Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Guest Post- Liz Reinhardt

As part of her blog tour for Forgiving Trinity, Liz Reinhardt agreed to do a guest post for me. First, let me give you a quick bio for her: Not only is she the author of Forgiving Trinity, she is also responsible for the Brenna Blixen trilogy. Those books are Double Clutch, Junk Miles, and the upcoming Slow Twitch. Stop back on Monday April 3rd for my review of Forgiving Trinity.

Now... she has me slightly frightened about what she's going to write about... let's see what she has to say...

Karen told me I could write about WHATEVER I WANTED! 
I think this might be madness, but she’s obviously a lovely and brave woman, so I will take her up on her offer and write about something I want to write about!

The other day a really amazing friend of mine was talking to me on the phone, and she was sad about life. She shouldn’t have been because she’s a pretty incredible human, but she was. She had these goals in her life, and she hadn’t reached them, so she was sad.
And it occurred to me that I had goals, too, once, that seemed like they were the only goals that would make me happy. And I never met them, but I met others that were cooler…and made a few more that were even wilder than I’d ever dreamed. So I am going to reveal three goals I had and how they didn’t work out exactly how I expected. And then I’m going to reveal three goals for my wild, crazy future!

Unrealized Goal Number One: 
I Will Live In Europe For A Few Years
I had this idea that I would live in Paris. I’d have a small flat, just outside the more expensive district. But it would be cool, because I’d ride my bike everywhere (you know, one with a little basket on the front for my delicious baked goods and lavender salt and awesomely inexpensive wine) or walk on cobblestones in gorgeous espadrilles that I’d learn to walk in just by absorbing Parisian cool.
Oui! That’s me being all chic!
Actual Goal Number One:
 I Will Live In The South 
(Right Near Where Flannery O’Conner’s House Is!)
I cried hard when I moved from NJ to Georgia. Like soaked my pillow with tears. And when I moved to just outside of Savannah, I was fairly sure it was the end of the world. If I wasn’t going to be in NJ (with all its access to NYC and delicious bagels and pizzas and strange concentration of famous actors/comedians/musicians) I was supposed to be in Paris, right?
Well. You know what’s cool? Being outside ten months out of the year. Savannah (which is not remotely like NYC, but has its own incredible charm). Close proximity to the ocean. Fresh fish. The spirit of brilliant, tortured, genius Southern writers. Oh, and I’m totally getting a bike with a basket…not that I can go to the store to get stuff since I live in a little neighborhood far away from stores, but I can ride it ten months out of the year! (Seriously, though, grits are nice…but if you guys can send me some bagels, I would be eternally grateful!)
I’ve been to this very fountain! Now all I need is a bike!

Unrealized Goal Number Two: 
I Will Get My PhD
I was a little, teeny, tiny bit of a smarty pants, and I got my BA all banged out in three short years by taking ridiculous amounts of classes and being insane. My last year of college, I fell in love with the guy who is not my husband, but was then just this super cute, fun boyfriend who held my hand while I sobbed through four senior seminar classes and my subsequent hormonal breakdowns. When I finally had my lovely diploma, I told this guy that I was going to go on and get my PhD, which would be several more YEARS of college. And he said (innocently), “Really? I thought you hated trying all that work all the time. Remember how you cried so much? Well, okay, where are you applying?” And the applications? Long. Brutal. Spork in your eye torture. So I didn’t apply.
Remember how Will got to be all amazing genius boy, but he never even went to class? And when he did meet with his professor, he was like, “Dude, I’m so much smarter than you!” Yeah. I may have thought it would be like that.

Actual Goal Number Two: 
I Got My Teaching Degree…And Barely Used It
Instead of going back to school and adding on to my already- crippling student debt, I got licensed to teach. I was excited, passionate, inspired…and it really wasn’t my thing. I spent a few years as a teacher, then left the profession to stay home with my daughter and, eventually, write my books. And I was always a little sheepish about spending all that time and energy getting a degree in something I didn’t wind up sticking with. And it took a whole lot less time than getting my PhD would have taken!
Wow. These pictures are helping me learn that I need to stop watching movies to get ideas for my life goals.

