A New Opportunity

I have a job interview on Monday!  It’s not exactly my dream job, but it’s so much closer than what I’m doing now.  I’d be working at a Rental Company, handling their invoicing and accounts receivable, and potentially doing some sales as well.  It would be a M-F 9:00-5:00 type of job, with only occasional weekend work and it seems like I would be making enough to only have 1 job.  ONE JOB!  Can you believe it?  I hardly can!

It has caused me a little stress though.  If I get the job, I pretty much have to end my career as a wedding planner (for now).  I really love the company I work for and I love my brides and grooms, so it’s a tough thing to give up.  I’d feel like I was letting so many people down.  On the other hand, it would be amazing to leave work at the end of the day and not come home to MORE work.  More free time at home means more time for writing, more time for family and friends, and more time for dating.  That’s time I can get behind.

I shouldn’t get too caught up.  I haven’t been offered the job yet, but it’s impossible not to consider the ramifications.  I had planned on taking a photography course at the local community college, but this job would be 20-30 minutes away from my new apartment, so I don’t know if I could make it back to the area in time for the start of the class (6:00).  Traffic in the area is not good at rush hour.  I realize a new job is way better than a random photography class, but I was looking forward to it.

There’s also the matter of my current day job.  While I don’t particularly like it, I do feel like my boss has been very good to me, and I would hate to leave him in a bind.  I know (and I’m not saying this out of vanity, but out of pure fact that I do a LOT of stuff that my job description doesn’t require) it would be difficult to replace me quickly, and he’s been having a tough time in the employment department with one assistant having to take a leave of absence/maternity leave when her son was born premature, another assistant about to go on maternity leave, and another employee gave her notice last month.  I would really hate to disappoint him.
In the end, I know it’s for the best for me if I get the job, it’s just hard thinking of having to tell those who count on me that they won’t be able to anymore!  Okay – I’ll stop worrying until I know if I’ve actually gotten the job!

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.

You Know I Love to Write Poetry

Observations in Ten Minutes

I’m the only one

eating alone tonight

Not the only one in the world

but the only one here

in this restaurant

Everyone I see around me

is paired up

with a friend

a mother

a father

a lover

I see them all

but they don’t see me

They sip their waters and sodas

spear lettuce with their forks

gesture with their hands

and talk about their days

or politics

or family

I see a hug

and the door being held open

Kindness and laughter

love and conversation

A little girl stumbles

and her father lifts her up

A young woman finishes her meal

and her boyfriend clears her plate

Everyone unaware

of the gift they’ve been given

Time and simplicity

They don’t see it

they don’t feel it

But I do

And I see

an empty chair

across the table

A desire unfulfilled

life slipping away

and yet moving so very slowly

An employee finishes his shift

and walks out the door

He’s checking his phone for messages

wondering if anyone

cared enough to leave one

I’ve turned my phone off

no one ever calls it

Yet I feel happy

Sort of

Happy to be breathing

and watching and seeing

and wishing and hoping

and knowing that

there will come a time

when I’ll be just like

everyone here

Missing out on

the wonders of humanity

Consumed by the presence

of a friend

a mother

a father

a lover

Finding joy in simple conversation

the taste of a good meal

the warmth of a touch

Maybe I’ll know then still

that life isn’t perfect

Or maybe I won’t

But it will not matter either way

because I’ll be happy



Sort of, at least

And a little thing that makes me happy: A movie that makes me cry (I know that doesn’t sound like it should make me happy, but I love a tear-jerker) and the novel that was at 5962 two days ago is at 7549 tonight!

One Happy Post, Seriously

I want to do a happy post, since so many of my thoughts on writing lately have been downers.  So, here you are, one bonafide sparkling happy post!

