Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our Journey So Far #40: OH, MY GOSH

Alright. I think I need to come out of the hole I'm in and start talking again. I'm sure you are all wondering whether or not I'm dead. Okay, maybe not, because I'm still posting on my Tumblr ( 

How is my manuscript? Ahh...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekly Muse #38: My Playlist is Awesome

Hey guys. It has been a long, long time since I have made a blog post. But when I was looking through my playlist of songs I listen to whenever I write, I realized how much it has evolved and changed. 

So here is my favorite songs I love to listen now. Top five, in no particular order. (That sounds a bit weird. But honestly, I have about a few dozen new songs to listen to.) 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Ahhh! I apologize for not updating and posting as frequently as I should had. Forgive me for my stupid, hectic, and crazy schedule for this month, next month, and probably for the rest of the year. 

I'll spare everyone the rant. I'm afraid I will start pulling ugly words out of thin air like a magician. 



(One more word: ALWAYS KEEP WRITING!!!) 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Advice For Writers #38: How To Keep Focusing On Your Writing

Ha! It is Penelope again. How many of you all can stay focused on your writing? Well, it is easy to go off and look something up on YouTube. (I can't get enough of Kevin Conroy's singing.) 

Let's admit it. It isn't easy to remain focused and motivated. Everyone has a certain attention span, and others are shorter while some are longer. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our Journey So Far #38: Penelope

Wow. It has been a crazy month so far. July shows no signs of stopping, and I swear that everything and everyone has it out for me. Do I have a red-painted target on my back? Nope. 

Yes, it is weird that I'm posting "Our Journey So Far" on a Thursday, but I'm very late. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our Journey So Far #37: I'm Back!

Alright, so here is the scoop: Alex Steele (also known as Shay from The Story Goes...) has left Grace & Steele. I'm not going to be changing the url, and I'm the one who is going to be blogging now. Because I'm the only admin here, fewer posts will be going up each weeks. 

See under the cut for more details...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

About: Grace & Steele

Hi! It's Penelope again, and on behalf of Grace & Steele, I want to say that we are going to take a small break (one to two weeks) to reevaluate the blog. Thanks for being with us, readers. 

Happy Writing!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekly Muse #37: Playlist Again

I love my playlist. I have a playlist on Youtube, and I simply love to put it on repeat. A lot of the songs come from Coldplay, One Republic, Imagine Dragons, and some indie artists. Here are my top favorites underneath the cut. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Advice For Writers #37: Just Live

How many of you guys are tempted to simply write all day and night? I know I am. I love dunking my head into different places, places where I can spend a million dollars and not get there. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Our Journey So Far #35: Penelope, Again

Hello, everyone!

So I'm suddenly assaulted by a plot bunny. It isn't wonderful (well, it is), because I'm working on TBQ's rewrite (which I'm so desperate to avoid). 

The name of my novel is... About A Queen.

Please note that this is a working title. I'm still trying to see whether or not this title would work. I'd done this story before, and I gave up on it. Originally, it is supposed to be a retelling of "Snow White." Now, I'm thinking of making it much more loosely based on that tale. 

The changes...

-This might be going into New Adult territory. 
-There is a twist.
-Someone is going to die, but maybe not the evil stepmother. (Oops!) 

The characters...

-Pamola (Or Pamela) Queen: She is the narrator, and she might be about twenty years old (which is a bit older than what I usually work with). Determined and assured of herself, she is the kind of lady no one likes to cross in the middle of the dark alley. 
-Margaret "Peggy" Queen: Narrator's mother, and loves to change her name like how a supermodel changes outfits. The next day, she would be called "Sara." Or "Diana." 

That is what I have so far. So what do you guys think?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Weekly Muse #35: Animals

Animals most certainly inspire me in different ways. In literature, they are used as symbolism. Sometimes, they are used as familiars to narrators and especially, characters.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Advice For Writers #35: So Now What?

Camp NaNoWriMo is over (for now). So what does one do now? I know I've probably written a version of this post, but I think repetition would definitely hit everyone in the head. Multiple times. 

