What I do

I'm a Staff Assistant at the Liahona magazine. I'm also a part-time photographer, a part-time writer and a full-time dreamer :)

What I'm Working On

Currently, I'm finishing an urban/dystopian fantasy adventure novel for teens. Afterwards, I have outlines for a comedic screenplay, a fantasy adventure for children, a redemption realistic fiction novel for teens, and a coming of age story for children. Lets just say... I have my work cut out for me!

Writing

For your viewing pleasure, I have posted a teaser for my current novel, Siren as well as a few writing experiments such as Flammable and Fireflies at the top of the page. Feel free to read & give feedback in the comments section! :) Happy reading!

Followers

Powered by Blogger.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
So, recently I have been disturbed by the increasing number of incredibly ignorant, false and inaccurate statements/articles that are being put on the social media respecting the logical reasons to be "child-free" and how having children is somehow remotely tied to destroying the planet.

I will be using gospel-related arguments for my case, not because I'm "religious" but because it's truth. God and the gospel in fact are truth. Hate to break it to you. Light is truth. Love is truth. And these concepts are from God. As is the family and its divine role in our happiness.

First off, in saying that not having children (when you are perfectly, physically, financially capable of having children) is somehow a higher way of living life, is just preposterous. And frankly, incredibly selfish.

There are some who seemed to have fooled themselves to believing that over-population somehow exists and that we will somehow be doing our said "children" and the world a favor by not having kids because they'd be born into a place with lesser resources and a lower standard of living. Okay, over-population is a myth people. That's like saying that lack of deforestation will somehow magically bring unicorns back into this world. So is saying that having children will somehow make it to where we won't be able to live comfortably on the earth any more, and we'd all be starving to death wallowing in disease and chaos. This is just complete and utter rubbish. I repeat, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVER-POPULATION.

Science is completely against you on this one, babe. How is it that over-population is a myth? First off, in order for us to be able to overpopulate, it would mean that each man and woman would have to create more than 2 children. Let me rephrase that, each man and woman ON THE ENTIRE PLANET, would have to have at least 3 children or more. Following this line of logic, it would also mean that the children would have to grow up to ALSO create more than 3 children. And it would mean that this children would have to survive disease, famine, wars, car accidents, plane accidents, etc etc etc. Because of the increase in poverty in under-developed countries, the increase in drug abuse and violence, wars, diseases, people who DON'T procreate in the first place, accidental deaths, people who CAN'T procreate, famine etc etc etc, there is no WAY on this earth that this place could ever be over-populated. And if it would be, we still have Canada. It's quite gorgeously roomy up there. Case closed, people.

There is also the argument that the desire to have children is selfish because we only want to do so to continue the human race. Yeah. Cause that's a bad thing. *insert snarky comment here*

But I can also say, unsarcastically, that that is simply also not completely true. There is absolutely no great moment of fulfillment than that of seeing a child, your child, succeed at something. There is also no greater bond in this world than that between a mother/father and her/his son/daughter. I have heard many women say that losing a brother, sister, spouse was hard, but losing a child was the worst. Does that SOUND like a selfish desire to save us from human extinction? Or does that sound like a beautiful relationship between a mother and her child? It has very little to do with continuing the human race. It has largely to do with the fact that there is no greater miracle or power on the face of the earth that can compare with the miracle and power of creating human life. It's beautiful power, not natural selection.

Secondly, instead of thinking that you're going to magically cure the earth by not reproducing, I don't think our problem is too many people at all. It's too many bad and stupid people. So here's a reality check for ya, humans are NOT the problem. How about you spend more time raising good, honorable, wholesome people with morals and teach your kids about how to take care of the world as opposed to just denying them the right to live in it? The only hope for our future is the youth of the world. It's teenagers, it's the young people. Ya want a better world? Ya wanna save the earth?

RAISE. GOOD. CHILDREN. Which takes time and energy, but then again, everything that's worth anything takes time AND energy.

Going into the spiritual aspects of this argument, which is definitely the strongest part of this debate, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said,


"I thank the Father that His Only Begotten Son did not say in defiant protest at Calvary, “My body is my own!” I stand in admiration of women today who resist the fashion of abortion, by refusing to make the sacred womb a tomb! When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this."

"God trusts women so much that He lets them bear and care for His spirit children. We salute you, sisters, for the joy that is yours as you rejoice in a baby’s first smile and as you listen with eager ear to a child’s first day at school which bespeaks a special selflessness. Women, more quickly than others, will understand the possible dangers when the word self is militantly placed before other words like fulfillment. You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today’s world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms."

