I haven’t been reading.

I haven’t had it in me lately, which is bugging me, but nothing changes. So, clearly, it’s not bugging me enough.

I have plenty of options [i.e. stacks of books], but I’m not motivated to immerse myself in a new world. I think it’s because I’ve been immersing myself in my own new world.

This writing project is wonderful. Wonderful and slightly aggravating. But really just wonderful. It’s mine, my creation. My imagination and thought processes resulted in a story, a plot, and characters that I truly love. Now all I need is time to devote to its progress.

What I find tricky is I don’t want to delve into the project for 15 or 20 mins when I have a chance. I want like 2 hours to get in there and be present.

There’s a coffee shop nearby, and I work well there. I don’t work well at home. Too many distractions and reasons to not focus. I’m hoping I’ll get in some good writing time tomorrow since I’m off from work, but I have to go somewhere else because I’m not at home.

I have to remember- this book isn’t going to write itself! And I can’t edit a blank page. All those clichés that are meant to induce encouragement and motivation, they work, let me tell you.

Witchiness

I last wrote about my idea for a witch story. Well, I’m excited to report that I’ve stuck with it since then!

I spent a considerable amount of time developing characters and an actual storyline/outline! I wish I could work on it more regularly, like every day, but due to my job, I’m left with weekends. And that’s been working well.

I have so much planned out that I can see myself writing everything in between. After so many failed attempts and not-even-started ideas, it’s kind of surreal to have something remotely viable.

In addition, I’ve re-embraced my own witchiness. Not like Wicca or anything because I’m firmly non-religious. But crystals and candles and herbs and oils. It’s called cottage witchery, which is new to me. I don’t remember that term being around before, but I wasn’t able to research as much as I can now. It’s all very natural & earthy. One of my bffs is very into it as well.

I’ve worked some of that into my characters’ lives too, which is helping me learn more for myself. I’ve always been interested in all of this, and I’m finally able to be myself about it. Relatively. My boyfriend is so supportive of it. I expect it to bother people or come across as crazy, but he was totally accepting.

Side note: That’s the kind of relationship I recommend. One where your partner doesn’t try to change you or belittle your interests/hobbies/passions. One where your partner accepts you and only wants you to be happy and safe. And vice-versa of course. That’s love.

Summer, Sunshine, and Perpetual Self-Discovery

Well, I graduated. What a load off my back (and mind) that is.

My college career came to an end on May 10, 2019, assuming I don’t go for a graduate degree. The very idea turns my stomach, but I did find out that Masters degrees in creative writing are real, so who knows what the future holds.

My degree title is as follows:

Bachelor of Arts, University Without Walls, Journalism and Writing Studies

Yeah- *fist in the air, à la John Bender, minus the long coat because it’s too hot out for that*

Now, if I could just receive that stupid piece of paper in the mail.

My advisor confirmed that I graduated. My grades and degree completion checklist told me that I graduated. But the “3-4 weeks” that it would take to receive my diploma have passed. I can’t help feeling a little afraid, like it was all a joke or a lie.

I want to hang it in a smart, classy frame and stare at it while I pay back the loans I owe so that I can be reminded of why I did this in the first place.

Back when I first contemplated giving college another go, I had a lot of worries to sort through, but where I always ended up was, if I had already started, instead of continued to worry, I could be like a year into it by then.

So, finally, I decided to do it. And three years later, here I am. Done.

It’s pretty surreal.

At first, I was like, I have all my free time back! I can do what I want! I can write! I can read! I can travel!

But you know what? For this last month, I mostly just binged on Netflix. I did a little reading (finished The Great Gatsby; started Lolita) and a little traveling (bookstores; beach) and a little creative thinking (random stuff). But mostly, I was a total bum.

And it was fantastic!

Eventually, instead of being annoyed with myself for not being more creatively productive, I embraced the bumminess and let myself ENJOY it! I realized that I needed time to detach from thinking like a part-time student. I needed to get to know myself again, who I am without “student” as a descriptor.

