✨ Well, it’s a little under 4 weeks until the first draft of our manuscript is due!

This is when “crunch time” really begins. When we start our descension into cave trolls. For most authors, writing is a solo ordeal, but since we have to stare at each other all day & night as we labor away trying to reach our deadline, we got ourselves some comfy “writing uniforms” to make us feel less Gollum-like and that it’s ok to go walk in the sun ☀️😭

Sometimes (a lot of times) as we are typing away, we stare up at our bookshelf, dreaming about the day we will see Exiles take its place beside our Rule of One series. We’ll have to wait almost a year for that day, but DAMN if it’s not exciting.
...

Thanks, mom, for giving me (us) your long lashes, your brazen stubbornness, and your tireless drive. 2 out of the 3 are needed to make it as an author 🤣✨ ...

*In best Bilbo Baggins voice* TODAY IS WYATT AND WINSTON’s 11TH BIRTHDAY 🎉 🎂

Bilbo was 111, but hey, it’s close in human years ☺️🐾 (though, W&W still race around like 2 year olds)

We feel so lucky to have had these cuddle bugs with us for over a decade. They are our writing mascots, our resident jesters, and our best friends. ✨💕
...

We got this amazing (and heavy) cork board from our grandparents. It used to hold pictures of us and our cousins and brothers as babies. Now it holds a new kind of family. Our characters. 💕



We get asked a lot: how the heck do you co-write? For us, it’s all about communication and preparation. Unlike other writers who like to exploratory write (pansters), we are all about that outlining life. Like, ALL about it. We “card out” the story by Acts then get to the nitty gritty by carding out each chapter and its various beats. This process is our favorite because it feels like finding magic ✨ Little matches the high for us than discovering worlds & characters, and getting to be the ones to tell their story.

(And yes, that is our sad attempt at a map 🤣 but hey, it does it’s job)
...

Someone (ahem *Ashley*) is taking this writing a twin sister rivalry thing a bit far.

While we were developing EXILES, we decided to get these plants and name them after our new characters, Jade & Crys. We didn’t realize that we named them *before* we sold to our publisher... and that could have been really awkward if we didn’t get the deal 😂🪴

The plants are looking a *tad* rough but they’re like our characters—imperfect, but watch them thrive.
...

With less than two months to go until our deadline for the first draft of Exiles, we’ve been doing a lot of night writing.
🌙
Realized writing this post that we have SO many night exterior scenes in this manuscript. Like.. a ton. Which pretty much goes against our better screenwriter instincts— and the indie filmmakers in us are screaming *but the budget!*. Luckily, book editors don’t mind one bit. 🌝
...

Ashley here. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. I somehow got pneumonia (despite all my mask wearing 😫) and have been in and out of the doctors office, including a not so fun trip to the ER to receive antibiotics and IV fluids 🤕. Lots of convalescent couch time, an entire 19 hour Spinning Silver audible and season 3 of The Great Pottery Throw Down later, I’m finally feeling like myself. Thanks to my sister for taking care of me and cleaning all my vomit bowls and bringing me all the ice chips 💘. Love you wombie. Now back to my regularly scheduled program of writing 👩🏼‍💻 ...

Aren’t gifts wonderful things? Especially when they are so perfect and unexpected and come from someone you love. Our editor sent us this beautiful haiku pyrography that *HE* made, celebrating our trilogy. The wood is spalted hackberry, the words are his and the honor is all ours. @brasswax

💛❤️💙

Another gift perhaps— our entire trilogy is on sale this month on Kindle! So if you feel like giving to others or yourself, don’t resist. (okay maybe resist a little 😉)
...

💙New favorite writing spot 💙

So, gotta say, writing EXILES has been an enlivening process. This story is a sci-fi thriller that has murder/mystery elements, something we’ve never done before. It’s been fun to challenge ourselves to tap into different parts of our storytelling—feel around, explore, maybe flex a little—and discover muscles we didn’t even know we had 🦾

That’s one of the reasons we love writing so much... there’s *always* more to discover if you hold tight to your curiosity.
...

We went to ground these past few weeks trying to push through the first half of Act II of Exiles ... finally came out to feel some of that sweet sun on our faces🌞 We are about to dive into some serious action scenes, our *favorite* thing to write.

Also, we’ve walked over 60 miles so far outlining this story! Almost over the crest of this manuscript mountain 🏔📚☺️
...

Bringin’ #selfiesunday back 🧝🏼‍♀️ ...

👩🏼‍💻✨w r i t i n g mu s i n g s✨👩🏼‍💻

Act ll, the dreaded middle, the great expanse, can feel a lot like no-person’s land. As a writer, sometimes it can be way more fun to set up a story, to lay the groundwork of character, setting, and theme, to explore world-building and voice. It can be difficult not to rush through the dreaded no-person’s land, desperate to get to Act lll , where your foot is already on the gas, the thrill of the climax, the action, the END in sight.

But with Act ll, you have to settle in and go deep, patiently carving out your own road, taking turn after turn (maybe a couple of dead-ends), not exactly sure where it will lead. It can be daunting to stay the course and not get lost before you reach the other side. For us, structure and outlining are our guiding lights. We look out at the long, empty stretch before us and smile, loving the challenge. Excited to see where the story and characters will take us next.📚
...

When people ask us how the writing is going...

Wait what, we have a book due June 1st?? #amwriting 🐾🐾
...

🌸Happy Spring Forward Day🌸

...but seriously though, on a scale of 1-10, how screwed was everyone this morning? We were at a solid 7. Going to play catch up all day 🙃
...

Just a writer in her natural habitat🕯👩🏼‍💻 Beat outlining the next chunk of ✨EXILES✨

Outlining is our favorite part of writing— it’s what enables us to always be in-sync as co-authors, plus we get to talk about story all day & play make believe.

Also, as you can see our massive writing candle is making massive progress... ☺️
...

👀 Looking back 👀

We are finishing up The Midnight Library audible (it’s amazing btw if you haven’t read or listened yet). It deals with the parallel universe theory and we find ourselves getting lost lately thinking about the other versions of us that could be out there. Ones where we aren’t writers.😳Ones where we ended up taking the path that led to other dreams of becoming professional basketball players, tornado chasers, singers, music video directors, WWII historians, or zoologists. Ones where we went down separate paths and didn’t share our lives together. Of all the lives we could have lived (and might be living elsewhere) we’re happy to be living this one. Writing, together.☺️📚
...

👩🏼‍💻✨w r i t i n g mu s i n g s✨👩🏼‍💻

It took millions of years for the forces of erosion to carve out and shape the beautiful and majestic arches in southern Utah. It was a layer by layer process, rain storm after rain storm slowly eroding the rock, winter snowmelt freezing and breaking off chunks of the sandstone, little by little turning the fractured rock into a grand arch. Sometimes it feels like it will take that long to carve out this book. Chipping away at it paragraph by paragraph, page by page, riding storms of inspiration, allowing for times of freeze and doubt, that will, with enough consistency, turn a raw idea into a fully shaped story. We’re starting to see the outlines of what shape EXILES will take and we’re excited to see what its final form will be 📚
...