A True Gemini

I’m not really into astrology, but I’ve always identified with my sign: Gemini, the Twins.  My mother likes to say she never knows which of me she’s going to get: Happy, bubbly Rachel, or Sad, Angry, Snaps-all-the-time Rachel.  Most days I don’t know myself which girl to expect.

*

It’s a strange balancing act- trying to reconcile the two selves.  Happy Rachel is motivated, enthusiastic, and yes, happy.  Sad Rachel, well, she’s none of those things.  She’s a downer, really.

*

A couple of weeks ago, when I wrote about using 2011 to write a second book and my write-an-hour-straight every week challenge, I was Happy Rachel.  I was excited and couldn’t wait to write.  But I haven’t done any writing since then.  I’ve been so busy with work that when I have had time, all I’ve wanted to do is relax- do nothing.  It makes me incredibly sad that writing has come to feel like more work.  It used to be a hobby, a passion.  Something I did only for me.  Now it’s like I’m trying to prove something to the world.

*

I don’t know what’s changed, honestly, and therefore must attribute my inability to write to my destructive Gemini side.  See, I used to write about really personal things- people would tell me all the time that the quality they liked most about my writing was its honesty: the way I put myself out there on the page without apology, without embarrassment.  Well, maybe with some apology, but definitely without embarrassment.

*

Well, lately I haven’t been writing anything personal because the personal things happening in my life involve other people and I haven’t wanted to splash their names or information all over the Internet.  It’s nothing bad, not really, I’ve just learned that while I can be completely open with my own feelings and beliefs and actions without embarrassment, that might not be the case for everyone else.  And I need to respect that others may not like my talking so freely about them, even though it has put me in a bit of a block, writing wise.

*

I struggle a lot with wishing that things in my life were different while not really sure how to make different happen.  Like with dating, people like to give me all kinds of advice, but the two major things I hear is “You have to stop looking,” and “You have to put yourself out there.”  How do you stop looking and put yourself out there at the same time?  Don’t answer that- it’s a rhetorical question.  It’s just, I don’t know how to make my dating life different.  I can’t force a guy to be interested in me or want a relationship with me.  And I refuse to be anyone but myself.  What’s the point in lying or pretending to like things I don’t in order to get a guy to like me- eventually he’d discover the truth, right?

*

I’m at this point where I feel like I need to make major changes in order to get the life I want, but I feel guilty about what those changes mean.  Mainly because I know that I’m going to probably have to leave one or both of my jobs and find one that actually pays decently.  I’m so freaking stressed about work and I never feel like I’m off-the-clock.  But I feel guilty because I know that both places depend on me and have done a lot for me.  At the same time, though, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for either if I left.  Which sucks.  I like to be indispensable.  I so rarely am.

*

All this thinking about my life, career, dating, writing, making changes, made me think about the first piece I wrote back in March 2009 when this whole writing thing started.  I checked, and I’ve never shared it on the blog, so I’m going to now.  I don’t really want sympathy or advice, I want to get back to a place where I can write with honesty and share my deepest emotions without feeling self-conscious.  Because that’s the only way I’m ever going to write a second book or have the courage to go after what I really want for my life.

*

***************************************************************************************************************************************************

Average

*

I felt a sudden panic seize me as the words left my mouth.  I’d said these words before, to myself, to others as a joke.  I’d only believed them half-heartedly before.  Deep down, I’d always believed I couldn’t have such a strong desire for something I was destined to never have.  And yet, tonight, as I stared into the mirror and said those words again, the truth behind them threatened to crush me.  What is the point of living when you have no one to share your life with?

*

I looked back at the mirror, trying to see something in my face.  Something worth caring about, something worth hoping for.  But I found nothing and the truth of my words stung as I said them a final time:

*

“No one will ever love me.”

*

Wow, what a melodramatic way to begin.  But, this is honestly how I felt, how I feel.  Sure, I guess I am still pretty young.  Twenty-five isn’t exactly middle-aged.  I know there are many people who will (who do) think I’m crazy for feeling so despondent that I am not blissfully happy with the love of my life.  But they don’t see it from my perspective.  How can they possibly understand how much my heart aches?  It isn’t so much about the fact that I haven’t found “the one,” it’s more about the fact that I’ve found no one.  No One.

