pictures

right now.

#latergram Driving thru Indiana #winter #indiana #snow #white

Hard to believe we’re already into March, and that it’s been almost two months since my last update. Whoops. I have to say that this winter has flown by, and I’m glad. It’s also been super mild. Thank you, El Nino. We had some crazy cold days, but nothing like winters of past. I don’t have to go out a lot, but when I do, it’s nice that the wind isn’t stabbing my face. It’s also nice that I finally own Uggs, and that they feel like warm, fuzzy clouds on my feet.

It's all about that #ugg life.

No excuse really for me not updating here, except that there’s not a whole lot going on. I did go through that extreme exhaustion phase I go through every January, except this year it lasted clear through to almost the end of February. I’ve also been craving and eating meatballs like crazy. I am not sure if the two are related or not.

I’ve been working, writing, playing games on my phone and facebook, listening to music, sleeping, and watching Netflix. I visited my mom at the end of February, and brought almost all of the laundry that I hadn’t done since the last time I visited her in September. I KNOW. Sometimes I fail at #adulting. But now I have a lot of clean clothes and I vow to never go six months without doing laundry again.

(For the record, I’ve said this in the past so take that vow with a grain of salt.)

Visiting Mommy was nice. She’s doing well. We watched The Oscars (finally, Leo, dang), hung out with cousins and aunts, Aidan was there (!), and I got to eat good food. Corky & Lenny’s, Bob Evans, and Mommy made me Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and corn. Mmmmmm. So yummy. Her kitty cat is so sweet, and visiting Marc’s always makes me happy because yay for snacks I can’t get in Chicago and cheap spaghetti noodles and Tahitian Treat.

It was a nice visit.

On the writing front, I’ve been revising my novel, talking to lots of writerly people, making friends, and well, I’m getting there. In December, I got the news that I’d been accepted into the Writing in the Margins mentorship program. Super exciting. I got my mentor introduction in January and you guys, I adore her. She’s been amazing. It blows my mind that this super successful author is willing to take time to read my novel and work with me to make it the best it can be. I am so lucky and hope one day I can pay it forward. She says 1–2 revisions or so should do it with this novel. It’s crazy that it’s finally nearly done. I definitely did not work this hard on ONLY YOURS, but then again, ONLY YOURS never sold. Or maybe I did work so hard but I just don’t remember. That’s a huge possibility, now that I think about it.

So, I’m dealing with a lot of FEELS in regards to this. I don’t know if I want to go into them here because I need to process them in my own safe space first. Luckily, I have plenty of notebooks and journals such things.

Wanda made me a hat!

Don't ask. It's better that way. 😜

Isn’t it pretty? I get a lot of compliments on it and I wear it everywhere. (The hat, not the face I’m making!) Ha ha. :)

This year, I’m making a point to support #ownvoices YA authors, especially authors of color. I thought I could put a limit on the works by mainstream authors that I purchase this year, but well LOL NOPE. Aidan gave me a booklist last weekend and a bunch of them were Dan Brown books. I’m never going to begrudge my child books, so I got him three. And there are some books in series that I already have pre-ordered. But here’s the thing. Buying #ownvoices books by authors of color has been remarkably easy on my budget so far. Not okay. I’m not even going to get started now but I have a lot of feels about that subject too.

*takes deep breath*

So much stuff in the works over here. It’s a bit overwhelming, to be honest. But let’s think about it. When am I not overwhelmed?

Till next time.

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taking stock.

Sunset

feeling: tired

making: time to rest

cooking: nothing, but waiting for adam to make pizza burgers and tater tots for dinner. yummy!

drinking: kool-aid, or water

reading: oldies but goodies

wanting: to have my novel in amazing shape already

looking: like a person who’s been sleeping a lot

playing: disney tsum-tsum and neko atsume on my phone. bejeweled blitz on facebook.

wishing: i wasn’t so tired all the time

enjoying: being able to rest

waiting: for aidan to arrive feb 11, for my timesheets for 2 different clients to get fixed

liking: relaxing and listening to music

wondering: if it’s all worth it

hoping: it is worth it

needing: more rest and more exercise and less winter

wearing: leggings and a tank top

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adulting is hard.

LEGOLAND Florida

We had our first snow of the season, so I’m protesting by posting this beautiful flower.

I really don’t have time to be blogging. I’ve been doing the 9–5 thing at Humana 5 days a week, then coming home and doing 3–5 hours of freelance every night, plus revising my novel on top of that. No, I don’t need sleep, why do you ask?

Actually, I do need sleep and I haven’t been getting enough. I got 3 hours Wednesday night, so Thursday I was pretty much delirious. I try taking Benadryl at night to make me sleepy, and I bought some earplugs–but they only work when they’re perfectly sealed. The other night night, it took 20 minutes just to get one ear sealed and it still wasn’t very good. There has to be a better solution. I wish I didn’t need them, but my neighbors are so loud. The cats are loud. Adam snores if he is on his back. And if it rains, it sounds like someone’s beating the window with drumsticks because our property managers refuse to properly clean a gutter.

So, for many reasons, I am frustrated, tired, and cranky. Moon time is upon me, so there’s number one. Not only does it wreak havoc with my mental state, it also messes with my physical state. And I’ve been working so much. While very grateful for all this work (because YAY $$ and YAY for companies who trust me and call on me time and time again to copy edit their materials), working is pretty much ALL I have been doing for the past…I’ve lost count of how many weeks. Here is the bright side of that, besides $$ and it being work I typically don’t mind: I get to do most of it from home. When I’m home, I can listen to Spotify, which is great because Spotify tells me things like when a new Enya album drops (like one did yesterday!) and it shows me new music all the time. Spotify pretty much has my number when it comes to the atmospheric, intense, lyrical music I like, so its suggestions are often spot on.

