Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: And the Winner Is…

Well, friends, here we are at the end of August, and I have all sorts of lovely news to share.  For starters, I did find out that I didn’t win the SheWrites contest I mentioned a couple of weeks back, although there are five absolutely amazing folks who did. However, there are lots of other things that have happened that give me warm fuzzies:


Eeep, it's so shiny!!!

Ahem, you will forgive me a wee bit of excitement.  There were some days this month when I wasn’t sure if I’d ever reach 50,000 words, but somewhere in the small hours of the morning, I reached my goal.  I can hardly believe that I did it, and I am soooo grateful for everyone who’s provided me with encouragement over the past few weeks (EmWantstoWrite, I’m looking at you — those tweets of yours have been wonderful!).

In honor of this success, I’ve posted the first scene of TELL ME NO LIES.  It’s the version that I polished up for the SheWrites contest, though it will most likely end up getting pulled apart and tweaked later on down the line.  Check it out if you are so inclined. 😀

2. Blog Love!

The second piece of awesome news: Last week I received my first-ever blog award!

I was given the Liebster from both Emilia Quill and David A. Ludwig, two bloggers and writers that I had the wonderful opportunity to meet during the 7 Virtues Flash Fiction Challenge earlier in the month.  In addition, Isis Rushdan, a new friend that I’ve made through the Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign, gave me an honorable mention.

I’m incredibly grateful, especially because I started blogging back in May without any real expectations, beyond trying to be accountable for my writing goals through ROW80.  Somewhere along the way, however, I have met some wonderful people who I am quite proud to refer to as friends.

More exciting than receiving the Liebster is the chance to pass it on.  These are the rules for the award:


  1. Show your appreciation to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Bask in the camaraderie of the most supportive people on the internet—other writers.
  5. And best of all—have bloggity fun and spread the love.

With that in mind, here are my top five picks, chosen for their overall awesomeness and supportiveness. Ladies, you’re all wonderful!

  1. EmWantsToWrite (@EmWantsToWrite)
  2. Nadja Notariani
  3. Elizabeth Anne Mitchell (@lapidaryprose)
  4. Marie Andrews (@marie_andrews)
  5. C.M. Cipriani (@crystalcip)

Swing by their blogs, add them on Twitter, leave them lots of love. Ladies, I look forward to seeing who will receive the Liebster to next.

On the topic of friends, I’m looking forward to going out to the Castro tonight to celebrate the 26th birthday of one of my closest buddies, Chris.  We’ve known each other since 3rd grade, and still fondly reminisce about our “puppy love” days, even though he came out a couple of years ago.

My bestie and me, 5 years ago

Now that NaNo’s behind me, I think I’m going to take a few days off, as I’m feeling slightly frazzled and brain dead.  I need to focus my attention on my thesis, since I haven’t gotten too much done on that front.  I’ve also got a hefty stack of books on the TBR list, so I’m going to tackle those as well.  I’ve also been a little swamped and missed Monday and Tuesday’s blog posts, so hopefully I can take some time to queue up a few posts this weekend. With roughly three weeks left until school starts back, I want to make the most of my remaining free time.

Don’t forget: Today’s the last day to jump aboard the Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign!  It looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun (and I’ve seen some friendly ROW80 faces as well), so check it out.

ROW80’ers, we’ve only got a couple of weeks left of Round 3!  How goes your progress?  Swing by to check in on everyone here.


  1. Congrats on the Blog award, and on making 50k this month! I myself… didnt make it… only at 30k for this month… I keep telling myself that I was sooo close… maybe next month.
    As for the campaiging, I already signed up and ready to go! Glad your participating and goodluck! YAY to Campaigning

    • Thanks so much! And you should be proud of yourself as well — that 30k is nothing to sneeze at, and more than you had the start of the month.

      Whoo-hoo, campaigning! I am ridiculously excited for this adventure. 😀

  2. Congrats on the blog award. That kind of support and appreciation from other bloggers is always a cool thing. How you manage to write while pursuing your PhD is definitely all about time management. It’s encouraging.

    • Thanks much! Yes, yes, the time management thing, phew. I think I’m starting to get the hang of it, though I’m going to have to get myself on a tight schedule this fall. Too much to get finished, and not nearly enough time. :/

  3. Congratulations!! Such wonderful news. Back when I was a teenager I used to hang out in the Castro- I miss those days.

    • Thanks, Alica. You know, this was only my 2nd trip to Castro, despite going to college in SF. I just never ended up hanging out over there (and I moved away from SF when I turned 21, so I missed out on the nightlife and whatnot).

      Have a great weekend!

  4. Congrats on winning campnanowrimo. I started strong at the beginning of the month, but August is a bad month for me. Two birthdays(my daughter’s & a niece’s) and my son’s birthday planning(his is sept 3) plus some other changes in our life that happened(and having a very mobile almost 1 year old), has made getting the words down really hard. Hopefully things will settle down by November and I can win that one this year.

  5. Super awesome on making your 50K! That’s a great accomplishment!

  6. Happy dance for your 50K! That’s so awesome!

  7. Congratulations on your award. I just read your excerpt , and I love it!

    • Thank you, Sarah! It really was a wonderful surprise, and a great peak to my week.

      So happy to hear that you like the excerpt. I’m really proud of it. Now if I can just make the rest of the story as polished and pretty…

  8. Congrats on winning CampNano and the Liebster! What an exciting week of accomplishments for you. I can’t understand why the excerpt didn’t win in SheWrites, it is excellent.