And that is exactly the closing statements of my argument. I do not believe that the world will get any better without children in it. I believe the contrary. I know for a fact that the only chance this world has is by shaping the ideals, beliefs, standards and minds of young children. They are our future. There is no greater work, no greater priority than this. No amount of worldly accomplishment can compensate for failure in the home. I am not yet a mother, and I'm not even sure if I can be. The worst insult a woman can receive is that of wanting a child, and physically not being able to have one, and then seeing women who have children or can have children and squander it.

If you don't want to have kids for whatever "unselfish" stupid reason, theres thousands of women in the world who are perfectly happy to accept your uterus.






Tuesday, August 13, 2013
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a YSA (Young Single Adult) conference for the southeast region. The speakers included David A Bednar, Sheri Dew & Brad Wilcox.

The firesides & workshops that were given were splendid & I did have the pleasure of meeting a handful of new friends that accepted me & enjoyed befriending me.

However, there was one specific part of this conference that was... disappointing. And it won't come as a surprise to any of you when I reveal what it is.

I do not pretend to be incredibly enthusiastic in attending the dance that is almost a requirement for any gathering of young people between the ages of 14 and 30. Although, of course as any female can attest, the opportunity to dance to a slow song is something so entrenched within us that we can hardly contain ourselves. And as Jane Austen astutely put it, "to be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love." We're suckers for romance, what can I say?

But for some reason, this particular dance was even more depressing than others. So I kept on asking myself why that was?

This dance I did attend with my few friends was perhaps the first one I've been to in years. The last time I did attend a dance of this persuasion, I must've been in high school or early college and still not quite comfortable in my own skin; afraid of letting my true colors show & was downright shy. I would stand in the corner, maybe bob my head back and forth to beats, or just find a group of kids talking among themselves and situate myself in a certain way so that it would be easy for them to reach out and include me.

But this dance, I decided to let all caution to the wind & just do whatever came to me. I decided to let my guard down & just have fun with it.

Now to be clear, I'm not a dancer. I'm quite terrible at it actually, and I've never had a talent for graceful movements, even in regards to walking or running let alone when it's set to music. But, here's the thing:
 I don't dance because I'm good at it, I dance because I know it'll make other people around me laugh. I embarrass myself with wild, flailing movements to make others feel comfortable doing the same.

And yet, while I was at this activity, I was asked to dance by one guy. One. Whereas before, I would be asked to dance at least every slow song, which is usually five or six times, depending on the occasion. Not only that, but I would have gotten the attention of several guys, who would inevitably turn out to be new friends or even romantic suitors.

Yet, this dance was a particular disappointment. At least comparatively speaking to the old days when I would give a coy, coquettish smile with a trace of tell-tale blush on my cheeks. I would pretend to be docile and mysterious which would inevitably capture the fancy of quite a few men in the room. (course it wouldn't last long, but that's not the point.)

Contrasting my old tactics to my new one, of simply being myself & not caring what other people thought of me, I reached a sad moment of clarity as I drove home afterwards.

Not many people, men especially, like or even tolerate my true, natural, unbridled self. 

Wow. That's a difficult pill to swallow. Now, I'm sure that my friends will of course disagree with me on this point & I can certainly see why. But thinking back to the time I spent in Idaho, Utah and now Georgia, it's quite clear to me that I am not a typical girl.

I am not only an a-typical girl, but I'm not your average Mormon girl either.

Taylor Swift is not my favorite singer. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers or The Singles Ward are not my favorite movies. Downeast Outfitters is not my favorite clothing store. I don't say "Oh my heck," or colloquials such as "Totes adorbs" or "froyo." I do not have platinum blonde hair & I don't get eyelash extensions. Twilight and Gossip Girl are not my favorite books. I did not major in Elementary Education or Marriage & Family Studies at BYU-Idaho & I could never in good conscious watch Glee or One Tree Hill or Vampire Diaries.

I have naturally mousy brown hair. I look terrible without makeup on. I can't remember the last time I got a manicure. I have watched Schindler's List, Die Hard & the Hangover. I have listened to music from Breaking Benjamin to John Denver and everything in between. I swear more often than I would care to admit & I sometimes make dirty jokes. I want to be more than just a housewife & a homemaker--I want a career & my own aspirations. I do not have a direct lineage that dates back to Joseph Smith or Brigham Young and my family's favorite Christmas movie is Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation.

I am an anomaly when it comes to Mormons and especially Mormon girls.

And I'm not really saying this to get attention or to complain. I'm quite proud of the fact that I'm not normal even for a "peculiar people." This just means that the man who I end up with, whether in this life or the next, will be just as strange and just as abnormal as I am. I believe it's a requirement for him to be able to put up with my shenanigans.