*

I guess you could say I’m average.  I think it would probably be fair to say that I have always been average. It’s not hard to be average in childhood.  You get along with most of your classmates, teachers, family, etc.  You have friends- even close friends.  Being an average child is not a bad thing.  You find your niche.  You grow in your interests, try and find something in which you are possibly above average.  And maybe you find it and it takes you into your teen years.

*

I found my niche.  I did pretty well at school.  I always had good grades.  In elementary school, it never really occurred to me that other children didn’t have report cards that looked like mine- all A’s.  My niche followed me through high school.  And I did feel above average.  I thought I was special.  I had a knack for picking up what the teachers were talking about and understanding it.  I never felt uncomfortable raising my hand to answer a question or putting off a paper until the last minute- I always knew it would be finished on time and be returned to me with a bright red A on the first page.  I had friends and I was fairly happy.

*

But at some point, the average person who thinks they are special is going to find out the truth.  They are average.

*

I didn’t truly discover this until my last year of college.

*

I glided through the first three years.  Almost perfect grades.  Friends.  Jobs.  I was constantly busy, constantly feeling the pressure to be above average.  And loving it.  Senior year should have been great.

*

But that’s when the rejection started coming.  Friends who I loved, relied on, suddenly seemed to lose interest in me.  (Had they, at this time, discovered my inherent averageness?)  My plans for the future began to crumble around me.  I had intended to go to law school, but my near-perfect grades weren’t good enough for the schools I wanted to accept me.  (Was there something about my applications that screamed AVERAGE to the admissions committees who reviewed them?)  I remember wanting to get out of the town as soon as possible.  I felt like I didn’t belong anymore to the world in which I was living.

*

All it takes is moving back in with your parents and working as the best-educated waitress at a local restaurant to realize how completely and utterly average and ordinary you are.  There is no way to feel special when the thing that has made you feel special your whole life is suddenly gone.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,000 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 106 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 135 posts. There were 45 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 61mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 6th with 54 views. The most popular post that day was What’s at Stake.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were networkedblogs.com, WordPress Dashboard, mybadpants.com, clairelazebnik.com, and thenextbigwriter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for pen, pride and prejudice 2005, while you were sleeping, bridget jones diary, and colin firth bridget jones.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

What’s at Stake January 2010
14 comments

2

About the Aspiring Author October 2009
7 comments

3

The Look December 2009
5 comments

4

Instant Gratification: I Blame America September 2010
13 comments

5

Twenty-Five October 2009
4 comments

I’m pretty happy with how things went here at I Picked Up A Pen One Day.  I hope my wonderful readers have enjoyed my writing, rambling, and random insights and comments this year and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy them into 2011!

It’s Been One Year…

365 days and 100 posts.

*

One year ago today, I picked up a pen and started writing down the story of how I came to pick up a pen in the first place.  It’s crazy how much (and how little) can happen in a year’s time.

*

I was working at a hair salon last October, frustrated that I couldn’t pay my bills and hating how stressed out every day at work made me.  I had fallen in love with Ben Harris, the character I dreamed up to fall in love with my fictional equivalent, Abigail Bronsen.  I had never sent out a query letter and I had no idea how self-esteem crushing writing one could be.

*

In November, I attempted my first NANO novel, which I called Anita’s Dream Diary.  There were certain things about ADD that I loved- the first chapter contained a rather hysterical (I think) suicide attempt- but as I kept writing, I just realized the entire style of the book wasn’t suited to my voice.  It was an interesting lesson in learning to let go when things aren’t working.  I started writing The Death Effect on Thanksgiving Day and I didn’t “win” NANO, but I’m still glad I attempted it.