    Enjoy the few days off basking in the warmth of success. Have a great rest of your week and long weekend, Jamila. You rock 🙂

    • I really appreciate the kind words, Gene. I’m really proud of that excerpt, and now my goal is to make the rest of the novel just as sparkly and polished as the opening. 😀

      Have a fantastic weekend as well!

  9. Wow! Two very good announcements. Congrats on both! I completely understand the whole “mush” at the end. NaNo did that to me last year. But it is an amazing feeling to reach that 5ok. Go have a great time!

    • Haha, “mush” is right. I don’t even think I can look at my novel right now. A few days away is definitely what the doctor ordered.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great rest of the week!

  10. Congratulations! I have to give up on Row80 this time around. I just haven’t been able to stick to any schedule. But next time, next time I will prevail!

  11. Congrats on completing Camp NaNoWriMo! That’s awesome! And also on the blog award 🙂

  12. Congrats on hitting 50K, that is an awesome effort. And enjoy your few days off, you deserve it 🙂

  13. Jamila~
    Thank you for the Liebster Blog Award! I’ll have to pass it along to other ‘awesome’ bloggers! Ich habe grosse liebe!
    And a huge congrats on winning NaNoWriMo…50k is just fabulous! Enjoy your last few weeks before schooling starts up again. You’ve had a very busy summer. Way to stick to some tough goals all the way to the finish!
    I”m heading off to read your excerpt. Have a great week, Jamila! ~ Nadja

    • You’re quite welcome, Nadja, and thanks for the well-wishes. I’m looking forward to disconnecting my brain for a day or two, just to recharge a bit. Hopefully once the school year starts back, I’ll be ready to get back to the swing of things!

  14. I had no idea you had only been blogging since May! Thank you for the mentions and the award *blushes* Made me feel all goose bumply and warm inside!

    HOORAY for finishing Camp! I am so impressed with you and I can’t wait to be doing NaNo in November with you, you will have to give me all your tips!

    Definately take a bit of time to rest and regroup, you must be exhausted with everything you have going on. Am off to read your TELL ME NO LIES excerpt!

    • You’re so welcome! I am sooooo excited to tackle NaNo with you in November. I’m pondering some of the things that I wish I knew when I started CampNaNo, so I’ll try and pull them together by Sunday to share.

  15. Big congrats on winning Camp Nano and the blog award, Jamila! I can totally sympathize with the brain-deadness. Some people can effortlessly produce those kinds of word counts, but I’m not one of them.

    Have a good time recuperating and a great rest of the week!

    • Thanks so much, Ruth! And yes, that 50K is nothing to play around with, especially having to write so much so quickly. This was definitely a test in stamina, I think. I’ll be glad to ease up a bit and return to my normal daily goal of 750-1000 words.

  16. Congrats on finishing CampNaNo – 50,000 words is such an amazing goal to do in so few days. I’m really impressed you’re going for it again in just 2 months! Phew!
    Well done on the blog award too. I remember getting my first one, it’s awesome isn’t it! Keep up the good work and I’m sure you’ll get LOADS more!

    • Haha, I hope I’m recovered by November! But I learned a lot with this practice round, and I’m hoping that I can have some outlining done by the time NaNo rolls around.

      Have a wonderful week!

  17. Congrats on winning Camp NaNo and the Liebster award! You GO, girl! I hope you have a great time at your friend’s b-day party – happy birthday shout-out to Chris! 🙂

  18. Awww, thank you so much sweetie for the award, and super congrats on CampNaNo! WOOT 🙂 I joined the writers building platform as well, sounds like something I’d enjoy being a part of. I look forward to reading your excerpt here in a few. Congrats on all your wonderful successes and keep up the awesomesauce-ness, lol.


  19. Congrats on reaching 50K and for the blog award, Jamila! You are doing great! I hope that September brings you many, many words. Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit (that means luck if said on the 1st day of the month). 🙂

  20. NaNo in Au? And I thought NaNo in No was hard-core! lol
    Congratulations on your awards, and a happy B-Day to Chris! 🙂

  21. Congrats on an amazing winner week!

    NaNo scares me, so that’s especially impressive.

    Thanks for stopping by Depression Cookies this week. I’m also joining the Author Platform building… the support is really keeping me going from ROW80, so hope that will be equally as encouraging!

    • Yes, I’m really excited about the platform-building campaign — lots of great people seem to be involved, so it’ll be really great to get to know everyone.

      Have a great week!

  22. OMG (*jumping up and down excited*)!!!

    I am just over the moon about your Nano win. That is a long-time dream of mine and i am soooo excited for you! What an amazing week. 🙂

    • Squee, thank you so much! I seriously didn’t think that it was going to happen. NaNo has terrified me for years, and I’ve never, ever understood how people could reach 50k in such a short period of time. Now I’m building my strategy for November. 😀

  23. Congrats on your CampNaNo win! That’s awesome :).

    I planned to do it too, but decided on editing instead. Maybe the one in November then 😛

    • Thanks so much, Astrid! And you know, editing is incredibly important as well. I’m making plans for November, but I’m not sure if I’ll actually write something new. I’m considering editing and rewriting one of my WIPs, and trying to tack on another 50k, if possible.

  24. Aww, thanks for the award! I have to go blog about it now 🙂 Congrats on CampNaNo! Sounds like you’ve had a busy month. Sorry about the other contest 🙁

    • Thank you! And I’m not too disappointed over the other contest — I had roughly a 1% chance of winning (there were over 400 entries, and only 5 people chosen), and I managed to polish up an opening scene that I’m proud of, so overall, there was a lot of good that came out of it.

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