June 13, 2016

Earl Grey Tea, 40k and Envy, Among Other Things

image via unsplash

I haven't blogged in a long time, but I'm sitting here in this surprisingly empty coffee shop with a steaming cup of earl grey tea and earphones in to block out the bad choice of music, and it seems like the perfect time to catch you up on what's going on.

I spent a lot of time home alone with my troublesome three-year-old this weekend while my husband was out showing houses, so this break of mine -- these couple hours that I can call my own -- feel like a breath of fresh air. 

I know I have this annoying habit of being negative more often than not (which I'm working on every day, believe me). but here's the truth for ya.

Life is kind of insanely difficult right now.

Between my full-time job and writing I am busier than ever. Dom is even busier than I am. And my kid... well, lets just say that if I had known what three would be like, I wouldn't have been complaining about two.  Most days I'm fighting just to keep my head above water.

And to not drink all the wine.

I've been struggling with writing How To Be Someone Else lately. I've hit that oh-so-difficult part where you've written the thick of it, and you know the ending, but there's that section in the middle that just doesn't want to be written. Despite my best attempts I keep writing and re-writing. Typing and deleting, though I know I shouldn't be. I keep trying to remind myself that this first draft just needs to be written, and I can worry about the rest later. But goodness... it's not coming easily these days.

I hit the first goal I set for myself -- which was to hit 40k by June 10 (I hit it on the 6th) -- and I've set myself a new goal of 50k by the end of the month. I know it doesn't sound like much, but with how much I've been struggling lately, I'm not sure it will happen. But, I keep trudging along.

I had a late lunch with a new friend on Friday and she asked me how my writing was going. It definitely hurt to tell her that it wasn't going well. Admitting it to myself is one thing, but having to say it out loud is a whole new ball game. 

Fortunately it wasn't anything that a purchase at Lululemon couldn't solve. #kiddingbutnotreallythough

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This past week we had one of our biggest authors in town. I spent a lot of time with him, his wife and my boss, talking about everything from writing to the Vietnam war, to the sad state of people these days. For the most part,  I'm a quiet, reserved person, but when we get on the topic of people doing shitty things and being shitty people, I get really worked up. I felt like my Italian husband, waving my arms in wide circles while I rattled on (seriously, Italians know how to use their hands in conversation).

I guess the timing of this is pretty shitty, considering what just happened in Orlando, but I've always been so disappointed/horrified/embarrassed/ashamed of all the horrific events that happen in this country. Honestly, anytime stuff like this goes down I miss Canada more and more. I could talk about it for hours on end, but suffice it to say, there are some really awful people out there in the world.

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I attended a high school graduation party last night and ended up speaking with three recent graduates about what they want to do with their lives (god, how much do I hate that term!) and I was absolutely blown away by their thoughtful responses. If I think back to when I was 18 and fresh out of high school, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I'd only known -- like I've always known -- that I wanted to do something creative. Totally vague, right?

Anyway, these girls blew me away. I sat across from them, my legs crossed, enraptured in their stories. And I was envious, did I mention that? What I wouldn't give to go back to 18 and do things differently. And I wasn't just envious... I was full on jealous. That is until they told me they thought I was 27 or 28... then I just loved them. Screw envy, jealously... it ruins everything.

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So I guess that about catches you up with what's been going on with me lately. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to get back to my earl grey tea and see if I can't make a dent in the last 9k of #HTBSE.
April 26, 2016

A Reading From My New Novel


If you're interested in watching me awkwardly read a scene from my newest novel, How To Be Someone Else, you can catch me do so over on my author blog, now.
April 1, 2016

The Book List | #3



Here's what I read in March:

THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD by Emily Henry
I really did enjoy this book, and that's saying a lot, because usually I avoid the YA genre, finding it -- more often than not -- too juvenile for me (and I don't mean that it's juvenile as in bad. I just mean... not age appropriate for me). But I can honestly say that I've never read anything like TLTSTW before. I recall, about 10% of the way through it, turning to my husband and saying "mark my words: this will be a movie."