*

December was a big month.  I gave my boss notice and started looking for other jobs.  I knew that I was never going to be happy working as a hair salon receptionist.  So I moved on.  And on January 20th I started my new job.  As a receptionist at an orthodontist’s office.  Okay, so I’m still a receptionist, but the great thing about working at the ortho is that when I leave work- I’m done with that job.  I don’t have to worry that someone is going to call and ask me to work their shift or about the crazy guest that didn’t like her hair.  I’m not on-call 24/7.

*

I went on a couple of dates in February!  It didn’t end in a love connection, but it felt good to get out there and feel some butterflies and wonder where it was going.  I hadn’t been on a date in seven years, so even being asked out boosted my confidence!

*

March and April were wedding months for me.  I met with a lot of brides, worked a couple of weddings, and started planning with a full-service couple.  I really really love being a wedding coordinator.  I cannot wait until that grand day when I’ll get to do it full time.  I really hope it happens soon. I know that whenever I’m able to quit my day job to do weddings full time, I’ll be able to put a lot more of my free time into 1- writing and 2- having a social life!

*

Disney World and all of it’s fantubulousness happened in May.  It was a much-much-much needed vacation.  I really needed to see my friend, Brooke, and I really needed to have some fun and some alone time with my writing.  I got all three things.  And my adorable niece, Gracyn, was born on May 24.  She is one of the happiest things in my life right now.  She’s not my actual niece, but her mother and I have been friends since first grade!

*

I turned 26 in June.  If it’s is possible, I think turning 26 was more difficult than turning 25.  I had my book to focus on on my twenty-fifth birthday.  On my twenty-sixth, all I had to focus on was the fact that I was twenty-six!  I realize I’m not old.  I realize I’m still young.  But I am not living like a 26-year old.  I’m a nomad.  I don’t have a real home.  I have three jobs.  I’ve never had a relationship.  I wonder what’s wrong with me that at 26 I’m not more grounded.  Some people would be happy with leading this kind of existence.  I am just not one of those people.  I like order and stability.  I can’t understand what’s been keeping me from living the life I want.

*

A client was unhappy with me in July.  I can’t explain how uncomfortable and upset that makes me.  I want to make everyone happy.  I am sickeningly accommodating of people, especially my clients.  It keeps me up at night when someone is angry at me.  But I had to push through it, because I kept getting prospective clients and I still had other weddings to plan and coordinate.  It wasn’t easy for me.  And I still think about it sometimes on my long commutes to and from work.  I hate that I can’t get over things like that.

*

The Hamm family took a trip to visit more of the Hamms in August.  We spent a long weekend with my grandparents in Buffalo. It was another much needed vacation.  My really good friends Ashley and Charles moved to Burlington with beautiful Gracyn around the same time.  I’m soooooo happy I finally have close  friends nearby.  And that I don’t have to spend all my weekends alone in my bedroom!

*

September and October have been wedding-crazy-busy again!  As you can see, the year started with writing and it pretty much fazed out and into wedding work.  I wish I had an extra twelve hours every day so that I could focus equally on both my loves.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to.  I miss writing.  I can’t remember the last time I sat and wrote anything new.  I’ve been slowly editing Twenty-Five for the past month, but haven’t picked up a pen and written anything fresh.

*

So that’s where I am, on this, the one-year anniversary and one-hundredth post of my blog.  I hope I’ll have another eventful year.  I hope I’ll grow and maybe have another finished book by the time October 15, 2011 comes around.  Maybe I’ll be in love.  Maybe I’ll be living on my own.  Or maybe I’ll have learned to start living in the moment and not looking to the future.  Who knows.  But I hope you’ll stay along for the ride.

*

Quick reminder- I’ll start posting my book chapter by chapter on Sunday.  Please, if you are a regular reader, but have never commented- let me know how you like it!  And share it with everyone you know.  Especially if you know any literary agents or publishers 🙂

*

And thank you so much for reading, for following this journey I’m taking to become a real writer.  I appreciate it more than I can say.