I can also take naps during lunch if I need to when I work from home. That came in very handy October 9, when I had a sick migraine.

So, other than working like a working thing, here are a few other life updates:

1. Made a new friend from work. I used to, a long time ago, be adamantly against becoming friends with co-workers. Well, in theory anyway. I never really actually practiced that, except with certain people and at certain jobs. At all the major jobs I’ve worked, I’ve had at least one cool person to hang with and be friends on Facebook with. But this person and I get along so well, we have a lot of the same goals and she’s just super awesome. So, I’m really glad for that.

2. Got trained on new stuff at Humana (which is how I met the friend in #1!). It’s still intimidating, but for a while the editing workflow was so low that they were talking about reducing my hours. When it became known that Rena needed backup, I took the opportunity to learn something new AND fill my hours. So, I got the word that my hours are NOT being trimmed at Humana which is great because I like working for them. My boss, Ginny, is really good to me, and the person I sit next to when I go in to the office, Phoebe, is fun to talk to.

3. Received feedback from an agent and her reader about my novel. Lots of really positive comments but also some revision requests. Well, one BIG revision request. I mean, even though a “not now but maybe later” always stings a bit, it’s so much better than a resounding “HELL NO.” Or no answer at all, which always means “no.” And seeing as this was my first horse out of the gate since 2007, when I look at it objectively, It’s really not so bad. But when I look at it compared to where I want to be? I feel very disappointed in myself for not doing it right to begin with. All those people I was in the writing world with in 2005 have moved on and I’m still…here. I get really down on myself and my skills when I really think about it, and believe me, I am always really thinking about it. I worry, all the time, that I’ll be “almost but not quite” and every day I wonder why the hell I keep doing this, why I can’t let it go, and why do I torture myself when it’s such hard work with no guarantees? But I’m revising and getting feedback and revising some more and hoping that this book finds its place in the world in a big way.

4. I joined the blogging team at The Theologians! YES it’s a Theo James fan site, but it’s also so much more. I adore the two women I blog with, and it’s really fun to have people to chat with about Theo and his projects. Pop on over and check it out!

5. Speaking of blogs, Anywhere Is turns 15 on Friday. I don’t know if I’ll remember to post about it so I’m posting about it here. Can’t believe I’ve had this thing for 15 years, and have had a web presence since 1997. I guess when I really get committed to something, it’s long term. Even if I take long, long breaks from time to time.

6. I very, very briefly met Drew Barrymore at the end of October. She’s a sweet, generous person but there were fans at this event who were so out of line that I doubt she’ll do an event like that in Chicago again. I knew there were people who thought of celebrities as…objects? But to see it in person was appalling. I felt so bad for Drew. Maybe she is used to it, but she didn’t deserve it.

Anyway, I should stop. I’m blabbing into the ether here, and I have work to do. I am ready for two days off in a row–two days where I don’t have to go anywhere–but I don’t know if that’s happening any time soon.

So, I’m out.

Oh, wait. Here is a picture from last night. Icky snow.

#chicago #cold #firstsnow #snow #white

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epic adventure: epcot

Epcot

Hi! I know it’s been a while. It takes a lot to put one of these posts together, and I’ve been super busy with work. But today my brain is scattered in 23849 different directions, so I thought, why not catch up. Or try to, anyway?

EPCOT_ECENTR1_7355443959

Aidan and I went to Epcot twice while on our trip. The first day, it was the two of us, and we had a good time. There was adventuring and characters and rides! There was one part that sucked, though. We were in line to meet Donald Duck when my phone started going crazy, showing me all these fraudulent charges using my Capital One. Then we were next and Donald had to go eat a taco (It was the Mexico Donald Duck.) I’d been trying to get a Donald all trip and argh. The card stuff eventually got sorted, so it all worked out. And that evening? We ate at Garden Grill and had an amazing time. Seriously, that restaurant blows me away EVERY SINGLE TIME I go, and this was my 11th time there.

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We got the HOOKUP for dessert, thanks to Sam, the amazing manager. Check this out:

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Can you even believe? I still can’t.

We watched the fireworks with my friend Joey and he dropped us off at the hotel after which was so nice of him.

The 2nd day we went, it was our last day in a Disney park for our trip. So those days are always bittersweet. Aidan wanted a hat, but not any hat. THIS HAT:

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I’d just gotten the official word that Humana wanted to hire me as a contractor, so I was happy to buy it for him from the China pavilion.

We did the Character Connection, which is always different every time we go!

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Eventually, Aidan and I met up with Joey and his daughters (Bella and Victoria) that afternoon and ate pizza at Via Napoli. That pizza tasted FREAKING DELICIOUS. We rode Test Track and Mission: Space with them as well. Aidan wanted to ride Orange: More Intense and so did Bella. Joey didn’t want Bella to ride it at first; I just think he didn’t want her to go alone. When I told him that I was letting Aidan go, he let her go too. I love that I can let Aidan do that. I was never going to tell him “no.”

Victoria and I played the games in the Mission Control part while we waited, and when that ended, I got her some astronaut ice cream, which she’d never even heard of, let alone tried!

At some point during the day, this bird somehow got ahold of a mayo packet. There was a cast member standing under the tree trying to get him to drop it but this bird was like LOL.

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That night, I had to pick up my rental car. Aidan and I were crashing out at Joey’s for a couple of nights before heading up the Florida coast. Joey made us dinner and let me do laundry, and we got to talk to Ricky Luna on video chat, and watch Wishes (the Magic Kingdom fireworks) from Joey’s window. Then we had to go to bed. It was LEGOland the next day!

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