So what do we do now?

Okay, first of all, if you aren't finished with NaNoWriMo, finish it. If you can't bring yourself to write it (because of a lack of inspiration, not a lack of determination), then you don't finish it. 

You put it aside. Let it sit. Let it cool down. Let yourself be removed from it, so when you start editing it, you'll be able to see it in a much better light. 

You let it sit. 

You let it sit for a long time, until a month has passed and you feel like visiting the world again. 

Then you read it. You read it again. You read it again and again. You notice the plot holes. You notice the strange words you used. You notice the lack of a good transition. You take notes. You take A LOT of notes. 

That is when you start rewriting again. Because it is a freakin' long process. But don't worry. You are getting closer to the final product. Every step is a step closer to its perfection.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Our Journey So Far #33: Penelope Grace

So, it is a busy week. Camp is closing up, and there are only a few days left! Yay, I hope you all finished your novels or are close to being finished with it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Weekly Muse #33: Playlist Time!

Now, I'm a hurry, because there are a bunch of things to do (a list from A to Z) and I can't quite seem to finish anything (probably because I was watching Atonement and Miss Congeniality). So I'm going to list my playlist for writing The Lost Princess' fourth/fifth draft. 

Well, technically I started the fourth draft and then abandoned it because I didn't like it at all. Then I started again and called it the fifth draft. That is how it went. 


Okay, here we go. Five with comments and five without. 

1. "Outside" by Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris
My comments: I like "Outside" because I like how it sounds. It totally reminds me of "Summer" and some other hits from Calvin Harris. (Yes, it sounds similar, but it gets writing, so I don't really care.) 

2. "A Team" by Ed Sheeran 
My comments: You all think I'm nuts for liking a song that is terribly sad (to me). Yes, it is depressing, and the lyrics are horrible (in the feels), but it sounds really good. Soft. The kind of song that reminds me of a heartbreak. 

3. "Geronimo" by Sheppard 
My comments: I have no idea what the lyrics are (haven't looked it up) or what the song means, but it sounds really good. 

4. "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift
My comments: Taylor Swift? Give me, give me! 

5. "Budapest" by George Ezra 
My comments: It is one of the softer songs that picks up the tempo and just makes me dance. 

6. "Your Mess is Mine" by Vance Joy
7. "Hold Back The River" by James Bay
8. "Come a Little Closer" by Cage the Elephant
9. "Cigarette Daydreams" by Cage the Elephant
10. "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole

So what songs are on your playlist?

Happy Writing!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Advice For Writers #33: Panic Attacks

I have one of the worst panic attacks of all times. Well, maybe not, but to me, it certainly feels like I'm suffering through a 6.0 earthquake while trying to do tap dancing. 

So how to deal with panic attacks?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Our Journey So Far #31: Penelope Grace

Camp is still going on strong. You haven't joined? That is okay. There is still time to join. Or... you can listen to me moan and groan about how much I have to do this April? 

Or both! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Wordy Gift #6: Inverse

Alright. So Camp NaNoWriMo is on the move. I'm currently writing "Inverse." So below the cut is the long, lengthy, (unedited) first chapter of "Inverse." It is going to be interesting... Let's see...

"Inverse" is YA Dystopia. It tells the story of a society, which is the inverted version of ours. It is told from the perspective of Jazz, a young student living in a small town located in California.

This is the first chapter. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Advice For Writers #31: The First Week of Camp

So we are halfway through Camp NaNoWriMo. If you haven't joined Camp, then hurry up and sign up! Come on! Don't be shy. Camp is awesome. You get to meet others like you. In my co-ed cabin (first time I'd ever been in a cabin with boys), there are people from Florida and other such places. Idaho. Many places.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our Journey So Far #29: Penelope Grace

Wow! Camp NaNoWriMo is here! Can't you feel that tension in the air? It is perhaps the pressure to write those number of words! Ahhh! It is so crazy. I know some of you guys are doing rewrites and edits, but I'm making new first drafts. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly Muse #30: Let's Talk TV