My Favorite Posts

There’s less than a week til the one-year anniversary of this blog!  I can hardly believe that I’ve been writing and sharing with the blogosphere for a year.  I’m so glad I let a friend convince me to start it.  It has been a friend when I had no one to talk to, an outlet to vent, and the best place in the world to share my writing.  I sincerely hope that those of you who are kind enough to follow me have enjoyed my nonsensical ramblings and bitching and exultations.

For those of you who may not have been around since the beginning of this blog, I wanted to catch you up a little bit/ share my favorite posts from this past year.  I hope you enjoy!

The Road That Let to Know

Originally Posted October 15, 2009

It’s amazing how seemingly insignificant moments in life can become catalysts for major change.  At least that’s what I’ve been told.  And it must be true because I’ve witnessed the phenomenon time and time again.

I tend to be the type of person who thinks I always know what path I’m walking when, in reality, I could stumble upon a fork in the road, trip over a tree root, or walk right into a dead end at any moment.

Read more here…

My Top 10 Favorite Books

Originally Posted November 9, 2009

This was a HARD list for me to make.  I love to read.  I’ve always loved to read and my taste in books is broad.  I only had one requirement for a book to make my top ten list: I had to have read it more than once.  To me, that’s an automatic way to determine if a book is good.  Do I want to read it a second time?  A third time?  Otherwise, I just went with my gut.

1.) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I know, no big surprise here if you’ve read other blog entries and the Randomness page.  I’ve read this book more times than I can count.  I cry every time Darcy says, “You are too generous to trifle with me…”  I have “I love Mr. Darcy” as the screen saver on my phone.  Yes.  I really do.  I’m such a dork, but I don’t care.  Elizabeth Bennett is witty, independent, and kind.  She stays true to the women of the time period she lived in, but she also breaks new ground.  Jane Austen is a genius.  This is ABSOLUTELY the best book ever written.  If you disagree we cannot be friends.

Read more here…

Bookshelf Browsing- Why Judging a Book By Its Cover is Totally Fine By Me

Originally Posted January 6, 2010

I read somewhere that writers aspiring to be published should

(A) Read as many books in the genre they are writing in as possible

and

(B) Support other beginning (or non-famous) authors by buying their books.

Well, if you’ve been reading my blog regularly you’ll know my financial situation as of late hasn’t really allowed me to purchase many books (or any at all), so I’m dreadfully out of touch with what is out there in book world right now.

Read more here…

What I Learned This Week

Originally Posted March 11, 2010

I’m often told that my writing is very honest- that I’m not afraid of putting myself out there on the page.  And I definitely find this is true.  In fact, I’m more honest in my writing than in actual conversation.  Not because I am untruthful in real conversation, but because I often just can’t find the right way to express myself.  Somehow, in writing, I always can.

I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon a lot lately.  Namely due to this guy I went out on a couple of dates with.  Let me emphasize A COUPLE OF DATES.  I’ll be more precise.  TWO dates.  You’ll see why the number is important in a minute.

Read more here…

The Query I Wish I Could Send Out

Originally Posted May 3, 2010

Dear SuperAgent,

I wrote my first novel, Twenty-Five, a year ago, on the verge of my own twenty-fifth birthday to deal with the trauma of that milestone.  It is the first time I’ve attempted to write fiction other than a contest in the fourth grade (which I won) where I wrote a short story entitled The Summer Aliens Invaded My Brother’s Brain.  I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses.  Twenty-Five is a love story, pure and simple.  The characters are not so utterly unique that reading about them makes one wonder if I was on acid when imagining their personalities.  The plot is not so action packed and full of twists and turns that readers will sit looking at the wall, scratching their heads, for ten minutes after reading because they have no idea what the hell just happened.  Instead, I’ve created characters who are a lot like you and me, your best friend, your next door neighbor, and the boy who grew up down the street from you who you always had a secret crush on.  What happens to them is what happens to us all- the firsts of a new relationship.  The first meeting, the first date, the first kiss, the first fight, the big breakup, etc.

Read more here…

And some milestone updates for you:  this is my 99th (eek!) post and there are only 4 days until the anniversary!!!!
A little thing that makes me happy: decorating for Halloween!