However, it does get a bit disconcerting and oftentimes can lead to loneliness when I am sometimes surrounded by men who are looking for a brand of Mormon women. When I'm surrounded by men who want a girl solely to keep house for them and bare children because that's all that they're good for. To come in contact with men who want trophy wives that enjoy nothing more than stroking their ego after they come home from work every night.

I'm not saying any of this to bash on marriage & family. Nor am I trying to pigeon-hole every Mormon girl that I've been acquainted with. I'd, of course, like to be a wife and a mom someday. & I, of course, know plenty of girls that don't fit the standard I've painted earlier.

All I'm saying is, that it seems to me that the majority of men I've met in my Mormon culture, aside from a few I've known & dated, have an image in their mind of what their future wife looks & acts like. And usually, I don't fit that archetype.

I never have & I don't believe I ever will.

And yet at this dance, it dawned on me that perhaps the reason why I had so many relationships in so little amount of time was because I did hid behind a carefully placed facade. And that they ended all too quickly because the alleged "boyfriend" began to see through it & didn't like what he saw.

He would see that at times I was short-tempered, sometimes irreverent, obnoxious, slightly volatile, irrational, rash & childish. He would see how eager I was to please, to prevent him from leaving me as so many other men had in my past. He would see me as a broken doll, far beyond repair. He would see the things I enjoyed, such as the Muppets & Beauty & the Beast, and was bemused as to why I was in my twenties & still watching silly, puerile shows. And he would see how sensitive I was, crying at certain scenes in movies and even ranting & raving about characters in a book that were completely fictional and would think how ridiculous and crazy I was for letting things affect me the way that they do.

Well, it's rather obvious that they weren't for me anyway. & although I'm not proud of my defects, if I could accept theirs, it was only logical that they should accept mine as well.

So at the end of this rather lengthy blog post, what's the point? So what?

Well, I know I'm not alone in being strange & weird. I've noticed that I'm attracted to the "black sheep" or the "rejects" or even the individuals who have a past or a story that's unlike my own. People who are different almost to the point of being outsiders.

I know that I have sometimes dated & surrounded myself with men who did not accept me for who I am, and were either scared off or put off by my personality.

And I also know that perhaps now, at the ripe age of 24, I'm finally comfortable with who I am.



Thursday, August 8, 2013
Okay, if it's not one thing, it's twelve, as my mother would say.

If my sister's situation in Kuwait wasn't enough to shred my soul, with some asshole vigilante destroying innocent dogs like a slaughterhouse, then this was just the icing on the cake of a glorious inhumane day.

I shouldn't let the ignorance and vacillation of others affect me the way that they do... yet, sadly they do.




I don't usually pass judgment on people. In regards to race, religion, background, disability, language, culture & certainly sexual preference, I am very easy going & have prided myself in loving everyone equally.

Except for douchebags.



Allow me to explain. There are really few things in the world that "gets my goat." I don't care what your views are on politics, I don't care what your career path is, I don't care what your religion is or your opinions on lima beans are. I really couldn't care less.

Some topics that would stir contention & anarchy in a debate really don't move me either way. You may find me at the back of the room with my feet propped up holding a bowl of popcorn and grinning from ear to ear as I fantasize about the next episode of Sherlock or what I might eat for dinner later. Sushi or Mexican? hmmm....

However, some of the few things that do affect me are things that you wouldn't think were that serious of a matter. For example, books. Specifically children's/teenage literature.

Now, why on earth is this such a big deal to you Megan? Oh, let me extrapolate!

Not only has children's literature influenced my early reading, so much so that my mother was forced to get me a library card because every time she'd buy me a book I would finish it in a single night, it has become a very vital part of my soul from day one. If I'm not reading something on a daily basis, I go into a form of imaginative paralysis and mental atrophy.

I firmly believe that the books you read as a child become a part of your identity in a way that no other form of reading ever does later in life. (Thank you Meg Ryan from You've Got Mail!) So many books and authors have shaped my character: from Roald Dahl to J.K. Rowling, to Amelia Atwater-Rhodes to Marianne Curley, to L.M. Montegomery to C.S. Lewis to Robin McKinnley & so on & so on it goes.

Children's literature has been so much a facet in my life, and a passionate, fiery, all consuming love (much more so than pretty much all of my actual relationships) that I have dedicated myself in writing children's and young adult literature. It has been my lifelong dream to publish books that will empower & broaden the minds of the future of our society. When I write a story, I write it thinking about my incredible nieces & nephews, who've been my inspiration & source of consolation in an ever growing awful world.

So when someone says that they "hate kid's books" or "books targeted at children" it shouldn't be of any surprise when I become mortally offended by that kind of remark. A part of my soul dies inside.



