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

Friday Things

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Happy Friday!

Today is my second to last day at the company I’ve worked at for the past eight years. It’s surreal. But an odd thing has happened in the past two weeks’ since I’ve given my notice: I’ve gotten less nervous about my impending new job, and more just plain excited.

Which helps immensely, since I’m the kind of person who’s terrible at making decisions and is constantly second-guessing herself. If you prescribe to astrology, you could say it’s the Libra in me. If you don’t, you could say it’s just how I am.

Anyway, here are some things I hope you find interesting:

1. The unintentional last words of 13 writers

2. Something that has always bugged the hell out of me

3. I love this advice, especially this line:

Love isn’t enough. Marry the person who brings out your best and will stand beside you at your worst.

4. Some advice on navigating this newish social platform–immensely helpful to those of us who work on social for a living/are writing for teenagers for a living.

Reading: This (after DNFing this). It’s really different. I’m not sure I like it. The prose is beautiful though, so I’ll probably finish it.

Writing: The YA fantasy. At the same time, in a fit of excitement, I submitted my YA contemporary to an agent via a #PitMatch on Twitter–my first time submitting this manuscript to an agent–and received this very nice rejection email:

We felt the writing was quite lovely and from the synopsis the plot looks intriguing. However, our guidelines require that our books not include drug/alcohol use or progressing beyond kissing, among other things. We do encourage you to keep submitting to other publishers because we feel the manuscript has promise for another house.

Yeah. My book includes drinking, smoking, and “progressing beyond kissing” (most of it in the first few chapters). I feel kinda dumb for submitting to them (though I don’t see anything about these guidelines on their site), and at the same time, it’s one of the nicest rejections I’ve ever gotten. It gives me hope that this manuscript will be more well-received than my first.

Watching: I stopped watching this after the first few episodes, because I did not like it. I find the writing and acting to be sub-par. However, I was encouraged via Twitter to give it another shot. I still don’t think it’s all that great, but it does hold my attention and it’s something to have on while cooking, so there’s that. And I like Bellamy. (Though not really anyone else.)

Listening to: Maybe I should take this category away because I tend to listen to the same stuff over and over. Though I am starting work at a music-related company next week so that may change.

Cooking: I made this soup this week and it was simple and delicious.

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

Image found on this amazing Tumblr