Different works of arts require different types of interpretations. In books, you can see a dragon in hundreds of different ways. We have those... adorable little dragons from YA Paranormal novels, "The Game of Thrones" dragons, and that dragon from the Book of Revelations. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Advice For Writers #29: My Schedule Is Full

Oh, yes. These dreaded schedules. Don't you hate them? Seriously. Monday, busy. Tuesday, busy. Wednesday, busy (got to save time to watch Supernatural). Thursday, busy. Friday, busy. Saturday, super busy. Sunday, DON'T BOTHER ME! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Our Journey So Far #27: A Bunch Of Girl Problems

Do you know what I hate about periods? Periods. I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it. And I can't really write when it is that time of the month. Grr!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weekly Muse #28: A List Of Chapter Titles

I used to have a sarcastic list of chapter titles for TBQ (The Black Queen). (See it under this cut). 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Advice For Writers #27: Writing As A Whole

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm bringing us back to ALMOST the very beginning. Writing. Writing the first draft. Writing the start, the first chapter, of the story. The prologue. Whatever is the first part of your first draft (I have to admit that I almost never use prologues). 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Our Journey So Far #25: Penelope Grace

So what am I up to now? No. Not pranks. That is next month. (So I'm giving you all a head's up). What am I doing? And what will I be doing this week (and next week)?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekly Muse #26: Lift Yourself Up

Lift Yourself Up. Not exactly the most brilliant title ever, but I'm mostly centering on self-esteem. Things that make you feel like you are on top of the world.

And I mean, songs. Not things.

Anyway, let's start with the countdown. Unfortunately, I'm in too much of a hurry to get album pictures. Arg! I'm so swamped with everything I have to do.

Aye, aye, aye. Mamma mia! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Advice For Writers #25: At A Loss For Words

So what does one do when they are at a loss for words? Well, from my experiences, I go back onto Tumblr, spend ten hours on that site, and reblog everything I see. But I suspect that most writers probably won't waste half of their lifetime on there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Our Journey So Far #23: Penelope Grace

Another busy month! Ahh... I wish I can do so many things, but I'm afraid I won't have time to do everything I want to do. But for this month, I'm going to be focusing on some certain things.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Speed... What?

Raise your hand, if you are single. (I'm raising my hand). Raise your hand, if you have a book boyfriend. (Actually, I have multiple ones, but I will raise my hand for this). Raise your hand, if you have a friend who is your critique partner. (I'm raising my hand). 

The purpose of this post, which is called "Speed... What?", is to help writers find potential writers and critique partners. 

So how are we going to do this?

It is sort of like a blind date. In the linkup below, you will... Ahh! I'm getting way ahead of myself. Let's get back to the beginning and do this step by step.

First of all, we are going to play a little interview. This set of questions will go on your own blog, and YOU will answer them. (And yes, I'll be playing, too!). 10 questions, here we go:

  1. What is the farthest stage of writing you're in? Remember that publishing (traditional or self-publishing is our goal! (Say... "currently writing first draft," "editing," "querying," "sending out to beta readers," or "published." You can say "it's complicated," if you wish). 
  2. Dog or cat? Or neither? 
  3. What is your favorite book?
  4. What genres are you most familiar with? Or which genres are you writing? (Feel free to go forth and explain in detail!). 
  5. Greatest piece of inspiration? 
  6. Previous experience in writing? (If you don't have anything to say or admit, then you can simply tell us about how you got into writing. Or you can answer both questions). 
  7. Your goal! Your personal goal. Is it to write for yourself? Or is it to write for others? 
  8. Favorite food?
  9. Favorite song?
  10. And finally, what is the synopsis of your most favorite (or greatest) work? Don't be scared. We won't laugh (unless it is meant to be humor). 
So, please answer the 10 questions in your own blog posts. Use Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress, your own website... Anything. Don't forget to link up with us so others can see your answers! 

Remember that we are trying to set you up with a potential critique partner. That means you will have to put up a way for potential critique partners to contact you. It can be email, Twitter, Facebook, and other ways.

