Here We Go!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Hi everyone!

Just a quick post to say that The Kari Diaries is officially under construction! With plans to relaunch my site and my brand on Friday (Monday, at the latest but most likely Friday!), I'm disabling comments for my most recent posts. Of course, this has nothing to do with not wanting to hear all your thoughts - umm, hello, you are the best - and more to do with the fact that any comments made now won't be carried over to the new site/blog (and I don't want that!).

Change is always weird and a little scary, but I am so beyond excited for this project to finally launch into something that you all can actually see for yourselves. I just don't have the words! I'll post updates via Instagram and social media so look out for me there, especially over the next few days.

See you so very soon!

x K

When A Book Becomes A Television Show & You Can't Contain Your Excitement

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I should specify that The Mortal Instruments (TMI) was previously turned into a movie in 2013, and not such a great movie at that. Yet, still the excitement for the new TMI t.v. show, titled simply "Shadowhunters", has taken over my free time recently. I scour the twitterverse a few times daily looking for more TMI news like a fiend. It's a problem, yet not a problem I particularly hate having, I can't lie.
But I get ahead of myself. I was suppose to start this post with a little PSA. For anyone who's part of our bookclub, you're probably (maybe?) wondering where the hell April's book review is. Kay and I have had a super busy month and neither of us has actually finished the novel yet. So instead of pushing dates back or not giving a novel I've heard is fantastic the attention and recognition it deserves, we're gonna roll it over to next month. Meaning the May book of the month is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and we'll be reviewing it on Tuesday, June 2nd. Okay? Okay. Now back to all the Shadowhunter talk...

Beware, this is one for the bookworms, a-hem, bookdragons.
Photo from @the_mortal_instruments on IG.
After waiting months since the announcement of the show in October of 2014, we've been inundated with so much news this past two weeks. All of said news has made me so excited for the show that I'm currently re-reading the 700+ paged City of Heavenly Fire even though I have dozens of other books I need to read. Priorities...
Generally, I love them. Just simply love.

Jace Wayland - He is just so perfect as Jace! Movie Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) didn't really match Book Jace in my head, so while everyone was hoping for Jamie to reprise the role, I was ready for some new, admittedly hot, blood. And that's exactly what we got for our TV Jace, Dom Sherwood.

Simon Lewis & Isabelle Lightwood - Now despite all the uproar about this casting (more on this in the next section), this might be my favorite casting of them all. I spent the better part of an afternoon watching tape of Alberto Rosende (Simon) and OMG he is such a great actor. I'm most excited to see what he does with this role. As for Emeraude Toubia (Isabelle), she is exactly how I pictured Isabelle - long black hair, full lips, and simply stunning.

Clary Fray - I wasn't as invested in Clary's casting beforehand because honestly, I don't think it takes much to physically cast her character. But somehow, Kat McNamara looks like I expected Clary to look.

Alec Lightwood & Luke Garroway - At first, I was just okay with both of these. I love Kevin Zegers but I did think he was too old for the part in the movie so I was glad to get someone younger (although TV Alec, Matt Daddario, looks like like a baby). And Luke, well although I actually really liked Movie Luke, I didn't mind the casting of Isaiah Mustafa. However, both of these choices grew on me, especially after hearing Isaiah's clip, and they are perfect for the roles.
Cassandra Clare, the author of all Shadowhunter series including TMI, just shot to the top of my favorite authors/persons list. Although I love her novels and The Infernal Devices trilogy is one of my favorites ever, it's her comments on the casting and her response to unreasonable tweets that has made me obsessed with her twitter feed these past few days.

Cassie has make it crystal clear - she supports diversity. As casting news began to leak and the show began selecting more diverse actors for the character roles, she said this:

You can read her more in depth response to a fan question on her tumblr here, but basically, she's perfectly fine, happy even, with the wide range of representation in her cast of characters. Expanding upon the tweet above, she speaks candidly saying that she told producers and the network that "...while the characters who are characters of color in the book (Magnus, Maia, Raphael) must remain as characters of color, and be cast that way, I [have] no such feelings about characters who were white or white-assumed."

