Things Making Me Think

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Tootsie

Running a blog, you always have to make the decision of which parts of your life to reveal on the internet and which parts to keep to yourself. As someone who is terrible at hiding her emotions and pretty much incapable of lying, I find this especially hard. However, the past couple of weeks I’ve written cheery blog posts because I didn’t want to talk about the thing keeping me up nights.

Our cat passed away this week. That cat I complained never let me sleep, the one who was distinctly ungrateful of the fact that I’d rescued her. The cat who meowed her way loudly into our laps and our hearts. She wasn’t with us very long, but watching her health rapidly decline these past few weeks and then having to deal with the question “when is it time” was one of the hardest things I’ve ever faced. The morning we decided that there was nothing more we could do and it was time to take her in was one of the worst I’ve had. I spent the entire day swallowing back tears at my desk.

Now, a few days later, I feel more at peace. I can sleep through the night, not being constantly woken by the fear that she’s in pain. I know she’s not. I know she’s up in kitty heaven meowing down at us. I know we gave her a loving home for the past six months of her life, and I think she was happy there. So I guess that’s all there is. I’m still sad.

Here are some things helping distract me this week:

Yes, please.

The best movie of the ’90s?

Definitely the best movie of the ’80s.

Incredibly inspiring.

And kind of contradicts the last article, but thank you for this.

Reading: Finally started this! But so far it’s kind of meh. I hope it picks up.

Writing: Play story. 30K words in and trying to figure out how to make my protagonist less whiny.

Watching: Same thing as last week. It has been a wonderful distraction.

Listening to: On a Bruce kick.

Cooking: This is actually amazing.

Have a great weekend. As for me, I will be spending my time trying to not cry because it’s over, but smiling because it happened.

How Not To Start Writing A Novel

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1. Read every piece of writing advice ever written. There could be something out there you missed! Be sure to order every book online and read every article on the internet before you sit down to write.

2. Obey every piece of writing advice ever written. It worked for them, so it must work for you too, and if you don’t listen to them you’re doing it wrong.

3. Plan out every detail of your novel before you start writing it. Extensive outlines, pages of character study, a theme firmly in mind–make sure to have all of this before you start writing.

4. Read writers in your genre and despair over how you’ll never write as well as them. These people probably just went ahead and published their first drafts, after all. They probably didn’t need rounds and rounds of revisions since they are such better writers than you.

5. Daydream about your novel for ages. But don’t sit down and actually start writing it. That’s too scary.

6. Spend loads of time gathering inspirational quotes, photos, and music that will go with your novel. Anything to put off actually writing it!

7. Talk to people nonstop about your ideas for your novel. Better to get the ideas out there in the world to see if people like them before you put any effort into it.

8. Cast the movie of your novel. See #5 & 6

9. Rewrite your beginning over and over again. After all, the beginning has to be good. Best to get that perfect before writing anything else.

10. Go for a walk/clean your apartment/play with your cat/drink copious amounts of coffee and/or alcohol See #5,6, & 8

Do all these things and you’re guaranteed never to become a writer. Because, you know, that’s scary.

Image found here

Things Making Me Think

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Hi Friday, and more importantly, hi warm weather + weekend with absolutely no plans! I’m looking forward to getting some writing done on my deck. How about you?

Here are some things making me think this week:

YAS.

“That’s exactly what the terrorists want, so absolutely not.” Preach.

Agree with most of these, though I’d also add these.

A fear I have from time to time.

How to be a writer.

And  this this thisI need to read this every day.

Reading This is so lovely, but I’m unprepared for whatever emotional punch is coming at the end.

Writing “Play story.” I’m stuck at a boring part. Which probably means I should skip it as I’ll end up cutting it, but having trouble figuring out what comes next, so I suspect I’ll power through. And then end up cutting it anyway in revisions.

Watching I needed a break from alien abductions, so I started this up on Netflix. It’s not the most brilliant show of its time, but it is kind of the perfect have-on-while-cooking-and-cleaning series. And there are six seasons to get through!