Unrealized Goal Number Three: 
I Will Have An Agent For My Books
This goal was a hard one to let go of. I loved my books, and I wanted someone else to love my books. And also talk to me about when it’s appropriate to use a colon. That can be trickier than you think. I only fly by the seat of my pants in the world of colon usage. I queried…a lot. I had conversations with great, amazing agents who said nice things about my writing. In the end, no one offered to represent me.
No, Maxwell Perkins, I did not know you loved YA! You AND Ryan Gosling! 
And YES, I would love to know where you think a colon would add grammatical symbolism to Trinity’s indecisiveness!

Actual Goal Number Three: 
I Self Published!
It’s a brave new world. I decided to follow in the footsteps of my entrepreneurial ancestors and grab the bull by the horns. I got a cover artist, begged some free editing from my friends who actually stuck to the higher education goals, opened a vein, and bled into the self-pubbed market. And I’ve been nothing but sincerely, completely happy. I’ve also found some pretty cool people who will happily talk colons with me! (In the grammatical sense, natch!)
I actually think this is terrible advice. I really hope I never go to a stylist with this attitude. Or maybe that lady who gave me a mullet had this tucked into her wallet. Plenty of thinking. Plenty more doing. That’s my advice! I wish I could work a colon into that slogan…

What I learned was that what I wanted may not have been what I wanted. And what happened may not have been what I wanted. So the best thing to do is want what happens. And vary your goals, making some of them totally within your reach while leaving others glittering gems to work hard for. Here are my three for the future:

Cool Goal One: 
Snuggle My Family…A Lot
Sounds simple, right? You’d be surprised how little this might happen if you don’t make it a priority! Do it! (This is totally where ‘Don’t think. Just do.’ will work!)
Aww! C’mon, I don’t even know if I like cats, and this melts my heart!

Cool Goal Two: 
Live in Europe
I know, I know, I’m obsessed! But there’s something about all that good food and culture that makes me want to ride a bike with a basket there (theoretically. I’m totally aware Europe is an ocean away). Plus that, it’s a really good reason to watch House Hunters International without feeling like I’m wasting time I should use writing!

Yes, it might make you giggle (if you’re American), but I want to do better! I want to be more educated and involved! And I want to be able to brag about how my kid is trilingual, even if I’m just your average unilingual American.

Cool Goal Three: 
Take Books Off On My Taxes
This one is actually a trick Goal, and kind of grown-up and nerdy, but I love it. Why? I ALREADY DID THIS!! Now when my husband calls and says, “Hey, I’m stranded at the gas station again. Did you use all the rest of our money on books?” I can say, “YES! But don’t yell at me! It’s research and we can take it off on taxes because I’m a WRITER!!”. (And he will give a long-suffering sigh and weep.)

Hey friend! You know what makes you even more awesome? You’re tax deductible now! 
And I can read YA as RESEARCH FOR MY JOB!! Booyah!!

At seventeen, Trinity McCabe has already made enough mistakes to fill a lifetime. Especially the one where she got high, drove a car, and almost killed a dog. And then let her friend Aidan take the blame.

She’s clean now and desperate to fix the messes she’s made, but first she’s going to have to get out of her pajamas. 

As Trinity struggles to stop sleepwalking through life, she faces the painful, tingling sensation of waking up. It’s sometimes embarrassing (she really didn’t want to have lunch with Aidan’s mom), sometimes terrifying (group therapy is beyond intimidating), and sometimes, amazingly enough, pretty romantic (who’d have though Aidan would be such a great kisser?)

Trin is lucky, though—luckier than she deserves, she’s sure—and she doesn’t travel this road alone. Her family, her therapist, and her new friends are all pulling for her. And it turns out, some of them have made pretty big mistakes, too. 

But before she can embrace her new life completely, Trinity has to be forgiven by the one person who is holding out the hardest: herself. It’s not easy changing everything, especially when you don’t think you deserve a second chance. Trinity might make an even bigger mess of things before she figures that out. 

When the smoke clears on her latest disaster, will anyone still be standing there?

This book is recommended for older/mature YA readers.

Don't forget this blog is moving!


  1. Karen, thanks for taking part in the tour!

    Liz, great guest post as always!

  2. wow ilike that and hope you have more and then the
    one with the girl in the arm great pic

    desi the blonde at msn dot com

  3. Love your goals! And so cool that you're flexible enough to re-think them and strive for what works for you, instead of being so set in your ways that you'll accept only what you no longer want.

  4. I really didn't know what to expect when I went into this one; self-published books are always so hit or miss for me. Luckily, I really enjoyed this one.