On Choice

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When I was in high school, I went through a new-age phase. I have no hard stats on this, but I think that may have happened to a good percentage of confused Catholic-raised adolescents in the ’90s who saw The Craft or walked past a Hot Topic and thought, “Hmmm. Maybe that’s who I am?”

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If You Cannot Be Unafraid

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This week I learned:

If you cannot be unafraid, be afraid and happy.

Quote taken from this beautiful book.

It’s so simple, and goes along with what I want for my life, which is to worry less, be in the moment more, and yet it’s something I’ve never seen articulated so well until now.

I’m afraid all the time. Of disease, of growing old, of losing someone I love, of terrorism, of screwing up, of never becoming successful, of what other people think of me or say about me, of missing opportunities, of choosing the wrong thing, of choosing the right thing and then somehow squandering it. Of writing the wrong thing, of choosing the wrong life, of being the wrong person.

I worry too much. I know this. I try and stop. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don’t.

But if I can’t not worry–and I can’t, not at all the time–I can worry and at the same time be happy about other things. Like a new blue chair in the corner of my living room, and the basil plant I just bought. How when watering it last night on my deck, I finally made friends with my neighbor, who is a delightfully sweet Russian girl who wants to become friends. How much I am really liking my work in progress at the moment. That there are bagels in the office today. Little things.

This week I am:

Reading This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. I’ve read her other two books, and they were both super sweet, well-written YA romances, and this is proving to be much of the same. The only complaint I would have is that these books aren’t really ones that stay with you; I end up forgetting the characters’ names and a lot of the plot the moment I finish the book.

Writing The Play Story. 55K words in and somewhere between the first and second turning points. It’s going to be too long, but then my first drafts always are.

Watching I am hooked on this ridiculous, implausible, unrealistic television show. It is the perfect thing to have on when you want to be distracted or entertained, which is all I’m really looking for from TV these days.

Listening to The Spotify top 100 Punk Songs playlist is top-notch.

Cooking We figured out how to use our communal grills in our apartment’s courtyard and have been grilling chicken (him) and polenta (me) with asparagus, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, and it is the perfect simple nutritious delicious summer dinner.

Have a great weekend and I hope you can be afraid and happy too.

Image found here

Things Making Me Think

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Happy Friday!

This week was not great for me, but it’s over now (the work-week part, anyways). I have very little in the way of plans this weekend, which makes me quite happy.

Taking a slightly different approach to this post this week. Let’s see if people (including me) like it.

Something I’ve learned (about writing).

Something I’ve learned (about travel).

Something making me think.

Something I’m thankful for: The smell in Jersey right before it’s about to rain is the same in the city as it is in the suburbs.

Something that made me laugh. Hard.

Something that was clearly written just for me. (Fun fact: I have that jewelry holder.)

Something I’ve learned: When you’re frustrated about something, don’t stew silently. Tell the person. (Politely.) For people who abhor confrontation, such as me, this can be daunting, but for the most part it’s a preemptive strike against an inevitably larger confrontation down the road.

And could this be my new favorite social media platform?!? If you sign up, be my friend! (I’m wanderlustywriter. Obviously.)

Reading: This is finally picking up! As I suspected it would, it’s sucked me in, and I’m on board for the rest of the series.

Writing: Play story forges on and my only problem at the moment is finding time to work on it.

Watching: Still on the same thing as last week and still can’t look away despite the insanity.

Listening to: This guy. He’s good.

Cooking: Messy but delicious.

How was your week? Better than mine, I hope!

Image found here

Things Making Me Think

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Happy rainy Friday.

It’s a day in which I feel like being this cat. My (many-windowed) bedroom is at the top floor of our apartment building, so I woke to the howling and pounding of the rain. It would have been a lovely day to stay in bed, but alas, I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep again.

This week was fills with lows, in the form of trying to organize a group housing situation for a wedding on Martha’s Vineyard (I’m about ready to bail on the group thing so if anyone has hotel recommendations, please let me know); and highs, in the form of a tiny baby girl born to my boyfriend’s sister, making me an aunt! (sort of!) I’m already looking forward to buying her all the children’s books (have you hear of these? they’re so cute!) and am currently taking suggestions!

Here are some other things that made my week:

Just discovered this site, and immediately became obsessed with it, particularly this article.

Have you read any of these?

So, so cool.

YES YES YES. (I wrote about this before.)

Exactly.

All too (frighteningly) true.

Also, I wrote this article; my new job is nothing if not interesting.

Reading: This, still. It’s long. But it has picked up, so there’s that. Meanwhile, this came in the mail and it’s taking all my willpower not to abandon everything else I have to do in life and hibernate with it. (I loved this series.)

Writing: Play story! I have figured out how to make my protagonist an actual human, so it’s full steam ahead. Until the next problem. Such is (a writer’s) life.

Watching: I’m constantly amazed by how deeply stupid the characters on this show are, but somehow I can’t look away.

Listening to: My brand’s SoundCloud

Cooking: These sound weird, but were incredibly good and you should make them ASAP.

Have a wonderful (rainy) weekend!

Image found here

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.

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!

Image found somewhere on this Tumblr

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