At that statement, I legit put down my phone and clapped. Because, there is no denying it - she just gets it. I love when people understand the struggle of others although they aren't necessarily similarly situated. Cassie acknowledges that her privilege exists and she aims to connect with her diverse readers by supporting the inclusion of diversity in derivatives of her work, although it wasn't as present in her original.

But she went even further than that. Cassie took to twitter after the casting announcement last week, informing fans that the characters of Simon and Isabelle would be played by a Latin actor and actress. In response to tweets complaining that the original characters were not hispanic and "no! so is the entire Lightwood family gonna be Spanish now?" and "but how can Simon be Jewish if he's Latin now?" (and about a hundred other comments ranging from simply misinformed to what I would consider outright racist), Cassie responded to her fans via direct tweets and retweeted particularly prejudicial tweets as a means of "calling her fans out". Unlike many authors whose work becomes the subject of controversy, Cassie didn't "stay out of it" but rather jumped in to defend her characters, the casting decisions and diverse representation like a, well, like a Shadowhunter :)

We may have known the show was coming, but all of this casting talk has made it seem like such a reality. In regards to casting and the addition of diversity, I'm all for it. So long as we have an Isabelle who's sassy, a Jace who's smart-assy, a Simon who's charmingly awkward and a Luke who's as kind as he is wise (among all the other things we love about Cassie's characters), I'm game.

What do you think about the Shadowhunters casting? In fact, what are your thoughts about casting for book adaptations in general? Discuss it with me below!

May's Monthly Goals

Thursday, May 7, 2015

When I posted my April monthly goals, I was really excited for the recap where I got to say "I did all these things." Ha! You'd think I'd forgotten to make goals, considering the expertise with which I ignored them. But we don't give up around these parts, especially when setting goals and connecting with other bloggers is so damn fun. So I'm linking up with Drea again for May goals.

First, we recap, although we really, really don't want to. Last month we promised we'd:

  1. Lose some weight - I'm counting this as done. I haven't weighed myself recently, but clothes are fitting a bit loser and my eating habits have been loads better since then.
  2. Read Notes from Underground by Dostoevsky - Pssh! Nope. Total fail on this one. 
  3. Complete a few projects - WIN! More info on this below.
  4. Finish the draft of my novel - Ha! Who am I kidding? 
  5. Comment on blog - Another major fail, but one that will be changing next week at the latest. 
So I'm batting what? Like 200? Eeep! Well, on to May's goals:

+ Write the novel - Last month's fail at this puts my D2 deadline of June somewhere out there in a land I call "not gonna happen." But I can't let that ruin my motivation. All I can do is place this goal back on the list and hope for better this time. "Let the guilt remind us to do better next time." (Quote stolen from Divergent obviously because I'm a book nerd.)

+ Read Notes from Underground - I'm not that much of a book nerd clearly seeing as this too is a carry over from last month. Instead I read other books, like A Thousand Pieces of You (which I loved and reviewed here), as well as currently re-reading City of Heavenly Fire because talk of the tv show this week put me in the mood. I really need to read more classics, though I'll never leave YA land for good. I love you, YA <3
Note: Quick mini goal. I need to read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by next week, because that review was suppose to be up this past Tuesday and, well, it wasn't. Fail.

+ Build the "I Feel Infinite" Series - I mentioned last week that I was beginning an Instagram series where I'd be posting my original prose daily. I've been doing great so far, but then again, it's only been like, what, 6 days? Not throwing a victory party just yet. However, I did successfully put myself out there and finally completed one of those projects on my list, so I have high hopes for this month.

+ Keep losing weight - Self-explanatory, right? For reals.

+ Launch my website - Another project I've been working on for the past six weeks, and a kinda big one in the internet/blogging world, right? I'm working steadily on building a website to house my freelance work and my blog and well, just my internet self, and I'm excited to combine everything into my own little space. The url "" will still function and link directly to my blog page, but branding, design and platform will be changing over sometime next week. I'm so excited to share this new space with you, but for now, a sneak peek will be post on my Instagram this afternoon!