At this point, the Netflix binge has ended, thankfully. There’s been an uptick in social media activity though. I would like to quash that, but I’m also getting into the mindset of using it for creative purposes, so I’m putting a pin in that one. Happy to report, however, that I’ve been reading more. Still on Lolita, which is an entirely different topic, but I bought a bunch of new books and am very excited to get into them!

Here’s to summer, sunshine, and perpetual self-discovery! 🍹☀️

The “winter blues” got the best of me this year.

More so than ever before.

I’d never felt it this strongly. I spent about a month having ZERO motivation to do anything, and what sucks the most about the timing of it was that it started around the same time as the new semester. So, I did a few initial assignments and then got very behind. I’ve mostly caught up in one class, but the other… I’m still struggling. Luckily, it’s currently spring break, which means no new assignments to add on.

I think it started with the indecision about my financial aid, which I found out about a week before classes were to begin. And it wasn’t fully resolved until after they began. The week before classes, I usually read over the syllabi, get my textbooks, and get myself in the mindset of the assignments and subject matter. I didn’t have that this time.

Also, I was sort of forced into the classes I’m in. It’s my last semester, and I needed two 300- or 400-level courses. All that was offered for Journalism was Opinion Writing, and, out of the English creative writing courses, I chose TV Pilot Script Writing. Well, much to my dismay, that pilot script class was eventually cancelled due to low enrollment. The other options were Creative Writing, Writing the Graphic Novel, and Writing for a Living. I have no interest in graphic novels, but I considered it because it would mean focused creative work. The regular creative writing course wasn’t too appealing because I’d already taken that type of course the previous semester and a couple of times back in high school. I wanted something more specific, hence choosing the pilot script course. And as for Writing for a Living, it seemed more like the utilitarian class of writing curriculums. There would be no creative projects or soul-feeding writing. It would simply be about writing queries to publishers and agents. Ultimately, it’s what I chose because it seemed to be the most useful, and it’s been alright. It’s had interesting assignments that do make you think and figure things out.

As for opinion writing, I am less than excited by it. I think part of it is I don’t think my “voice” jives with the opinion style. Plus, I’ve learned that I’m not as interested in journalism as I once thought I might be. So, that adds to the lack of motivation.

But that’s why I went to school in the first place- to figure out which types of writing I would like most. And that’s what is happening.

I just have to get through this last part, and it will be in my rearview.

I already am considering taking a one-off screenwriting course at some point. NYU’s Tisch School offers one online, so maybe that’s in my future!

I have always loved New Year’s.

Both Eve and Day.

I’ve loved it when I’ve spent it with family, when I’ve spent it with friends, when I’ve spent it alone, when my dog was my midnight kiss, and as I’ve spent it with my Love for a few years now.

That moment when we move from the end of one period of time to the beginning of another… it’s a fully emotional experience for me. It makes me happy. It makes me hopeful and awakens my spirit. They say that the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest at Halloween. Well, I think there’s a thin veil on New Year’s Eve and Day too. A veil between contentment/complacency and wanting more, making changes and decisions. All you have to do is be open to it.

Happy New Year! 🖤🥂🖤🥂🖤

I saw my loves last Friday.

My loves being Hanson.

It’s kind of surreal thinking back over the last two decades that I’ve been a fan. It feels more like we’re friends, even though we truly aren’t. But there is a relationship there. They’ll even tell you.

The fans who have been with them since the beginning are everything to them. How often they thank us and how often they create special experiences makes it evident. I mean, they could simply not create special experiences, like the annual vacation to the Caribbean or the annual fan weekend (neither of which I’ve been to myself because, one, money and, two, the obligatory overly-obsessed and literally crazed fans that I don’t feel like encountering), and we would still be around. I am absolutely sure of that. It is about the music after all. Plus, we stuck around from 2000 to 2003 when there was that bureaucratically-induced music and touring drought. That was a long three years, let me tell you.

They do love us and appreciate us. And we—I—can’t get enough of them.

That weekend, their youngest sister got married. I remember the day they announced her birth! It’s things like that that remind me how long they’ve been a huge part of my life. My friend (and fellow fan) and I were talking about how it’s not just the three guys. It’s their whole family whom we’ve seen grow and change and whom we care about.

