Fiction Blog, Musings & Bookish Things

To Kansas, To Marry

Last week, Evelyn Pryce, my and Daniel’s wedding celebrant and award-winning historical romance author, shared her unbelievably arduous journey to officiate our wedding ceremony. Check out this post for all the crazy details, and while you’re there, take a look at her debut novel, A MAN ABOVE REPROACH.

For a deeper look, you can read my glowing review of A MAN ABOVE REPROACH here.

IMG_2184 Dan and Kate, right after the ceremony

This is a story about magic and love.

There was once a convention, ostensibly about comics, called Morrison Con. That’s where this story really starts.

Love and magic were in the air, in the strangest of all possible places, the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. It was the opposite of Fear and Loathing, a temporary autonomous zone of Joy and Friendship. For three days a bunch of geeks drank together, had intense conversations over screwdrivers in hallways, made art and connections, and had an amazing time. We all made our ways there very differently, but it didn’t really matter how. We knew we were meant to be there. My husband and I were on our belated honeymoon. I sincerely believe that most people who attended would say their life changed weirdly after the experience.

I became a Romance author and won an award…

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Fiction Blog, Musings & Bookish Things, Writing & Publishing Articles, Writing Craft & Tips, Writing Updates

How Marriage Has Helped My Writing Career

Today is my husband, Daniel’s, birthday, and as far as I’m concerned, it is one of the most exciting birthdays he has ever had. You see, even though we have been together for over two years, this is the first time we can share his birthday together. We were in a long distance relationship for his first two birthdays of our relationship, and I am thrilled that we will finally be together to celebrate him.

DanielBeyond the excitement of sharing milestones together, the transition to being close-distance and living together has brought dozens of new facets to our relationship. Most relevant to this blog, our relationship — and, I would argue, our marriage — has entirely transformed my writing career. Daniel takes on so many important roles in my writing career that I can honestly say I would not be where I am today without him.

Now, don’t worry. I am not going to get up on a soapbox and preach the superiority of marriage to single-hood or pressure anyone into popping the question prematurely. Trust me, I remember the benefits of singledom; I’m only 22. All I’m going to do is brag on my husband for his birthday and tell you ways that a healthy, loving partnership can help you reach your fullest potential as a creative (in my case, writer) and as a person.

To put it simply, here are all the roles Daniel takes on that have helped springboard my writing career:

Support System

“For better or worse,” right? Daniel has been incredibly supportive of my writing career. Every time I doubt myself, he is there to pick me back up and remind me of all the reasons I can achieve my dreams.

Fan and Advocate

Daniel loves proclaiming himself my number one fan (though I imagine my mom would grapple with him for that title). He does all the things “fans” do: he brags about my creative mind, brings up my success in conversations, and encourages his friends and family to check out my latest projects. I made my Facebook author page, but he is the one who hacked my account and made it go live (no joke). And while I was irritated about that at first, in retrospect, it was exactly the supportive push off the cliff I needed.

marriageBusiness Partner

As I have said before, Daniel is the one who introduced me to independent publishing. However, his role has not ended there. He constantly looks for podcasts, books, and industry news that will interest and assist me. Moreover, he is always thinking about ways to market my author business and diversify it, and he is 100% willing and happy to invest our finances and time in this venture. That in and of itself is vital to my future as a writer.

 

Beta Reader

Daniel is always anxious to read what I write, so I let him read along with my first drafts as he chooses. The only rule is: on the first draft, he cannot say anything negative unless it is a ginormous plot hole that must be fixed immediately. So far, he’s helped me catch one major plot hole, and otherwise, built up my ego with compliments.

Critic

The critic role has not come into play too much yet. However, I know that, when I am ready for my manuscript to be critiqued, Daniel will do his best to help. Right now, he does a good job of keeping my attitude in check and keeping me on a positive creative path.

Tech Support

Seriously, though. This man has saved me from a many a mental breakdown and our technological equipment from many a dangerous situation.

partnersAccountability Partner

During NaNoWriMo, Daniel kept me accountable to my writing. Every night after work he asked me how much I had written during my lunch break. Then, after dinner, he would ask me when writing time was and literally push me up the stairs to the office if necessary. While this sounds harsh, I am so grateful to have had the extra push and to finally have someone truly hold me accountable to my goals.

Brain Dump

I do my best brainstorming by talking through my plot out loud. There have been so many times where I have made Daniel the dumping ground for my brainstorming and rambled on about my plot or characters or setting. However, even though he knows that I am not always looking for feedback or actually talking to him, he listens and lets me get it all out of my system.