THE INTERESTINGS by Meg Wolitzer
This is my second Wolitzer book, and just like the first, I was absolutely in awe of her words. She has truly become one of my new favorite authors.


THROUGH HER EYES by Ava Harrison
I was surprised by this book. I wasn't sure that I was going to like it, but I did. It's romantic and very mushy at times, but that's exactly what I was in the mood for. If you're in to supporting indie authors, give this book a shot.


What books have you read lately? What should I read next?
March 11, 2016

Oh Hey


I've been blogging here and there -- yes -- but not really about anything too personal. I haven't really even been saying much over on instagram either. The truth is that I've been spending a lot of time thinking -- and a lot of time writing in my journal -- about what I really want my life to look like.

I have this bad habit of being pessimistic about most things. I laugh about it now, but I used to always say 'I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist', which was really just an excuse for me to think negatively about something. Well, I'm tired of it, I really am. It's exhausting and it's taking away from my life.

I've been listening (and devouring) everything having to do with Pimpin' Joy week on the Bobby Bones show and they had said something weeks ago that really stuck with me. It sounds simple -- maybe too simple -- but maybe that's why I like it so much.

Every day is a good day.

I'm going to repeat that.

Every day is a good day.

If my writing isn't flowing the way I want it to and I'm feeling defeated, I'm shaking it off and saying, out loud, every day is a good day. If Dom comes home from a frustrating day of work and I begin to feel his attitude rubbing off on me, I'm stopping and saying, out loud, every day is a good day. On those mornings that DJ wakes upset at 5:20am and I'm exhausted because I didn't sleep well, I'm rubbing the sleep from my eyes and saying, out loud, every day is a good day.

It might end up being an incredible day, or maybe a difficult one, but I'm working on beginning my days with just a little more joy. With just a little more positivity. Because this one life that I've been given is incredible, and I don't want to spend another day thinking otherwise.

March 9, 2016

11 Readers + Writers You Should be Following on Social Media


It should come as no surprise that I'm a little too addicted to staring at beautiful bookstagram accounts or getting glimpses into the lives of other writers that I admire. So, I've put together a list of instagram and twitter accounts that I'm really loving lately in the hopes that you might find something special in their posts as well.


BOOKSTAGRAMMERS

@bookbaristas - If you don't already know about this lady and her account then shame on you.

@crimebythebook - I blame Abby for getting me hooked on thriller/suspense novels. Plus, her photos are so dark and moody. I can't get enough.

@sweptawaybybooks - Alyssa's feed is like Abby's but the lighter, brighter version. I'm always curious to see what she's reading.


WRITERS ON INSTAGRAM


@authorrsgrey - Rachel (name sisters!) shares the perfect mixture of life and work photos. Seriously. I find myself getting lost in her feed a lot.

@emilybelden - Honestly, I follow Emily because I'm curious about her life... and I mean that in the least creepy way possible. But seriously, she's awesome. We had a DM conversation about my wedding bands the other day. She's a cool gal.

@colleenhoover - Colleen just makes me laugh; it's as simple as that.

@suzykrause - I adore this lady, and not just because I can email her complaining about how damn hard writing is and she will understand. I love the glimpses I get of her life, and even when she's writing about the seemingly mundane sides of life, I'm always in awe.


WRITERS ON TWITTER

@blotsandplots - I have a soft spot for miss Jenny, if you can't tell by now.  She has been someone I've gone to for advice and for beta reading and she has never let me down. If you're a writer (or aspiring writer) you need to be following Jenny. Enough said. And join her facebook group!

@shesnovel - Like Jenny, this is an account you need to be following if you're a writer as well. Kristen posts some seriously amazing stuff.

@emilyhenrywrite - Emilys' twitter feed makes me laugh, and I love how she pretty much responds to every tweet sent her way. I just read her book, The Love That Split The World and.... wow.

@kseniaanske - This woman amazes me, and her words and encouragement push me to be a better writer and reader. Follow her asap.