September Blogathon Challenge Accepted


I’m participating in a blogging challenge with some of my fellow Book Rioters this month! The idea began with Sarah S. Davis of Broke By Books, and the point is to challenge ourselves to be consistent bloggers by holding each other accountable to our individual goals.

My goal is to post original content at least once a week, whether vlog, art, or your standard talky blog entry. I’ll also be reposting some of my Book Riot posts, but those won’t count towards my goal–that’s just extra.

And if you’re looking for more bookish blogs to follow, check out these Rioters who are on the struggle with me this month:



Weirdo’s Guide Moving to Periscope

 I can’t do it! My problem is that I take on too much and can’t sustain. And because of this, The Weirdo’s Guide to Wordeating, my still-new booktube channel, is moving to Periscope, the livestreaming app.

I tried YouTube and I couldn’t keep up with the production time. Maybe if I had a team of elves… With Periscope, I can shoot and send on the fly. No editing.

If you’re on Periscope, find me and my book blather at szainabwilliams. I think I can upload the videos too, which might happen if I figure that out.  

Death Said, “Hurry”

illustration by s. zainab williamsWhen I was a child even smaller than I am today, I’d often look up from my book and imagine what it might be like to be a writer. I pictured fingers raking through care-swept hair, piles of books, littered quills and crumpled paper, and the oldest writing desk buried beneath inked sheets and crawling with belligerent ravens. You know, high rafters, dust, and the empty, black space beyond.

I long ago left childhood behind and turned 32 this month. I’ve published a graphic novel and I’m on the cusp of querying my first full-length novel. It turns out that other than the ravens and the rafters, my naive vision of writing was mostly correct. I sit chained to my desk, which is piled high with all of the things I don’t have time to read or file, pulling out my hair, looking for red pens among the stupid decorative quills, most often isolated in my apartment. Replace the ravens with a cat I guess.

While I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, it’s not enough. I started this blog a few days before my 29th birthday when I realized I didn’t have all the time in the world. Like Captain Hook, I hear the clock ticking every second away and, grim as it may sound, birthdays have turned into reminders that I’m not working fast or hard enough. And when you spend almost all of your free time working, apologizing to friends, and basically living for this thing that sucks up your life, goals and results become that much more urgent.

Maybe I’d never get anything done if I wasn’t so frantic. I don’t know what will be the byproduct of aggressive ambition and the inability to meet my own expectations. All I know is that I spent my birthday in my apartment, editing my manuscript, and that it was the only thing I wanted to do.

New Website, New Blog Home: Let’s Do This, 2014

SZWilliams Home Page

With the new year comes new things. I’m starting out 2014 with a new, ever-evolving website. My blog will now live at, so hit that RSS feed! The crappy thing about transitioning to a new blog is saying goodbye to this place and my inability to take you all with me to the new site, but I hope you’ll make the transition with me.

While I won’t post here anymore, this blog will not be deleted (yet). Thanks to everyone who found me here and stuck around. I think I might occasionally visit this place like you’d visit a childhood haunt.

I’ve opened my Facebook to the public, so you can also find me and my blog post and writing updates there if that’s your preferred method of update. Hit the Follow button on Facebook to get my updates or add me as a friend to interact. My other social media profiles are linked on my site as well.

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to the year. I can’t wait to see what you do with 2014 so find me and let’s be friends!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger AwardSo, I was nominated a second time for this award by Lindsey J. Parsons a few weeks ago, got too lazy to post about it, then got nominated by Maedez and decided I had no excuse for not posting this time. I’m quite honored to have a double-nomination from two bloggers I admire.

Lindsey recently published a fantasy novel, Vortex, Return of the Effra 1 (with DRAGONS!!), lives in England and rides horses. Maedez’ blog, A Small Press Life, always has interesting posts about authors and books you’d probably never hear about elsewhere. I really respect these women. Feeling like part of a community with bloggers like Lindsey and Maedez is one of the reasons I haven’t given up on blogging.

Alright, enough gushing. Following are the rules for this award:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State 7 things about yourself.

Alright, seven things about myself…

1) This week, I begin the process of submitting the creator-owned graphic novel I collaborated on with artist Robert Burrows to comic publishers (Like my FB page, Beatrice is Dead :D). I’m not mentioning this anywhere else because I feel like making a to-do about it will shatter my nerves.