My Own List

I found an old journal today. I was about to go to church with my friends, Ashley and Charles, and was looking for a Bible to take with me and when I pulled one off the lower shelf of an end table I have in my bedroom, my journal fell onto the floor. I started writing in this particular journal on July 5, 2006 (My sister’s birthday!) and only wrote through about half of it. My last entry was sometime in 2008, but I’m not sure when because I didn’t date it (weird). I only know it was 2008 because the entry before that was entitled “2008 Reading List.”

So, I’m browsing through the entries and I find a list: “Things I want to Do Before I Die.”

I don’t remember writing it! And I certainly didn’t remember it when I sat down and wrote Twenty-Five. It isn’t surprising, but it is rather humorous, that several items on this list also show up on dear old Abby’s list in the book. Because after all, Abby is basically me- just a better me.

I’m going to put the list here, as a bit of a teaser, because I’ve decided I’m going to post Twenty-Five on this blog. Yes, the whole book. I’ll post one chapter every other day starting October 17th.  I’ve read a lot of warnings about posting stories, books, poetry etc. on blogs because you risk someone stealing it and passing it off as their own, but I’m still going to do it.  I know there’s a risk, but I’m honestly not worried about it.  I want the world to read my book.  I don’t know that it will ever be published.  So I’m going to send it out there for free.  Plus, I have all of the early drafts and the first draft is hand written, so I’m pretty sure I can prove it is my work if someone does try to steal it.  I hope everyone likes it and passes it on to their friends to read!

Okay, so here’s the list I wrote back in 2006:

Things I Want to Do Before I Die:

1. Get married/ fall in love

2. Have a child

3. Visit London

4. See another Broadway Show

5. Live in New York City

6. Go on a mission trip

7. Do something completely out of character

8. Watch every Academy Award winner of Best Picture

9. Own a brand new car

10. Learn how to cook

11. Read the whole Bible

12. Get accepted to NYU

13. Take a photography class/ learn how to develop my own pictures

14. Go to the dentist*

15. Work for a non-profit organization

16. Serve on a jury

17. Befriend a stranger

18. Meet someone famous

19. Take a tour of the White House

20. Visit the Supreme Court

21. Have 15 minutes of fame

22. Go to Disneyworld

* My parents didn’t have dental insurance when we were growing up and couldn’t afford to take 4 children to the dentist, so I never went as a child.  I have been now- it pays to work for an orthodontist!

For the record I have completed only 2 of these list items, #14 (as stated above) and #22 (as seen in my 5 part blog post about it).  I’ve come close to #16- I had jury duty a few months back, but I didn’t get picked for the actual jury.  I’ll have to work on the rest of them!

Milestone Updates: This is my 97th Post and there are 19 days left until my Blogiversary!  I’ve had 5,119 views! and I just received my 500th comment a few days ago- that wasn’t on the original milestone list, but I thought it was pretty cool.

And a little thing that makes me happy: A new pair of boots, or jeans, or a new cute sweater- anything new that I can wear, really!

I Dislike Conflict…

In real life.  I mean, I really hate it.  I can’t stand fighting or debating or even disagreeing with someone else.  And it literally makes me sick when someone is angry with me or thinks I’ve done a bad job or criticizes me.  Makes me want to vomit and keeps me awake at night.  And even months later, if I think back to a person who has been angry with me, I find myself saying “I hate my life.”  I’m totally serious about that.

So, aside from the obvious- I need a therapist- I tend to stay away from conflict as much as possible (okay that was probably pretty obvious, too).

Not really a very good quality for a writer.

Because a writer needs to understand conflict.  Needs to be able to dissect it and take out all the little pieces and understand why each character feels the way they do and why they would do what they do and why what they feel and what they do causes problems for other characters.  Still with me?

Also, if you can’t take criticism, your writing will never live up to its full potential.

But back to understanding conflict.

On the first draft of Twenty-Five I constantly got feedback that there wasn’t any conflict.  That the problems the characters faced weren’t really in the conflict realm because they were so easily resolved.  That there wasn’t one overarching conflict holding the story together.