I tried to figure out how many times I’ve seen them live, and I’m at 15, unless I’m forgetting any. I have ticket stubs saved in a photo album, but at a certain point, ticket stubs became “print-at-home” pages or QR codes, which is a bummer because they’re harder to save. At least, for me they are. Anyway, tangent.

The show on Friday was at The Big E fair, and it was one of the best ever. I think it’s because there was seating. I didn’t sit at all, but it was nice to have the option in case you needed it. And the benches gave everybody their own space. Whereas, at general admissions, you’re all standing and crowded together. There’s no room to move around or dance really. Even no elbow room at times. But at this one, you had personal space. If only all the shows were like that. I think that’s a major gripe these days- we’re not 18 anymore. We need chairs! Hahaha

In November, we get to see them again. And it will be part of their String Theory tour, which involves them playing shows with symphonies! I’ve seen/heard a couple of clips, and it is beautiful. Some old songs, some new songs, and symphonies. I can’t wait. I’ll have to remember to bring a few tissues—I’m certain that I’ll cry.

The Story of the Roman Family

I’ve always wanted to tell this story. I’ve only told a few people, and even they don’t know more than that the family exists and minimally about why.

I am reluctant to share this because I feel like it makes me sound crazy. If you’re a writer too, I am going to trust that you understand where I’m coming from with this post. If you’re not a writer, please know that I do not have any sort of personality disorder.

So, the Roman family. They have existed, to me, in my imagination, for 20 years now. I realized that recently–Twenty Years. Such a wonderful milestone.

The main person in the family is a version of myself that, at the time, when I was 13/14 years old, I wished could be the real me. I made her have traits, both physical & character, that I wished I had, and I made her be a part of a large family. She is the 6th out of 10 kids. The part that I, of course, didn’t wish to be my life–she just had to have some sort of tragic back story–was that her parents had died. I think it was symbolic for me because that year was when I was moving and having to switch schools and, therefore, make new friends. I felt very alone and lacked self-confidence. I think this version of myself and her siblings was a coping mechanism. And they remained that for several years.

I wrote many a story, both short and long, chroncling her life. I have Word documents detailing each sibling’s individual family as everyone grew up. I have education information figured out. I have photos that I searched for online as a way to put a face to a name. A few celebrities are in there, which is funny to me, but they’re sort of-kind of what the character looks like in my mind.

About five years ago or so, I started working on the first story, the one that starts them off, the one that defines them. The one about the night their parents died. I know how each sibling reacted in the short-term and in the long-term and what it meant to them as a whole.

It feels like I know them and like they’re real. So much so that, when I considered the possibility of writing their initial story and self-publishing it, I had to change all of their names. It felt like I was divulging personal information by using all their original names. I felt protective of them.

Now that I’m in a writing course for which I have to write creative non-fiction and fiction, I wish I could use their story as non-fiction because it’s not fiction to me. I have to remind myself that it actually is.

Hopefully one day, I’ll see their story through. I think it would mean a lot to those who might read it.

I’m kind of a mess.

Not a “hot mess” though because, quite frankly, I’m not too fond of that saying.

Just a mess. A mess of ideas and hopes and desires. Some of which I actually follow through on. Others are forgotten. And many more are totally unrealistic, something I struggle to admit to myself. They can’t be worked into my life, so they fall by the wayside. But if I’m lucky, I’ve written them down.

Speaking of writing things down, I am a writer, which either intensifies my mess-being state or explains it. I haven’t decided which. Maybe it’s both.

I’m also a dreamer. I’m the girl with her “head in the clouds,” constantly contemplating the possibilities and the options. What would it mean to take this chance or that? Or to not take this chance or that? Where will that leave me, and will I have enough money?

And lastly, I’m an eternal optimist with a side of nagging realist. Optimism is my natural mindset. I understand the most logical outcome and that it generally has the best chance of occurring, but I love to leave the door open for the most sought after outcome.

Even if it’s not so logical.