach her brother a lesson and take his cockiness down a notch. Her plan: I’ll get Carter to fall in love with me and then break his heart. At first I’m not fully on board with her plan, not only because it seems cruel, but I also highly doubt Carter will fall in love with me.

But then Carter does something that pushes me over the edge and I decide to go through with it.

Not only does the plan work, but Carter ends up being different than the cocky jerk I thought he was. At least I think so.

I might be falling for him.

He might be falling for me.

But not everything is what it seems.

We both might end up getting our hearts broken.

Please note: The Unexpected Way of Falling in Love is the first book in the Unexpected series and is not a standalone. 

**Review coming soon!**

Manuscript Monday: Writing Process

114a1ccb5f9c59a54ffbf79a7a8b94ebGood morning, Lovelies. For today’s topic I’ll be discussing my writing process. I apologize in advance if this post is all over the place, but so is my process. I used to think I was a plotter, but then one day I sat down and just started writing a brand new story; I must be a pantser. Recently I’ve discovered it doesn’t matter whether you’re a plotter or a pantser. What matters most is whatever works for you. Because at the end of the day, only you can write your story. So here are my top 6 staple things that usually occur at some point in my writing process.

 

  1. Brainstorming with my sisters. This usually consists of a general idea thrown into the wind and bouncing around ideas and components between the three of us until I have a feasible story idea created.
  2. A secret Pinterest board is created. On this board, my dream cast is formed. Also, items that are imperative to the story are also pinned.
  3. Reading an infinite amount of writing skills’ novels to try and figure out the ‘right’ way to plot, outline, etc.
  4. An array of plotting usually happens. This is normally filling out character sheets, stream-of-consciousness with the main characters, creating a step outline, and things of that sort.
  5. A playlist for the novel is created on Napster. I have so many novel playlists on my Napster account that it isn’t even funny. And when I’m working on a specific novel, I have to listen to the playlist for that novel. If I’m working on Sliding into Love, but listening to The Family Secret playlist, I feel like I’m cheating on my novel!
  6. Last, but not least, when I finally get my act together and realize there’s absolutely nothing wrong with my writing process or me, I begin writing my novel. I use the Pomodoro technique, which I find really works for me. I write for 25 minutes, and allow for a 5 minute break to surf the net, read, get lost in thought, or whatever it may be.

As I was writing this post, I was not a fan of my writing process. But now that I’ve reached the end of this post, I find my process is unique and I’m okay with that. Next week, we are going to go more in depth about my writing process and how my screenwriting knowledge forces its way into my novel writing process. I’d love to hear what your writing process is like.

Freebie Friday: Podcasts

Good morning, lovelies! It’s Friday, which not only means I’m closer to Spring Break now than I was last week, but it’s also the day I can talk about whatever I want. And since things are a little hectic at home and work, today I’m going to leave you with the names of my top 10 favorite podcasts I love to listen at work. Next week (fingers crossed), I’ll be able to go in depth as to why these podcasts are my absolute favorite.

In no particular order, here are my 10 favorite podcasts:

  1. The Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher
  2. The Bitch Bible by Jackie Schimmel
  3. Boss Girl with Taylor Bradford
  4. Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso
  5. Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert
  6. Reality Bytes with Stephanie Beatriz and Courtney Kocak
  7. Don’t Keep Your Day Job with Cathy Heller
  8. The Marie Forleo Podcast with Marie Forleo
  9. Write Now with Sarah Werner
  10. Create If Writing with Kirsten Oliphant

Do you listen to podcasts? Which are your favorites? Did any of your favorites make my list?