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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in review: the year 2015.

Untitled

Was 2015 a good year for you?
It was pretty good. Had a few sad parts but I can’t complain. I got to take Aidan on an epic 3-week vacation which included Disney World, I got to see Ginger Doss in concert twice!, I made new friends, I “finished” my novel (still revising), and I got a job that I generally enjoy with good teammates and that pays well. I also got asked to blog for Theologians Net, a fan blog for Theo James. Radical.

What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
– drove in Florida
– visited Daytona Beach
– bought Uggs
– visited LEGOLand
– drank blk. water
– saw a ballet (The Nutcracker)
– saw The Lion King musical
– took a ballet class
– got a keratin treatment for my hair
– rented a car

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes.

Did anyone close to you die?
My stepfather Greg. :(

What countries did you visit?
Still none. But next year, for sure!

What date(s) from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 15–July 4: 3 week epic vacation, just me and Aidan

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing my novel. Still needs revisions, but it’s done! Finally!

What was your biggest failure?
Still not being *there* with the novel.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing other than the normal. Praise God.

Where did most of your money go?
travel, books, clothes, rent, bills

What song(s) will always remind you of 2015?
– Elastic Heart – Sia
– anything by Annelise Collette
– It’s In Her Eyes – manicanparty
– Better Days – RIVKA
– Out of Mind – Tove Lo

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– yoga
– barre
– long walks
– retreats at Stonehouse
– traveling
– interpersonal interaction
– personal reflection and spiritual work
– journaling
– taking more photos

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– being afraid
– hiding
– wasting time on social media
– messing around on the computer/iphone

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– Annaliese Collette
– Tove Lo
– RIVKA
– manicanparty

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 41. :O I went shopping at Target, put lights on the Christmas tree, ate lunch at Sakura (yummy) got a cupcake from Molly’s, and relaxed at home, chatting with Rena on Google Hangouts and playing TsumTsum on my phone.

How did you spend Christmas?
I spent it at home with my family. We opened gifts, then I read and napped and watched Aidan play video games the rest of the day. It was very relaxing and much needed.

How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Most likely at home with Aidan and Adam. Maybe watching Dance Academy or Punky Brewster.

What did you want and get?
– a trip to Disney World
– a chance to meet Huntley Fitzpatrick and loads of other amazing authors
– critique partners for my book
– a new good friend

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a flat stomach
– a trip out of the country
– to meet Theo James
– to see the Statue of Liberty, the Cloisters, and the High Line in NYC
– an agent

What kept you sane?
– books, books, books
– yoga
– as much sleep as possible
– regular massages
– lots of blankets to keep me warm

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
I won’t even mention his name here. Ugh.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
The work never stops.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
– Yoga pants and long tee-shirts or tank tops.
– Skinny jeans and boots.
– Leggings. Lots of leggings.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
– Disney World
– Anderson’s YA Lit Conference

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Meeting Theo James. That cheeky bastard.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? About the same.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. I’ve been eating like crap. Still look good in the skinny jeans and leggings, though.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer. :)

In 2016, I am looking forward to:
– breaking out my new Happy Planner
– finishing revisions on my novel and getting it ready for submissions (eeeee!)
– starting a new novel
– discovering new music (thank you, Spotify!)
– travel
– making new friends
– getting back into my yoga practice

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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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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