Listening to Purple Rain 😦

Cooking I love making (vegetarian) tacos. When we moved last summer, we gave up living near a good grocery store, so I was having trouble finding good tortillas. Lo and behold, we discovered this is actually an extremely simple DIY. 1 cup flour (white or corn), 1/4 cup water,  2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying, will yield you four amazingly imperfect tortillas in less than 15 minutes. With no random unpronounceable ingredients. DIY FTW.

Have a great weekend!

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My Drug of Choice

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Yesterday I was sitting on a stalled path train (for non tri-state people, that’s the subway that goes from Manhattan to New Jersey) for nearly five minutes before noticing that the train had, in fact, stalled.

That’s because I was, as I can be found most mornings, engrossed in a book. (This one, this week. It’s charming and sad and lovely. So, worth the hype so far.)

I happened to glance up and see the irritation and fatigue on my fellow passengers’ faces. Because most of them were just sitting there. Without a book. And I thought, why would anyone ever go anywhere, particularly an underground public transit system prone to delays, without a book?

When I got home yesterday, I got some not-so-great news. I reacted in what I suppose was an appropriate manner, then (not so) patiently got through my evening routine so I could dive into bed, and back into my book. So I could escape the world.

This has been my modus operandi for literally as long as I can remember. When I got yelled at as a child, when I was having issues with my friends in middle school, or with my parents in high school, my mind would instantly slide sideways to a favorite read, and I would feel better.

Because I knew the world I was currently in, filled to the brim with its problems, could be escaped. I held that escape in my hand.

So I guess books are my drug of choice. They’re what I flee to, what I’m addicted to, what I turn to when the world is a wrong-sized shoe. They comfort me and distract me and make me feel so much less alone.

I think that’s why I want to be am a writer. Because if it weren’t for books, I don’t know where I’d be. I think the greatest thing I will ever accomplish in this life will have someone, someday, say that that a story I wrote served this purpose for them.

I have to remind myself sometimes how incredibly lucky I am to have something I love so much so easily accessible to me. And then I feel sorry for the people who don’t have that. To each their own and all, but I don’t understand how people who don’t read books survive.

So thank you, books, for always being there for me. I honestly have no idea what I’d do without you.

Image found here

Things To Do When Your Muse Is Ignoring You

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Happy Monday, writers and readers!

You know those writing days when your writing is flowing like a magical waterfall out of your fingertips and onto the page and you’re practically crying with joy at the brilliance that is you?

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Things Making Me Think

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Happy Friday! How was your week? Mine was stressful due to my lack of financial know-how + my tendency to leave things I hate doing to the last possible second, but I finished my stupid taxes! (And I’m getting money back. Huzzah.)

Here are the things that made me think, smile, laugh, and feel happy this week:

This is what I should have done to get my taxes done earlier. (Obsessed with this idea.)

Pure awesomeness.

Love love love this post.

This made me laugh so hard.

The group vacation guide.

Must make ASAP.

Please buy me all these things.

Oh, and I wrote this story! (And also modeled for it!)

Reading: This, which is super cute. A bit juvenile at times, but so am I.

Writing: The YA contemporary “play story”. I feel as though I’m still having the problem of feeling the need to write out what happens in between my scenes (“Thursday was a boring day at school, as was Friday, but then Friday night rolls around….”) Note to self: skip the boring parts. Even in the first draft.

Watching: On Season Two of this, though I may need a break soon. I keep jumping at small noises, thinking about alien abductions, when really it’s just my cat.

Listening to: Whatever random stuff they put on at work. I like working in an office where there’s music playing all day. (Except when it’s country.)

Cooking: I made the best blueberry coffee cake in the world for my friend’s birthday last weekend. It’s my grandma’s recipe, so old it called for “shortening” (I used plain old butter.) One of those days I’m going to become one of those people who takes gorgeous moody shots of the food they bake and posts recipes to go with them, but that day is not today.

Gorgeous moody shot of coffee found here