A to Z Blog Challenge Theme Reveal

Starting April 1st, I’ll be joining hundreds of other bloggers all over the world attempting to blog every day (excluding Sundays) for a month.  Consistency is one of the most difficult things to maintain when running a blog, so one of my goals in this challenge is to get better at posting more often.

(From the website) The premise of the A to Z Blog Challenge is to start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

Some bloggers organize their individual alphabetic themes around a larger theme for the month, which is what I’m going to do.  Today is the day across the blogosphere writers are revealing their chosen themes, so here’s mine!

I’m going to watch movies I’ve never seen before and live-tweet the experiences, then share my impressions during the blog challenge.

To select my movies, I had a few simple criteria: 1) It had to be a movie I hadn’t seen before (duh) which meant I passed on a lot of movies I’ve seen once and wanted to watch again. 2) I wanted to be able to view for free so I could watch it easily at any time. This meant a few DVDs I’ve had on hand for a while but haven’t gotten around to, and a lot of Netflix. 3) I wanted to mix up genres and release years.  I didn’t want to exclusively watch classics or new-releases and I wanted to get out of my comfort zone in terms of the types of movies I normally watch. 4) “A” “An” and “The” do not count towards the alphabetical order, so the “A” in An Affair to Remember is for “Affair” and in “D” for The Descendants, the “D” will stand for “Descendants.”  Get it?

I’m a pretty good live-tweeter, if I do say so myself, so I hope you’ll check out some of my #Watching experiences and then come back starting April 1st to see the breakdowns of each of the movies! Follow me on Twitter at @RLHammAuthor and before you go, leave a comment letting me know some of the movies you’ve never seen before, but have always wanted to.

Hello, Reality

If my life were a movie, here’s how last weekend would have gone:

I would have dreaded going to the 3-day conference about the unique technology we use at the office where I work in a job I’m way over-qualified for.  Because the conference really had nothing to offer me- I’d be leaving this job I’m way over-qualified for soon.  But I’d put a smile on my face and cheer in my voice and go along with the seemingly pointless classes and group activities.  At the end of the first day, I’d carefully curl my hair, apply fresh makeup, and slip into my brand new dress to attend the opening night welcome reception along with my co-workers.  While saving a table in the over-crowded hotel restaurant, I’d spot two very cute young men at the next table over, and being bold, would walk over and introduce myself.  We’d laugh, flirt a little, then I’d rejoin my party and the cute boys would have spent the rest of the evening thinking what a cool chick they’d just met.

The next day, I’d go to more classes, say fabulously witty things to all the conference presenters, and get an email from one of the graduate schools I’d applied to saying they’d made a decision regarding my application.  I’d bite the nails for the rest of the day, just waiting until we had a long enough break for me to check the school’s graduate website to see if I’d been accepted.  Finally, finally! the classes would be over for the day- I’d rush up to my room, log into the site and Yes! I got in!  They wanted me!  Armed with new confidence and excitement for the future- I’d get ready for the huge sports-themed party the conference was throwing.  Hair curled again, makeup re-applied again, and skinny jeans plus totally awesome black and pink Bowling shirt.  I’d enter the party with my co-workers, head held high, wondering when it would be appropriate to tell my boss that I’d be leaving for school in August.  The first person I see is one of the cute boys from the night before.  He’s dressed as an old-timey football player, complete with leather helmet, and he looks adorable.  He slyly makes his way over, looks at me with that “Hey, I recognize you,” look, and slowly says, “Rachel?”  I grin, and say back, “Joshua?”

Somehow, Joshua and I end up talking away from my group.  He offers to get me a drink.  We spend most of the party talking and dancing and as things are winding down, he walks me to my room and kisses me goodnight.  I can’t believe this is happening- the best news of my life on the same day as the best kiss of my life.

The next day, we spend as much time talking together as conference demands will allow.  He’s working, I’m attending.  I tell him about getting into school, and he’s impressed by my intelligence.  When the conference ends later that day, he insists on getting my number and email address- the long distance doesn’t matter, he wants to keep getting to know me.  A few days later, he’d show up unexpectedly in North Carolina at my office with a bouquet of flowers and the insistence that he knew we had a once-in-a-lifetime connection.