Role Model

Daniel has just finished two degrees, and he is working toward his second Master’s degree, to be followed by a PhD. He throws himself into all aspects of his academic community, and he is tirelessly working toward achieving his own dreams. If that hardwork, dedication, and confidence is not the perfect example for me to replicate in my own career efforts, I don’t know what is.

marriedIf you are married, your spouse may not fulfill all of these roles — and you may not need or want all of these roles to come from your partner. If you are not in a relationship, there are likely several close friends or family members that fill these roles for you. Either way, trust me when I say, it is so reassuring to know that someone has your back and will do everything s/he can to help you achieve your dreams.

Before marrying Daniel, I was a “writer” with big dreams and little action. Now, I am a writer (no quotation marks necessary) with big dreams, big actions, and big plans. Can I give him 100% credit for my success? No. I think I deserve I good chunk of it. However, I can say, having him in my life has been a huge help and momentum builder.

That’s what marriage is about. Having someone in your life, who has chosen and committed to you, who helps you be the best version of yourself you can be. And lucky for me, I’ve got it.

Happy birthday, honey. I love you.

 

 

Fiction Blog, Musings & Bookish Things

10 Ideas for a Book-Themed Wedding

FYI: I passed the 100 WordPress follower mark yesterday! Thank you all for reading. I’m very happy to be surrounded by such an engaging community of writers! Here’s to the next 100!


As regular readers will know, my husband, Daniel, and I are very recently married. What regular readers may not know is that our wedding was book-themed. For one of my guest posts on The Broke-Ass Bride, I describe how we stumbled upon a “literary vintage” wedding theme. Of course, given that we are both avid readers and writers, it seems obvious that this theme would have emerged.

Today, I would like to share with you all a few elements of our wedding (and some that I wish we would have found) that were book-related. Even if you have no intention or prospects of marriage, keep reading to learn a little about me and see some gorgeous book porn.

book themed wedding elements
Photos by Lucky Photographer

1. Literary ceremony reading. Daniel and I are not religious, so instead of a traditional Biblical reading, we had a passage from Homer’s The Odyssey read during our ceremony. We loved this, because we were able to share great literature and speak to our trials in our long distance relationship.

2. Love Storybook. Many couples have a brief recounting of their love story lurking around, especially at big weddings. We did not do this, but this is something that would be easy to make into a storybook and modeled after books you love.

3. Favors. Daniel and I gave out bookmarks as our wedding favors. They contained the passage from The Odyssey from our ceremony. This allowed us to encourage reading as well as help people remember a unique part of our ceremony.

4. Centerpieces. This is the best place to put physical books in your wedding day. Stack them in the center of a table, fold their pages into cool designs, decorate them with flowers — the possibilities are endless.

This is a sample bookmark wedding favor from Faithful Crafter on Etsy.
This is a sample bookmark wedding favor from Faithful Crafter on Etsy. She does great work!

5. Guestbook. Why not make your guestbook a literal book? Daniel and I had our guests sign the inside of our Barnes & Noble Collector’s Edition of The Iliad and The OdysseyThis way, we will be reminded of our loved ones each time we open it — and we don’t have to keep track of a random guestbook we will never display again.

6. Stationery. One of the easiest ways to incorporate literature into your wedding is through the paper accessories. Make your invitations look like books, use old library check-out slips as your place cards, put your table numbers on books or book pages — just get creative!

7. The Cake. I have seen some incredible book-themed wedding cakes: from ones with symbols and cover art from books to ones that actually look like books. For our cake, Daniel and I simply exhibited our love of comics with the bat symbol.

From X's tutorial
Photo from ironspy’s tutorial.

8. Shoes. Speaking of comics, one of the coolest literary accessories I’ve seen are comic book heels. Essentially, artists take clippings from comics and decorate heels with them. Even if comics aren’t your thing, the same could easily be done with book pages. Check out this tutorial for more info.

9. Rings. What better way to express your love of language than to engrave your rings with your favorite book passages? The passages will have to be short, but you can always abbreviate with just the title, chapter or page number, and line number.

10. Flowers. My favorite literary aspect from our wedding was the bouquets, which were made from book pages. Mine was made from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, my favorite novel. My bridesmaids also chose their favorites: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey. Not only did this make for a highly personal self-expression, but they also made great bridesmaids gifts, as they transition easily into home decor. Win-win!

My bouquet, photo by Lucky Photographer
My bouquet made by PumpkinsandButtercups, photo by Lucky Photographer

Overall, Daniel and I are extremely pleased with how our wedding turned out. We were able to surround ourselves with literary goodness and express ourselves as book nerds.

I hope this article gave you a bit more insight into my love of books and sparked some ideas for incorporating books into your own wedding — or even your everyday fashion and decor!


While I won’t be writing anymore about my wedding on this site, if you are interested to know more about my journey or creative weddings, in general, you can check out all my guest posts on The Broke-Ass Bride for more inspiration.