When I get a book published, I’m getting a tattoo.  I already know where I want it, in fact, I let my MC in Twenty-Five get a tattoo in the same spot, on the outside of my wrist, where my arm meets the base of my hand.  Easily covered up with long sleeves or a bracelet if necessary.  If Twenty-Five is the first book to be published, I’ll get the roman numerals for Twenty-Five, XXV.  If it’s one of my other projects, well, I guess I’ll have to think of something that symbolizes them.  I’m not sure I want anything representing Death on my arm, but I can probably come up with something for The Death Effect.  Perhaps the Greek or Roman letters for TDE.  Who knows.

When I get a book published, I hope I make a little bit of money so I can get myself out of debt.  It would be so nice not to have to worry about going to the doctor, or getting my oil changed, or something like that, because I’m worried the payment won’t go through.  Okay, that wasn’t very happy, but focus on the positive- making a little bit of money 🙂

When I get published, I’m going to let my mother read my book.  I haven’t let her yet.  The MC is so much like me and I don’t know how she’d react to it.  I think she’d like the book and I know she’d be supportive, but there are still some secrets about myself I’d like to keep to myself for now.

When I get published, the acknowledgements or dedication is going to read:

For all those tired and weary souls who sit down at a desk or computer, who balance notebooks in their laps, who fight with their pens- this book is for you.

For all the friends who read my book before I even knew how to write a book- this book is for you.

For everyone who knows what it feels like to be alone, wishing for love and friendship- this book is for you.

For C, J, A to the third power, and V and everyone over at The Next Big Writer- thank you thank you thank you for being my toughest and most loving critics.  Thank you for pushing me to be better.  For telling me that my story had heart, hope, passion, and beauty- this book is for you.

And lastly, for Mom, Daddy, Theresa, Amanda, and Danny, though we fight and argue, tease and laugh at one another, I love you with all the depths of my heart.  Thank you for being my family- this book is for you.

Now THAT makes me very happy.

I had a really good weekend.  I’m going to try very hard to be less of a grumpy, woe-is-me, person.  I hope this is a good start.  I’m determined, I have this dream, I’m going to keep going after it.  What’s the point of having a dream if you just let it die?  Thinking it’s never going to happen isn’t healthy and it isn’t productive.  I’m going to try and have the attitude from now on, WHEN I get published, not IF I get published.

When I get published…

When I get published…

When I get published…

Book Review: The Smart One and The Pretty One

I promised I’d let you know how I liked the book from my Barnes and Noble bookshelf browsing experiment, so here it is!

I just finished the book about an hour ago. The biggest compliment I can give it is that the characters were SO REAL. I mean it. I immediately related to both sisters, Ava with her belief that she is always second best to her sister in the looks department while priding herself in her intelligence and non-chalant about looks attitude (yeah, right!), and Lauren who’s up to her ass in debt , but ignores the situation because she just isn’t ready to deal with her own failings.

My biggest complaint about the book is that some of the situations seemed a little too convenient. Lauren calls a man who her family knew when she was a small child, but who she hasn’t seen or talked to in twenty-some years and he’s more than happy to meet with her and her sister, without question or hesitation? I don’t quite buy that, but I liked Russell, so I’m kinda glad that he doesn’t exactly play by the rules of modern social interactions.

My second biggest complaint is that the book ended too soon! There is still so much I want to know about the characters!

I know a book is good when I get lost in it. That’s what happened with this book. I started reading it around 9:00 pm on Saturday night and didn’t stop. At 1:46 am, my mother came in my room “You still up?” I had completely lost track of time and gone 3/4ths of the way through the book. With the TV on the whole time! The book just sucked me in!

I have to admit, it was really nice to read a book where I wasn’t looking for typos, grammatical errors, or awkward sentences. Lately, all I’ve been reading have been works in progress on TNBW, so I am constantly in “review mode.” But I was able to turn my inner editor off for this one and really just get swept up into the story.

I liked that the book dealt with a family I felt could live down the street from me and that the issues they were dealing with (sibling rivalry, sisterly affection, a parent with cancer, debt, loneliness and romantic troubles) were all sincere, real life issues. No end of the world in sight and no one acting like any of their problems were going to cause the downfall of humanity. It was simple and sweet and truthful.