+ Launch a newsletter - Everything I've ever read about building a brand and an internet presence has one thing in common: start a newsletter. I've always shied away from it because it seems so official, you know? But having subscribed to a few over the past couple of months and launching the Skylights newsletter, I've realized how fun it can be. A newsletter gives you the opportunity to just talk readers informally, like sitting around with your girlfriends gossiping and draining bottles of wine. And I mean, I wanna do that with you all! <3

What are your goals for the month? Have you linked up with Drea?

April Favorites

Friday, May 1, 2015

I revived favorites posts last month and I have to admit how excited I was to jump into this post today. I'm glad I don't pump out favorite posts weekly (that's a little too much for me) but I love talking about things I'm loving recently and what you are loving too!

Before I jump in, I started a new Instagram series showcasing some of my writing. More information below (my favorite moment!).

Beauty Product: LA Girl Matte Pigment Lip Gloss

The name's a little long, but the product - the product is dy-no-mite! Seriously, I am so in love with this matte gloss. I personally have the shades "Timeless" and "Secret", but every single one of these colors are gorgeous. It's a relatively new product so it may be sold out at your local beauty store, but it's available online here and here

Moment: "I Feel Infinite" IG Prose

It just started today, but as it was an idea born in April, it counts! I talk a lot about embracing my identity as a writer. And every now and then I tell you about participating in NaNoWriMo or writing a short story, but I don't put my writing out there daily (aside from my stream of thought scribblings in blog posts). And although I'm really scared to, I know I have to, that it's the only way to really know if my writing connects with people.

I've seen a lot of poets who post their pieces (or pieces of pieces) on Instagram and have built a community of poets and writers who support each other's work. Like most writers, I so want that! Being a writer can be lonely because you can't really share your work with others until it's complete, which can be months, years even. But I want to connect with other writers and people who like my work sooner.

So I've decided to start posting my shorter prose on my Instagram at least once a day. I've titled the series "I Feel Infinite", borrowing the infamous phrase from Stephen Chobsky's Perks of Being Wallflower, because Charlie <3 You can read more about all that here, and check out my first post at 1 p.m. today! Eeep!

Book: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

This was a really hard choice. I've read a few great novels this month, including the book I'm reviewing for Skylights on Monday, A Thousand Pieces of You. But My Life Next Door was just everything I needed it to be. It follows the story of Samantha, an overprotected, seventeen year-old girl during the summer before her senior year, and the day she finally meets the boy next door, a member of the dreaded "Garretts". I expected it to be a good cute romantic contemporary, but I didn't expect the depth and the phenomenal characters. I have so many thoughts about this, all of which I'll talk about later in a review, but just go, go read it. You will absolutely love it! Need more convincing? This line sums up my love for the book:

George gives me a smile, the same dazzling sweet smile as his big brother, although at this point, with green teeth. "I might marry you," he allows. "Do you want a big family?"
I start to cough and feel a hand pat my back.
"George, it's usually better to discuss this kind of thing with your pants on." Jase drops the boxer shorts at George's feet...
 Also, I kinda squealed when I discover there's a companion novel releasing this summer! Say what? I'm in there.


"Chiromancer" by Copeland; "Trap Queen" by Fetti Wap

The stark difference between these two songs is both hilarious and a bit weird. How am I equally obsessed with songs that are so different? Nevertheless, I am. Copeland's track is perfect for thinking (as are so many of their songs) so I play it mostly when I'm writing or walking at night. To me, something about it feels kinda epic. I know that's weird, but hey, I said it. Now, Trap Queen? Trap Queen is faarrr from epic LOL. But it's got a bomb ass beat and makes me want to move. And it would kinda bring out the ratchet in me, if I had any, which I don't, of course :)

Celebrity: Meghan Rienks

She's not actually a celebrity because she's a YouTuber, but really, I don't doubt that she'll reach true celebrity status very soon. Her videos really brighten my day because her personality is so fun and sassy and she's hilarious without really trying to be. She's also gorgeous but almost oblivious to it, so it makes her personality shine even more. Check out her videos here and here.

Laugh: "It's Gonna Be May!"

Well, technically it's already May, but every year this meme cracks me up! This song is still the jam, too.

What are some of your April favorites?
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