Category: Be Yourself

Snow’s Top 10 Ninja Tips

The idea for this post was inspired by Snow from my YA romance NINJA GIRL (of course!) and Tressa over at Wishful Endings.  (You can read the original here.)

One of my favorite things about writing is really getting into the heads of my characters.  My MCs are people that I admire, that I could see myself being friends with, and Snow is a ninja girl after my own heart. :)  She’s tough yet vulnerable, strong yet soft on the inside, smart and incredibly loyal.  In short, she is one tough cookie, and I love her for it.  So without further ado…

Snow’s Top 10 Ninja Tips:

  1. Embrace your inner ninja (aka love yourself and everything that makes you YOU).
  2. Watch out for mean girls. Even ninjas have feelings, and mean girls always go for the weak spots.
  3. Be stealth–especially when it comes to stealing a kiss from a stranger in a theater. Who said you have to wait for that first kiss?
  4. Adhere to the ninja way, and always stick up for your friends (even when they keep secrets and drag you to Girls Night…ugh).
  5. Say “no” to karaoke. Just because you kick ass does not mean you have ninja singing skills.
  6. Work out every day–especially if you’ve eaten marshmallow fluff the night before.
  7. Keep it professional (aka stop accidentally kissing the guy whose body you’re supposed to be guarding).
  8. Some ninjas like chick flicks…or have a collection of every romantic comedy ever.
  9. Be fearless if you can. If you’re scared, be brave and do it anyway.
  10. If someone loves you for the ninja that you are, don’t be afraid to love them right back <3.

Like I said, I love Snow!  I’m really hoping readers will as well.  Next week, I’m planning to do a post about Ash…oh Ash, sigh <333.  Keep a lookout for that if you’d like to fangirl right along with me lol.  Also, if you like winning free stuff, there’s still a few more days to enter the NINJA GIRL Blog Tour Giveaway!  I hoped you enjoyed these ninja tips as much as I did, and I hope you have a great day!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

P.S. NINJA GIRL hit #1 in the U.S. in one of its categories this week!!!  Yayyyyy, whoohoo, and hi-yah!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’ve been saving this for today lol!

Not sure when I found the link, but I thought these Valentine’s Day cards were so cute/funny :).

Yoda-One-For-Me-Valentines-Day-Card

Sally would’ve been all about that Yoda card–and Becks would’ve loved it because it was from his girl.  Sigh…seriously, so ADORKABLE!!!  If you haven’t found that special someone to tell you “Yoda one for me,” don’t let it get you down!  Go out and buy a heart-shaped box of candy for yourself.  Pull out your favorite chick flick (book or movie, doesn’t matter) and have a swoon fest.  Or heck, get dressed up and go out dancing if that’s what you love to do.  Tell the person you love–whether they’re family, friend or a beloved pet–how much you love them.

For that matter, look in the mirror and tell yourself that <3.

Whether you’re a hopeless (yet slightly cynical) romantic like me or something else altogether, I hope you have a very happy Valentine’s Day!  And I hope you buy yourself some chocolate…and a great book.  You deserve it! 😉

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Never Give Up

Warning: This post may come off as a little kumbaya at times, jaded at others, but I always try to stay positive.  Here, I tried to keep it real.  You have been warned.

My favorite books are the ones where the hero wins in the end.

I mean, seriously, does that surprise you?  I wrote a book called ADORKABLE for crying out loud!

The girl gets her guy.  Good triumphs over evil.  The world is going to crap, crashing down all around us, but somehow…the dog lives in the end.

That is what I think makes a great story.

The difference between the younger books I read versus the adult books is that in YA and children’s books there is an innocence but, within that, a definitive sense of right and wrong.

Young adults read books like Harry Potter.  They grow up on these books.  They devour the pages and breathe the words in like oxygen.  Some may call it naive, but young people read books like Harry Potter, and they just know Voldemort will lose in the end.  They see someone who stands for hate and racism, a man who surrounds himself with deatheaters who want to get rid of all the “mudbloods” to keep the magical race “pure,” and they know, without a shadow of a doubt, that that.is.wrong.

They believe in the wisdom found inside HP’s magical pages like, “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals,” and “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us.  What matters is the part we choose to act on.  That’s who we really are.”  Whether they remember the quote or not, young people absorb the meaning and truth of these words.

They see good people like Harry, Ron, and Hermione fighting back, doing all they can to keep us from returning to the dark ages, and they cheer them on.  They want the good guys to win.  They want the bad guys to lose.  It’s that simple.

Because really, how could we get to the end of book 7 of this best-series-in-the-entire-world only to find out that…Voldemort wins???

No.  Young people would never stand for it, readers would revolt, and a great author like J.K. Rowling would never let that happen.