Going back to what I said at the beginning of this blog post, I'm not privy to judging or being biased towards others on any of the more important basics or fundamentals of a person. If you're Muslim, if you're of African descent, if you've classified yourself as being a homosexual, if you're suffering from the crippling effects of a mental or physical disability, if you're a Democrat or Republican, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be more prone to love & trust you from the very first meeting.

But if anyone, regardless of background or identity or political affiliation, says those words to me, I'm pretty much gonna shun your from my social circle forever until you give me a handwritten & signed apology in addition to a list of children's books you've read & liked. (with a brief synopsis of each book highlighting the themes & what you've learned)

Now that seems a bit unreasonable, doesn't it Megan? Just because someone has an opinion, just because someone isn't a voracious reader or has a different perspective on children's books than you, that's no reason to judge them? Don't you think you're overreacting a bit?

And to that argument, I would simply say: yes. Yes I know it's extreme. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am overreacting. It is very unreasonable.

Inevitably, most of the time I start feeling like this:



But here's my reasoning:
1.) You have just insulted the very fabric of my soul. You have belittled the virtues of a genre that I've clung to in times of trial & affliction. You have demolished & desecrated a sacred place that I would escape to in times of trouble and despair.
2.) I'm a woman. I can be as unreasonable and as irrational as I'd like to be. I have a uterus. And cleavage. I win.
3.) I really don't care. At some point in my life, pre-college, I was very sensitive about offending others & confrontation. But the only delightful thing about getting older, is the less damns you give.

:)

So if you want to completely obliterate my good opinion of you, please, do insult the one thing I hold dear & the only occupation I've found happiness in.



Thursday, August 1, 2013
Yes, I'm going to do it. This past year as a writer has been a series of ups & downs, or high rises & pot holes. And here to explain my story perfectly, is a collection of animated gifs I've come across over the year.

So it kind of started after I got a BRILLIANT idea, and with me feeling like this:
and pretty much after every single chapter review in my writing group I'd walk out of there like this:
And then looking over it the next day, it would end kind of like this:
And then I'd go back to the drawing board to fix it looking a lot like this:
But then I'd get good reviews either in class or in my writing group & start looking like this:
Pretty much every day my mother would ask me the same question:
Then I'd come across a former classmate or friend or teacher who's having minor success & say something like:
And then after my last & FINAL draft I start to realize I have to edit all 40,000 words of what I wrote and it turns into something like this:
and this:
and some of this:
and a bit of this too:
but then I get a lil confidence boost & start feeling like this:
and then I start sending out query letters and get no response, making me think this:
and some of this:
but eventually I'm sure I'll start feeling like the badass that I am, which is something like:
and I'll probably say something like this to my haters:

because once the royalty checks start coming in I'll be feeling like this:

so here's to the first of many books! and the first of many successes I have yet to have! :)

xox
Mega Mega
Monday, July 15, 2013
So, as all of you know, I'm a huge proponent of music. And every time I find a new song that speaks to my soul, I just have to share it with the world.

That being said, Sara Bareilles has been an artist that I've gradually come to love & admire. Her songs are written well, both lyrically & musically, and as soon as I heard her single for this next album I was instantly in love.

The song is entitled Brave and it is slowly becoming my anthem for this year. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to stand up for yourself, to speak up when there's something you see that isn't right, or even to just go out and do something you've always wanted to do, but could never summon the courage. Well, this song is for all of you :)



You can be amazing 
You can turn a word into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody's lack of love
Or you can start speaking up 

Nothing's gonna hurt you the way that words do
When the settle 'neath your skin
Kept on the inside & no sunlight
Sometimes the shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody's been there, everybody's been stared down
By the enemy 
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don't run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won't do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don't you tell them the truth? 


Friday, June 28, 2013
Learn Portuguese like a native
Learn Spanish like a native
Learn French like a native
Learn Dutch
Learn Arabic
Improve my photography through workshops/classes
Improve my writing through writing groups
Get a Master's Degree
Travel to every country on my wish list
Finish & publish my book(s)
Read at least one book a week (52 books a year)
Take voice lessons
Write one song a month
Keep an updated journal
Take at least one photograph a day
Walk as often as possible
Buy as little as possible



1. Ireland
2. The UK/Scotland
3. Iceland
4. New Zealand
5. Spain
6. Portugal
7. France
8. Italy
9. Greece
10. Denmark
11. Belgium
12. Czech Republic
13. Holland
14. Germany
15. Austria
16. Sweden
17. Norway
18. Switzerland
19. Liechtenstein
20. Poland
21. Croatia
22. Slovenia
23. Turkey
24. Jordan
25. Egypt
26. Israel
27. Hungary
28. South Africa
29. Thailand
30. Australia