So on the “second” draft I tried to bring out more conflict.

And now on the “third” draft, I’m trying to bring out even more, because if a book needs an overarching conflict, I still don’t think I have it.

Because in Twenty-Five, the conflict is life.  And living a new relationship.  And learning how to love.  Sometimes it’s really great.  Because falling in love is great.  And sometimes it’s a little blah, because life is a little blah.  But what real conflict do we have in life?  I don’t have one overarching thing that holds the story of my life together.  And I don’t think the characters in my book need to either.

Yes, I realize I’m probably crazy.  No publisher or agent is going to want a book that doesn’t have a conflict.  But when I started writing this book over a year ago, my goal was to write a book without a hook, without a gimmick.  Just a story as real-to-life as possible about the beginning of a relationship.  Isn’t that conflict enough?  I mean really.  What’s more difficult in this world than starting a relationship with someone new?

I think this whole desire to avoid conflict at all costs is one of the things preventing me from finishing any of my other novel ideas (characterization is another big problem I have.  And description.  I hate description.  And prose, too.  I don’t hate prose, I’m just no good at it.  Dialogue- I’m good at dialogue).  Because for the most part, a story has no where to go if it has no higher conflict.  That’s what makes Twenty-Five so special though, I think.  I managed to write a story about two people and that’s all it’s about.  Two people and their love for each other.  A love story is what most people want for themselves, right?

I realize that my posts lately have really been lacking in the substance department.  I hope this makes up for it a little bit.  But what you have to understand about me is that I really don’t have a lot of substance- at least not in the way a writer/blogger should have substance.  I wish I did, but I know that I don’t.  I’m not deep.  I read a lot, but I usually can’t have an intellectual conversation about books.  I can’t really put into words how something makes me feel.  I find it difficult to stay on topic and to argue a point of view.

Because arguing, after all, is too much like conflict.

So, these random, journal-like, entries are what you get when you come to I Picked Up A Pen One Day.  I’m sorry if you wanted advice on how to be a better writer.  Or to see the process of what going from start to finish on a book looks like.  Or the kinship of another intellectual pursuing their true passion while the world holds them back.  I can’t be those things.  I wish I could be.  But I can’t.

I know what you’re thinking- Never say “I Can’t” because you can!

I don’t want to be someone I’m not.  So, sometimes, saying “I Can’t” is the best thing I can do for myself.

Wow, this has really wandered from my original topic.

Back to conflict.  I don’t like it.  I don’t want to write it.  So maybe I’ll try and be the conflict-less writer.  And maybe I’ll still be unpublished 50 years from now.  And maybe that is just going to have to be okay.

Milestone Update: This is my 96th post!  There are 23 days until my One year Blogiversary!

And a little thing that makes me happy: GLEE!  That show is so stinkin’ amazing!

It’s Not October 15th Yet!!!!

But I reached one of my milestones!!!

I didn’t have a chance to log on at all yesterday, which is totally weird for me, I didn’t even open up my laptop yesterday, but here it is, 10:09 PM on Monday September 13th, a whole month and 2 days before my Blogiversary and I reached 5001 views!

WOOHOO!

That’s pretty much all I have to say today.  But I’m super stoked about it.

Now, if you do want to hear more from me, I’ll be posting Wednesday (9/15) on my company’s blog about the last wedding I coordinated.  Check it out: www.daringdevoted.com

A little thing that makes me happy: A blank page.  It’s a clean start every time, even if you are just carrying over the sentence or paragraph from the previous page.

Milestone Updates: This is my 94th post and I have 32 days until my Blogiversary!

Upcoming Milestones

I realized the other day that I have 3 HUGE milestones coming up for my blog.

Milestone 1: 100 posts

Milestone 2: 5,000 hits

Milestone 3: The One year Anniversary!!!

As it stands currently, this is my 91st post, I have 4,843 hits, and eight weeks and 2 days until my one year Blogiversary.

Now, wouldn’t it be freaking fantastic if somehow I managed to hit all three milestones on the same day (October 15th).  Not just fantastic, but fabulous.   FANTABULOUS!