Wraith Mob

2) I’ve decided to revisit some fantasy books I recall enjoying in high school. My retention was terrible back then so I literally remember nothing about these books except that I liked them. The first one (one of few I didn’t donate) will be Sorcery Rising by Jude Fisher. I’m really curious to see how books I enjoyed as a teen will read now.

Sorcery Rising

3) My second passion in life (writing being my first, of course) is food. I have a brand-spanking new food blog, Little PorkPie. Chicken and leek pot pie is the first recipe I posted.

Chicken Pot Pie Grid

4) I’ve been taken classes at Cirque School, learning trapeze, silks and hammock. I took my fourth class yesterday; today, I could use about five maximum-strength pain killers, an ounce of flexibility, and two ounces of gracefulness.

5) I’m the proud, if high-strung, mother to a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, three cats (tabby, tuxedo, tortie), and a ball python.

6) I’m about to lose my mind because of the last episode of The Walking Dead. Snap out of it, Rick!

Crazy Rick

7) I want to eat my way through Italy so badly!! Next year!

Now to nominate some quality bloggers:

Word Flows by J. Elizabeth Hill

The Writers Republic by Adrianne Russell

G.E. Gallas

Of Things to Come and Things Not Done

My blogging New Year’s resolution is to get back to posting regularly and to be more organized about it.

As you may have guessed, this is not Part 2 of my coffee adventures. That post is still to come. I visited a steampunk coffee shop and an outdoor cafe and then I got all bogged down (I shouldn’t say “bogged”–that sounds so negative and the cause of my so-called bogging isn’t a bad thing at all; it’s actually quite good). I’ve been working on Beatrice is Dead revisions. I had to take a break from my already overdue fantasy novel revisions to keep the horror graphic novel from veering off track.

What was it Douglas Adams said?

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

Yeah, that.

I’d like to take this blog and its readers to new places, but in order to accomplish that I’ll have to do some real planning instead of running higgledy piggledy into things–my favorite way to run, by the way.

I need to read more, write more, produce more. And, in so doing, improve. But, for now…right this minute, with mockup 7 revisions freshly emailed, I need to dissolve into the couch and stare at pictures of books before reading the last few pages of Franzen’s The Corrections.

Book Ceiling

Book LightingBrianDettmerTreeFables Book Art

Here’s to a bookish and writerly 2013!

Changing It Up

Maybe it’s because this blog celebrated its one-year anniversary a couple weeks ago. Maybe it’s because I also celebrated my 30th birthday a couple weeks ago.

Maybe I’m like a balding man in a neon, new Miata–a little bored, feeling that itch to move on to something newer and more exciting.

But instead of picking up that hot new number and abandoning my bonny old lass, I’m bringing something new to this blog.

I don’t believe in spending precious time on something for which I’ve lost my passion. Thankfully, I’m not entirely bored with blogging, but I do want to keep myself and, in effect, my readers entertained. I want to experiment a little. All the usual stuff will still be here–I’m just adding on.

It’s in the works and coming soon!

In other news, I had a great 30th. Aging isn’t so bad when you get to grow old with the best kind of people. My weekend was full of art, food, libations (sounds classier than booze, doesn’t it?). I got to see a concert in a CEMETERY!

As you can tell by the facial expression, my boyfriend the metalhead was not exactly excited about seeing Sigur Rós–not even at Hollywood Forever.

So much has happened since I first started this blog. Originally, it was supposed to be a platform for developing a career in copywriting. I’d almost convinced myself that working toward becoming a fiction writer was reaching for the moon. Thank goodness (and inspiring friends) I changed my mind!

Speaking of which, I’ve been toying with the idea of changing my domain name since the S.Z.Wordsmith name was created with a copywriting profession in mind…but I think that will have to wait for another time.

Thanks to all of you for reading, subscribing, and chatting with me here this past year. You keep me floating above the disappointments and hiccups that are part of the process of becoming. And I don’t feel like such a loon for some of the things I think and do as an aspiring writer thanks to you guys. I love being part of this community and reading about what everyone else is going through. That’s why I stick around.

Next week, my 30 years of insanity celebration will end with a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise, so you won’t be hearing from me. But I’ll return with my little announcement and maybe a couple of photos from the trip (probably blurry, incomprehensible ones). So adios until then!