I’m so glad I choose to buy it!

It’s My Last Day…

…At work. My last day. I had to hand over my key last night to a new girl and I started crying. My boss called me before we closed and spent about 10-15 minutes talking about my personal growth and how he was proud of me, etc. and I cried like a baby.

I know it’s time to move on. I’ve outgrown the place and if I ever want to move out of my parents, I have to start making more money, but it is still sad. It’s been a part of my life for so long and it’s almost gone.

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

I read somewhere that writers aspiring to be published should

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


(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.

For Christmas I received a couple of gift cards for Barnes and Noble 🙂 and I decided I should use them to go out there and fulfill A and B.  Okay, so I can’t really fulfill them, the gift cards aren’t bottomless, but I can do something small.

So I browsed the shelves at my local B&N for a while today.  My goal was to find a book where the genre wasn’t formulaic romance but had a romantic storyline.  I also wanted to find an interesting title and, if possible, I wanted a book by a first-time author (well, first time published).

I got 2 out of 3.  The book I choose is called The Smart One and The Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik. The title immediately caught my eye, though it was on the bottom shelf, as did the cover.  (I tried to find a picture of the cover online to add here, but none that I found were downloadable, so I’ll have to describe it to you, sorry!)  It has a plain white background, a stack of books and a bright pink purse sitting on top of the books.  The “Pretty” in the title is written in a pink cursive font while the rest of the title is written in a straight, brown print.

I know the old adage goes: don’t judge a book by its cover, but I can’t help it.  I’m a FIRM believer in judging books by their covers.  At least for selecting ones to buy.  This cover told me SO much about the story even before I read the back jacket.  I assumed that I hadn’t just picked up a crime or mystery thriller, that the main characters would be female, and that the dynamics of their relationship would be affected by their status as either “smart” or “pretty.”  And obviously, the choice of books present on the front cover drew me in because I love an MC who reads.

Then, I turn the book over and I find it fits the genre specifics I want!  It’s about 2 sisters, one who, I must admit, sounds A LOT like me (another reason I eventually choose to purchase the book- that whole, relating-to-the-MC factor).  I assume this is the “smart” sister.  The sister I assume is the “pretty” sister tries to set “smart” sister up with an (quoting from the back jacket here) highly inappropriate, twice-divorced, but incredibly charming guy.

I’m hooked!!!

It didn’t meet my first novel criteria, the author has 4 other books published, however, The Smart One and The Pretty One was the only book of Mrs. LaZebnik’s on the shelf at B&N. (Well, the fiction shelf at least, 2 of her books are non-fiction, I think.)

I’m very excited to read the book and let everyone out here in the blogosphere know how my experiment worked.  I have one gift card left, so after I finish it, I’ll go on the hunt for another hidden treasure.

I encourage everyone to try this experiment out for themselves.  Even if I don’t end up liking the book, the hunt for it was a bit thrilling and gives me the hope that someday (maybe, keep your fingers crossed!) someone out there will be browsing the shelves at their book store of choice and just happen to spot MY book, pick it up, and feel compelled to buy it.

After writing the above, I googled The Smart One and The Pretty One to see if I could find a website to link to for anyone interested in learning more about the book.  I found Claire LaZebnik’s blog!  It’s linked above to the page for the book, but I’m going to link it here to her homepage as well and I’ll be adding her to my blogroll.  I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit.  After google sent me to the page on her blog for the book, I clicked on the homepage and her latest blog entry is about her love of Jane Austen and how she feels connected with her through a very personal experience in her own life.  I cannot wait to read more of her blog and it makes me even more jazzed to read the book!


I found this quote online the other day and I have fallen in love with it: “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”  ~Agatha Christie.

