July 27, 2015

Project Life 2015 | June One + Two

It is absolutely driving me crazy that I'm over a month behind in posting my spreads, but I've been super focused on writing my novella, and lots of other stuff seems to have fallen by the way side. Here I am though, with the first two spreads of June.

July 20, 2015

Why I'm Using Beta Readers

I've had a couple people tell me that I'm moving too fast.

On one hand, I can understand why they feel that way, but on the other, I can't help but think: you don't know how long I've been working towards this point. There has always been a rattling against my ribs urging me to write. It's been there so long that it's simply a part of me now.

The first draft of #FindingLilyNovel poured out of me in the span of a month. The end is so near I can taste it. But I need people to read it: so that I can make it better; so that they can point out what I cannot see because it's too close to me; and because Ksenia Anske said to.

I'm looking for my first round of beta readers now, so check out how to apply.
Edit: thank you to all who applied. Applications are now closed.

In the end all I want is a book that I can be proud of.

July 16, 2015

Currently (July)

Outside: our bathing suits are perpetually drying on the clothing line, our fingers and toes wrinkled from all the time we're spending cooling off in the pool. I watch DJ grow more adventurous with every passing day, dipping further and further into the water, a perpetual smile plastered on his curious face. He is the best thing I have done in life. 

Inside: after another night of waking some time after midnight to kick off the thick bedspread, I bought a beautiful coral herringbone blanket to take its place. How something so small as this has me smiling from ear to ear each time I walk into the bedroom, I will never understand, but I'm grateful for everything uplifting in my life.

Hoping: that the words keep flowing the way they have been as of late. It felt as though my first book simply poured out of me, and I'm crossing all fingers that this next one does the same. I can't put into words just how much more I feel like myself when the words are flowing.

Wanting: like last month, I'm wanting something to look forward to.

Eating: my first taste of Indian food since my trip to San Francisco in 2012. I sat across the table from a friend who told me about how her past is affecting her future as I sat in quiet agreement. If only the past didn't shape who we are today I would say to hell with it.

Listening: to my body when it says slow down; to my heart when it says be still; and to my son when he is saying be patient.

Remembering: how beautiful my hometown is in the fall; the way the streets explode in red, yellow and orange and the nights become still. 

Writing:  as though I have found a space where I might just fit in perfectly.
July 11, 2015

All the Dust and Debris

I was 16 when I fell in love for the first time, and like any young girl at that age, I thought he was the be all and end all. I had no idea that there would be others after him.

He was sweet and kind, with big, light brown eyes and a smile that made everything seem instantly better, and I loved him. For over four years, we loved each other.  And when our relationship came to its end, when it became clear that we weren't meant to be forever, I lost more than the love of a boy. I lost the love of a village; of friends and family who had been so intertwined in my life that I didn't know where I ended and they began.

Often times I'm grateful that I moved away; that I don't have to worry about the memories associated with places, things and people. I spent too much of my twenties running away from my mistakes and regrets. Here in Vegas, there is only Dominic; there are only our places, our things, our people. And all the dust and dirt and debris from my past is back there in Canada somewhere, floating around, unnoticed.

And all that's ahead of me is him, and us, and this family we have built.
July 9, 2015

A Prologue Peek

I've been quiet, but for good reason. To quote Suzy: "So, I'm writing a book."

It has flown out of me so organically that I almost can't believe it's nearly complete. To say that I'm one to start stories and never finish them is an understatement; and that is why, even if this book never sees the light of day, it will always be a huge accomplishment for me.

Soon, I will be editing... and that scares me more than writing this book ever has, because I'm afraid to look at it so closely that I could find holes. Though, I suppose that's the whole purpose to editing.

All of this is to say that I'll certainly come up for air soon. Until then, here are some words that I strung together to begin my book:

They weren’t always this way.

In fact, Lily and Thomas Gardner used to be happy. The kind of happy that made most people envious, sick to their stomachs, or likely some combination of the two.

Thomas was the first man Lily had ever deemed worthy to let all the way in to her life. Before him she had known only liars and cheats, boyfriends who worked too much or too little and didn’t know a healthy relationship from a hole in the wall.

The intensity in which Thomas pursued her in the beginning made her weak in the knees. All the flowers, the expensive dinners, the opening and closing of car doors, the intense eye contact, and texts throughout the day all culminated in one thing: her absolute undoing.
July 1, 2015

Shop Update | 7.1.2015

Happy Wednesday! And to my Canadian friends and family: Happy Canada Day!

I've updated my shop with three new digital products, Sunny Days and Summer Fresh, geared towards documenting your summer adventures. I'm so excited to share these with you because they're bright and fun, and add the perfect pop of color to your project life spreads and other projects. Lastly, is Happy Fourth, designed to help you document your summer celebrations.
All three sets are 15% off today only.

As always, I love seeing what you do with my collections. If you post on instagram, be sure to use the hashtag #bigcityquietdesigns so that I can see your lovely creations and share then with my followers!
June 24, 2015

There are things happening, new things and uncharted territory. I'm trying new things and stepping outside of my comfort zone. It feels oh so good.
June 20, 2015

A Messy Saturday

I was yelling. Dom was yelling. And DJ kept on crying, like he had been all day.

Some days I can breathe deeply, consciously, and calm myself down. Some days I can remind myself that he's only two and that we're all still learning to communicate with each other.

Today was not one of those days.

We were tired, the trio of us: from battling colds, ear infections, poor sleep and skipped naps. The 107 degree heat perhaps affecting us more than we realize. So: there was yelling.

At four-thirty, Dom called in reinforcements: his aunt, to relieve us for two hours so that we could step out and get our bearings on the day and our attitudes.

We went to the movies. Sat in the back row. Enjoyed some noise other than that going on at home.

And when we got home I lunged upstairs, desperate to catch DJ before he was asleep, overjoyed to find him waiting up in our bed. As Dom's aunt slipped out, I pulled DJ close and whispered to him how much I love him.

I turned off all the lights, drew the curtains shut and lay down beside him, sighing deep from within my bones as he tucked his little body against mine, as close as he could get. His eyes were growing heavier by the second, fluttering shut and opening again only briefly to make certain I was still there, his mouth in a faint 'o' shape, pursed. With a deep sigh, he tucked his hand under his cheek, took one last look at me, and closed his eyes for the night.

I lay there in the near dark, staring at his perfect little face, and cried.

With every tear I released the guilt of the day, the weight of expectations, regret, and exhaustion.

No mama is perfect, and we're all just trying to do the best we can, making what we can out of each messy day.