The first one I have control over, I can spread my posts out over the next two months so that my 100th falls on the right day.  The third one is inevitable- the day must come, the anniversary will exist no matter what.

The second one, though, I have no control over.  So it’s up to you guys- my readers (can I call you friends?  fans?  or is that too weird.  Yeah, it’s a little weird.  We’ll stick with reader friends).  I need you to help me get the word out.  I need 157 hits by October 15- but I can’t go over that until October 16!

I know, I’m weird.  But I’ve never tried to hide that.

So, what do you think?  Doable?  or Pipe dream?

I say Doable!

To celebrate the one year anniversary, I plan on posting a week of my favorite posts, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to comment below and that will help me start planning.  I’m a planner, it’s what I do.

I’m also thinking of starting some sort of weekly story post.  I’ve seen it on a lot of other blogs and it seems popular and a good way to find new followers.  Would you guys prefer for me to post a current WIP or something new?  It would probably encourage me to actually finish a WIP, but if it was something new I could tailor it to a weekly blog post, make the segments short and it wouldn’t have to be novel length when finished.  Hmm…  I could always post Twenty-Five, that would get me back on the editing warpath.  Or would it be horrible of me to steal the idea of other bloggers?  Well, I have 2 months to decide, I’m not going to start anything until after the anniversary.

And a little thing that makes me happy: learning that maybe I don’t suck at networking after all.  I was absolutely delightful at last night’s greater triangle chapter ISES meeting.

Short Attention Span

It’s funny, I’ve spent the past couple of days wishing I had time to write a blog post, and yet when I just opened up the “Add New Post” page and set my fingers on the keyboard, my mind went completely blank.  I had nothing to say.  So that’s why you are getting this little rambling to kick things off.

Let’s see, what’s been going on?

Well, I just spent the last couple of days in Marilla, New York with my dad’s parents (so for those of you who commented on my last post, I’m so sorry I haven’t responded yet, I’m going to right after I finish this post).  For those of you who don’t know western New York, Marilla is close to East Aurora which is close to Buffalo.  Marilla is such a small town that my grandparents mailing address is East Aurora.  But anyways.  Being with family you only see once every couple of years or so (if that) is always awkward, but it’s nice too.  Like seeing my dad get hammered with his brother and sisters around makes me realize how all his children got to be the smart asses they are today.

Of course, there’s always the inevitable “we’re interested in your life” conversations which lead to things like my uncle checking my hands to see if there are any engagement rings there (for the record, there aren’t) or being told by my seventeen year old cousin that I need to get married soon so he could come down and visit us again (he and his family came for my younger sister’s wedding last year and we had a blast) or being told by my grandmother that there’s always the internet to find someone or being asked by my aunt if I even have a boyfriend.  At least my grandfather told me I looked slimmer than the last time he saw me (though I’m probably not).

I did get some time on the plane ride to Buffalo to type up a few random chapters of The Death Effect that have been waiting in my notebook for a week or two.  My current word count is 37,163!  I’m about 1/2 way there.  I can’t believe how long it is taking me to write this book, but I should remember that writing Twenty-Five in a month was a real fluke, and I shouldn’t expect that from every book I attempt to write.  It got me thinking about how much I’ve written on some of my other ideas, probably not much!  So, of course, I looked.  Here it is:

Thirty-Four: 35,988

30 Dates in 30 Days: 2,598

Anita’s Dream Diary: 21,525

Aribelle: 5,328

David and Adrian: 14,551

Love or Friendship: 4,133

The First Mermaid: 1,870

Apparently the long novel is not something I’m very good at, the longest one on this list is the “sequel” to Twenty-Five!  Or at least, I don’t have the attention span for it.  My friend Ang once asked if I’d ever thought of doing a collection of short stories.  She may be on to something, since it seems I think in 5,000 words or less most of the time.  I’d love some suggestions of what to write about- what would you guys enjoy reading?

And a little thing that makes me happy: A pen that writes really really really well.