This is one of the reasons I love YA and children’s books.  The worlds in these books, however bleak, are often full of hope.  Things may sometimes seem hopeless…but then you realize that you still have about 100 more pages left to read, and you know, you just know, that things will turn around.  The promise of a happy ending drives us to keep reading, keep hoping, to never give up.

I wish the world was more like the books I love so much.  (Although not The Hunger Games.  That would be pretty messed up.)

I think the world needs more hope and less hate.  More happy endings and less tragedies.  More heroines and less bad guys.

I’ve got to be honest with you.  Right now, I don’t see a whole lot of light.  There is darkness everywhere.  I’m not giving up, and I don’t think anyone who feels like I do should either.  But my faith in people has been shaken.  I do not know how people could dismiss a man’s despicable actions, hateful words and beliefs and support him anyway.  I just…don’t.

So that’s where I am.  To try and end on a positive, I’ll leave you with some words said by a smart man, created by the mind of an even smarter woman:

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”–J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The next blog post will be lighter, I promise.  Hope everyone has a great week.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

 

Doc Holliday & Wyatt Earp

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There’s this moment in Tombstone where someone asks Doc Holliday why he’s doing all this (as in, why is he fighting so hard and putting his already failing health at risk).

Doc says simply, “Wyatt Earp is my friend.”

The Other Guy scoffs and says something like, “I got lots of friends.”

After a long pause, Doc says, “I don’t.”

I have always loved this friendship, and I’ve always felt a kinship with Doc because, like him, I only ever had one true best friend.  She is my favorite person of all time.  I love her so much and would’ve done anything for her–including facing down Johnny Ringo in her stead.

But I didn’t get that chance.

My best friend passed away last year from cancer, and I miss her every moment of every day.  She passed before getting to see me publish ADORKABLE, which I will always regret.  Each day is less without her here.  I am less, too.  Part of me, the very best part, died with her, and I am still not at peace with her passing.

But, I will tell you…I was blessed to know her.  I was blessed to have her in my life.  I was blessed to be raised by her, to experience her humor, great taste in music, movies and books, and to witness her innate goodness.  And I was blessed to have her as a best friend.

Doc had it right.

You only need one.

And if you have a best friend like that, well, then I’d say you’re pretty blessed.

Happy birthday, Aunt Pat.  I finally published that book you loved so much, and some people loved Sally and Becks just like you said they would.  I’m sure you’re doing the I-told-you-so dance up in Heaven, hanging with Mema, the babies, David Bowie, and Alan Rickman.  You’re probably smiling over the fact that I referenced Tombstone to describe our friendship (it’s true, though).  I love you, miss you, and hope you are well.  Love, Your Cookie

Hope you all have a great weekend filled with good times and great friends.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Be Yourself

People say it all the time, and you hear it again and again, maybe especially if you’re a young adult.

“Be yourself.”

It’s a great message, the idea that if you just “be yourself” everything will work out–and even if it doesn’t, you’ll be okay.  It’s powerful and empowering…and potentially very scary.  I mean, think about it.  Imagine, putting yourself out there like that, being who you are regardless of what people think, what they may say, how they may react.  You also have to know who you are in the first place, and that is tough for most adults let alone a teenager who is still trying to figure out her place in the world.

Like I said: powerful yet scary stuff.

I work with young kids, and school is about to start.  I was having a hard time deciding what to write this week when I saw all the back-to-school posts.  That got me thinking about how daunting starting a new school year can be.

And then…I thought about Sally :).

One of the things I love best about Sally Spitz (the main character of ADORKABLE) is that she is completely herself.  She loves what she loves and who she loves wholeheartedly.  Whether it’s quoting Yoda, wearing Harry Potter memorabilia, re-enacting her favorite scene from a movie that almost no one knows, or admitting to her best friend that she needs a fake boyfriend, Sally is who she is.  Unapologetically.  Like a proud author-parent, it’s also one of the things I’m most proud of.

That doesn’t mean she isn’t insecure sometimes.  Sally definitely has doubts.  Those are a part of her, too, and they make her human.  The important thing is that despite those insecurities, despite those doubts, she doesn’t let that stop or change her.

Like it or not–like her or not–it’s okay, and here’s why:

Sally likes herself.

She is loyal to her friends, her family and her fandoms :).  She’s a smart girl who loves books.  And she will be herself no matter what.  If you think about it, what “be yourself” really means is: Be brave.

As school starts back, I hope all the young adults out there (and the adults) can be brave.  I hope I can be brave.  I hope it’s one of the things people take away after reading ADORKABLE.

Be yourself.  It’s one of the hardest and most important things you can do.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman