Stay in the Lines? I can't even cut straight!

Seriously, ever since the teacher tried to make me use lefty scissors in Kindergarten, I knew I could never stay in the lines. I quickly ditched the lefty scissors and hurried through the cutting and pasting to get to the good stuff. Today I'm proud to be a lefty but don't need special scissors!

I am so happy that the MTV Books group moved over here and that our blog family expanded so much. It just makes me realize that there are more authors out there that follow their hearts and write what they want. And when Barb suggested, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield, one of my favorite songs, as our theme song, I knew we had a good thing going!

With most anything I do, I have always tried to follow my heart and not be a sellout. I don't believe in kissing ass but rather my philosophy is simple, treat others how you would like to be treated. There have been a few times in my life where I had to question this but I always come back to the same point, that I have to do what's right for me and make a decision that I can live with.

When I was in my early twenties and worked at a computer company in the marketing department, the first department to be laid off, I knew my days were numbered. One of my co-workers seized the opportunity and sucked up to the boss all day long. While, that strategy worked for him, I was not digging it and just went on doing my job. I was laid off first and decided to go into teaching instead. So I do believe everything happens for a reason and that it's okay to be yourself. I just wouldn't have felt right hanging onto that job when I couldn't be myself. So that's why I'm happy living and writing outside of the lines.

I'm really excited for my third book, Pure Red, to be released next fall. When I sat down to write this book, my main goal was to write something that I felt passionate about, not what the current market trend was. Pure Red is about sixteen year old Cassia Bernard who takes one summer to find her true passion and to do this she has to believe in herself. Cassia definitely lives outside of the lines.

So for me, the term outside the lines applies to my whole life philosophy and I say if you want pizza for breakfast, you can have pizza for breakfast:)!


  1. I needed this. Thanks so much for writing it, because I shouldn't need to try to be someone I know I'm not meant to be, if it's just for the purpose of blending in or being "normal". I don't want to have to match up to someone's standards, or society's for that matter.

    PR sounds interesting, definitely something I should pick up.

    I love this blog so, so much. :)

  2. Danielle, I'm a lefty, too, and when I was in kindergarten we were given a sheet of red paper with an apple shape and instructed to cut out the apple. Those lefty scissors sucked, so I opted to tear out the apple, carefully working my way around the shape. I got a "needs improvement" on the cutting portion of my report card, which would have devastated the perfectionist in me had I not realized--even at five--that my outside the lines solution still resulted in an apple.

  3. Yay for left handed people! *high fives*
    Similar to Trish (above commenter), I failed cutting in kindergarten because of my left-handedness. Maybe that's a thing?

    Everything you mentioned in your post is so true--sometimes it's hard to be yourself, but it's definitely good to try. Your upcoming novel sounds very interesting, too!

  4. You are absolutely right! I was in the same boat and didn't have the courage apply to my MFA and write my first YA novel--until I was laid off from my advertising job during the recession. That was the push that made me realize I needed to stop writing for others and write for myself. I've never looked back since, and have met so many amazing, inspiring people. Life is short, be happy!

  5. Cheers for all of us abnormal lefties! I can't use that left-handed crap, either. And I'm so glad we both write outside the lines! Love ya!

  6. Cass, you should totally be yourself:)! Thanks for commenting and please stick around! Trish, Lauren M. and Jan, lefties rule!! Trish, I love your apple story! Alisha, sorry you were laid off but the world of YA writing is a great place to be. Love ya too, Jan:)!

  7. Danielle, this blog post just sums up exactly why I think you are so awesome! I can't wait to read Pure Red. I love you and all of your characters and how all dare to be yourselves!

  8. Ah, Steph, you're so sweet. You made my day! And much love goes out to you and your books too:)!

  9. Can't wait for Pure Red, Danielle! And teachers are one of my heroes. Thank you. And never stop refusing to kiss a$$.


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