And... One more thing. And this is crucial, so please don't skim over the next paragraph! 

There are some rules, of course. I'm going to put them in a list, so it is easier to read.

  1. Be polite.
  2. Don't harass people and fellow authors. If they are not interested, then they are not interested.
  3. You may exchange work, but no one sends spam! 
  4. Please stay safe, and remember the safety rules of surfing the Internet. (Yes, this might be a list of rules for teens, but even adults should review it). 
  5. Remember Internet etiquettes and the rules of "don't be a douche."
  6. Lastly, have fun. 
  7. If you have any problems, please contact me or Alex. Our email is at graceandsteele (at) gmail (dot) com. 

(If you're a little confused about how it al works feel free to comment below with questions and you can check out Grace's own post right here!)

Hopefully, you'll find a critique partner. If not, then you can always ask Alex or me, we may not have time right away, but we'd love to make new critiquing friends! 

That's it! Leave your comments and thoughts in the section below!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Speed... What?: Penelope Grace

Yay! So this is my answers to "Speed... What?" You can use this post as a guideline or example of how "Speed... What?" linkup posts should be like. Tomorrow, I think Alex Steele would be making hers, and it will be really awesome. 

Q & A:

1. What is the farthest stage of writing you're in? Remember that publishing (traditional or self-publishing is our goal! (Say... "currently writing first draft," "editing," "querying," "sending out to beta readers," or "published." You can say "it's complicated," if you wish).
That would be querying, which is The Lost Princess' current stage. However, I'm thinking of bumping it back to "editing." So it should be fun! 

2. Dog or cat? Or neither? 
How about both? I don't mind either (though I do have a very terrible experience with dogs, but I never let it get me down). 

3. What is your favorite book?
This is way too hard. Too hard! There are way too many books out there to name, and if I tried, just tried, my favorite books would be on a 100 book list in no particular order. But Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is always worthy enough to mention.

4. What genres are you most familiar with? Or which genres are you writing? (Feel free to go forth and explain in detail!). 
Gosh. Umm... I'm always in the Young Adult genre, just hanging around. In the subgenres, it is definitely YA Fairy Tale Retellings. That is the genre I'm most familiar with. Just love fairy tales.

5. Greatest piece of inspiration? 
It is hard to put this into simple words. But I will try.

Greatest piece of inspiration will be music. I just love songs from Florence + the Machine and Imagine Dragons. Rock and alternative is always my favorite, and I don't mind hanging out with pop music on a Friday.

6. Previous experience in writing? (If you don't have anything to say or admit, then you can simply tell us about how you got into writing. Or you can answer both questions). 
I'd never written for a newspaper, and I'd never been published (by a major publisher). 

I got into writing when I was 11 or 12. I never really liked writing essays (though I can do it), but I always had my head stuck in the clouds. Mom claims I should stop imagining and dreaming and focus on the real world, but I can't do that. I think I'm too much of a dreamer. And then I started putting down my imagination and dreams into words to never forget them. So that is how I got into writing.

7. Your goal! Your personal goal. Is it to write for yourself? Or is it to write for others? 
In the beginning, it was for myself. I just wanted to see a book written by me, out there. But I think I started realizing when I was about 15 that I could inspire other people. And I can take readers into places. Figuratively taking them inside of my head (ha, it is pretty much Wonderland in my head). And I can twist and play with things...

Okay, I'm getting way off-topic, but the basics is that... I used to write for myself, but now I'm writing for those like me. A sort of escape hatch from the real world, a sort of crazy and mad world that makes the real world clearer. Sort of like a reflection on reality. 

8. Favorite food?
When I'm hungry, I will think spinach taste good. But seriously, favorite food? Hard. Hard. Food is life. I think I'll go with Chinese dumplings, though. And Japanese sushi. And Korean BBQ. And Italian pasta. And... Okay, I better stop making you all hungry.

9. Favorite song?
See Numero Cinco. Florence + the Machine. The Black Keys. Imagine Dragons. Taylor Swift's 1989. Gavin Degraw. Basically, any songs by those artists. And I only scratch the surface. 