It’s just so damn true.  I’m in the middle of probably the hardest time in my life right now.  I’m financially drowning and my social calendar has never been bleaker, but I still know that life is this precious gift I’ve been given.  Yeah, life sucks once and a while and lately it’s sucked all the time, but even days of 99% shittyness (sorry, spell check refuses to tell me how to properly spell this word) there’s always at least 1% greatness.

Take today for example.  I just logged on to my dashboard to check things out and even though I haven’t posted anything new in a while, there hasn’t been a single day in the past 2 weeks where this blog hasn’t gotten at least 6 views.  That’s pretty cool.  I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but when I first started I’d have several days in a row with 0 views, so I feel like I’m moving up in the world.  Especially since I don’t really know how to advertise myself very well yet.  And, I checked the search terms people used to find my page and this was one of them: a give stick a pen up her virgin.  I’m TOTALLY serious about that.  Someone typed “a give stick a pen up her virgin” into google or yahoo or some other search engine and then clicked on a link to my blog.  Isn’t that just the most hilarious search term you’ve ever heard?

Makes me kind of glad that even in cyberspace I’m the first virgin people think of!

Oh, and to continue my ramblings of randomness, I’ve started work on a new project called The Death Effect.  I’ll create a page for it along with my other projects in a day or so.

And I got the nicest rejection email today.  Here’s a little snippet: “I’ve read your sample pages, and while I think you show great potential as a writer, I’m sorry to say that the project just isn’t a perfect fit with my current needs. This has less to do with your strengths as a writer and more to do with my goals as an agent and the trends of the current literary marketplace.”

Well, thank you, Ms. Super Agent.  I would have really enjoyed working with you, but how can I be upset when you tell me I have potential?  I might just print out that one sentence and stick on the wall behind my desk so I can stare at it when I’m writing.  That’s not weird, right?

OH!  And, Twenty-Five has made it to the #9 spot on the All-Time Rankings at The Next Big Writer.  I’m pretty happy about that.  I’m waiting for the administration to realize it so that my novel is given a spot on the All-Time Top Ten list.  When he does realize it, I’ll get access to a cool logo that I can use when marketing/advertising/selling my book, and you can bet I’ll be re-writing my query to include it’s shiny new status!

So, that’s what’s been going on in my life.  Oh, and I’m looking for a new job, but I may have mentioned that before.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I have to have one by January 1st.  Anyone out there in cyberland looking for a freelance editor?  I’m pretty kick-ass at finding grammatical errors and I can use a comma with the best of them!  I don’t have any “education” or “experience” but I can give you several references of writers on TNBW who love my editing skills!

Man, this post has really lived up to its title!

Most Days I Just Want to Cry

And a lot of days I do.

I’m stuck.  I’m stuck in this life that isn’t right in any way, shape, or form.  I was supposed to do things with my life.  I was supposed to be somebody.  I always did well in school.  I was freaking valedictorian of my high school class, voted Most Likely to Succeed.  I was supposed to go to college and do well, graduate, and get an amazing job.  So what happened along the way that I’m broke, in a dead-end job which I’m about to quit so I can wait tables to get myself out of debt?  I went to college, I did well, I graduated. Where’s the amazing job?

I wondered in high school why I couldn’t find a boyfriend.  All my friends had boyfriends.  Several of my friends went from one boyfriend straight to another.  But not me.  And people would tell me it was because I was too mature.  High school boys weren’t at my level.  And because I’m naive, I believed that.  I was told, by several people, that I’d have boys falling at my feet when I went to college.  Yeah, that didn’t happen either.  I met one guy my freshman year who was actually interested in me, too, but that only lasted about two weeks.  Then, what?  He got bored?  Realized I was boring?  Realized I was going nowhere?  I don’t know.  He just kinda disappeared.  And that was the last time anyone’s ever been interested in me.

I don’t get it.  I just don’t get it.  Why do some people get everything and others get nothing?  Why do I get nothing?  How do I get anything?  Anything at all?  I’m sick of crying.  I’m sick of hating my reflection every time I look in the mirror.  I’m sick of the negative, pissy, angry person I’ve become.