10. And finally, what is the synopsis of your most favorite (or greatest) work? Don't be scared. We won't laugh (unless it is meant to be humor).
I updated The Black Queen's synopsis. Hopefully, it is way better now than before. (Also, previous synopsis follows the first draft of TBQ. This one, the newer one, follows the second draft of TBQ. Fun stuff). 
"A game of chess has simple rules.

There are two queens, two kings, four bishops, four rooks, four knights, and sixteen pawns. They move in certain ways and predictable patterns. Two sides, fighting each other. Their war can only end in three ways: checkmate, stalemate, and draw.

But when it involves real people? It gets complicated.

Ashlina Four is a lowly pawn, just recently dead and killed by her despised grandmother. Caught in an unfamiliar land beyond death, Ashlina quickly finds allies: √Čric with his troubling duality and web of lies and truths, Warner who is changing for the worse, and Lola with her dangerous plans that will shake up the chessboard. All of them have secrets and agendas of her own.

She is haunted by nightmares. She is targeted by hellhounds, savage beasts intent on chasing her until she is gone permanently. She knows that none of her allies can be trusted completely. She knows that time is running out. But how can she run when her destiny is written in the stars?

The only checkmate is death."
That is it! 

Oh, yes. And one more thing. Contact info in case you are interested in working together. First of all, email: graceandsteele (at) gmail (dot) com. You can also message me via Grace & Steele's Facebook page. Try Twitter (handle: @PeneGrace). Or you can simply leave a comment on this page with your email address. 

And as the creator of this linkup, contact me at graceandsteele (at) gmail (dot) com if you have any further questions or concerns. 

Happy Editing!

Weekly Muse #24: Love Is In The Air

Valentine's Day is tomorrow! Yay. And boo, for some people. Valentine's Day, for me, reminds me of all the makeout scenes I've written. I don't know about you, but I think there is something wrong there.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Advice For Writers #23: How to Revise Your First Draft Part 3

Part 2 is here.

So two weeks ago, I talked about beta readers. It is the second step of revising. As I'd said before, beta readers will open your eyes a bit more. Be careful not to pick those who care more about your feelings than your work. After all, they might sugarcoat the critique. And don't pick your enemies. They are not the most pleasant lot. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Our Journey So Far #21: Remodeling.

So. I'm rewriting TLP all over again. That is for sure. But there are a few other things I'm doing. And there are some things that I've finished recently. So, yay! 

I guess this is a cause for celebration? Yes?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Weekly Muse #22: On My Playlist

Hi again! Penelope. Again. So I'm going to list the songs on my playlist. It is most certainly random, and I will try to explain why I like some of these songs. Others... Well, you'll have to listen to know why I like them. 

5 songs and in no particular order. Here we go. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Advice For Writers #21: How to Revise Your First Draft Part 2

And I'm back! Part 1 is "Advice For Writers #19." Feel free to go back and reread that! It will open in a new window. At least, it should.

Read more of this post underneath the cut.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Our Journey So Far #19: WDS, TLP, TBQ, WC, and Plot Bunnies

What is WDS? TLP? TBQ? 

Hopefully, you all know what a plot bunny is. Here is a screenshot of the Urban Dictionary for your information. It is right below the cut...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekly Muse #20: Teary Books

When you read a very, very sad book, don't you get inspired to write something? Like write anything? I totally do. I think I got inspired to write Benevolence after reading a book on angels. (Benevolence is about angels and demons, for your information). No! I did not write Benevolence because of Supernatural. That was before I got into Supernatural

So... I'm going to make a list of teary books. Books that will most definitely ignite a spark (or tear) in you. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Our Journey So Far #17: My Would-Be Hectic Year, 2015

Yeah, yeah. I stole this idea from Alex. Blah, blah, blah. I'm plagiarist. I'm a thief. Whatever. You can call me anything you want. 

So. 2015. Forget it. 2014 is already insane for me. Have you seen it? Well, I'm making a cut below. So read on if you want to know about the recap of 2014 and the plans for 2015. 

Here we go.