That's me on the far left, in the black dress. Too bad you can't really see my shoes, because they are AMAZING.

My life is not a movie.

What actually happened:

I was kinda looking forward to the conference.  I’d never been to Dallas (where it was being held), and hey, anything is better than answering the phone all day long.  And for the record- I didn’t have to answer the phone a single time while I was at the conference. Also for the record- we didn’t leave the hotel once while we were in Dallas.  So I might as well have been in North Carolina.

At the end of the first day, I did indeed curl my hair, re-apply my makeup, and put on a brand new dress I actually bought for a rehearsal dinner for my friend’s wedding, but wanted to test out somewhere not as important to make sure I actually liked the way it looked and was comfortable enough to wear all night.  When we got to the reception, I did hold a table for our group, and I did introduce myself to the two cute guys at the table behind ours.  We talked for a few minutes, the other guy, Jason, was the one I was initially attracted to, but the next night, he seemed kinda douche-baggy.  But anyways.  After a few minutes of (probably badly-executed on my part) flirting, I returned to my group and the boys returned to theirs.  I wondered for the rest of the evening if I’d get to talk to them again, they joined a table of “Woohoo” drunk girls who insisted on shouting and singing random songs for the remainder of the reception.  Joshua did shake my hand again and say it was nice meeting me as we (my group and I) were leaving.

The next day, as I sat waiting for the first class of the day to start, I checked my email and saw a new message from one of the schools I applied to: a decision had been made about my application and could be found on their website.  I couldn’t check the website on my phone because the password I needed was upstairs in my hotel room.  So, I had to sit through 6 or 7 hours of classes just waiting, waiting, waiting.  When I was finally dismissed, I went straight to my room, located the password in my red notebook, logged on and… Found rejection.  A form letter.  I didn’t get in.  I figured I should check the other schools’ websites while I was at it, even though they hadn’t sent me any kind of notification.  Another rejection from the second school.  I didn’t get in.  And the third school hadn’t posted anything.  I started crying while my roommate showered.  I laid down on my bed and cried and cried.  When I heard the water shut off, I sat up, wiped my face, and tried to compose myself.  I started ironing my awesome bowling shirt, then offered to iron hers.  I curled my hair.  She left to help one of our co-workers with makeup.  I cried some more.  Then re-applied my makeup and changed into my outfit.  By the time I went downstairs to meet the rest of my group, I managed to pull myself together and my eyes weren’t nearly as bloodshot as they could have been.

Joshua did approach me when we entered the party.  He was an adorable old-time football player with adorable leather helmet.  But he never offered to get me a drink, and while we did talk away from my group for a few minutes and we did dance for a few minutes, he spent just as much time with me as he did with everyone else there.  He certainly didn’t walk me to my hotel room and he most definitely didn’t kiss me goodnight.

The next morning, he was moderating the very first class I walked into.  I did not know he’d be there- I didn’t choose that class because I thought he’d be there.  He greeted me by name again, but then he had to work and I had to listen.  We kept running into each other throughout the day and it felt flirty and nice and I thought, maybe- maybe he likes me.  I also thought, maybe he’s just really good at networking.  At the end of the conference, we shook hands, said it was nice to meet each other, and “hey, maybe I’ll see you at next year’s conference.”  We didn’t exchange any contact information.

When I arrived back in North Carolina, my bag did not.  It decided to stay in Dallas.

I tried to find Joshua on facebook, but couldn’t.

I still haven’t heard back from school # 3, but I’m not keeping my hopes up.

I like the movie version a lot better.

The most awesome Bowling Shirt, ever.

Who Would I Cast…

So I was watching License to Wed on TV the other day. It’s a really bad movie, actually, but I’m in love with John Krasinski, so I watched it anyways. As I was watching, I thought to myself that he would be a good actor to play Ben in the movie of my book. I know, getting ahead of myself- especially since the past couple days I’ve been thinking how terrible my writing is, but still, it struck me. Krasinski has this very sweet demeanor, he’s funny, and he’s tall. All qualities my Ben must possess. The only problem is I can’t tell what color his eyes are. I think they are hazel-ish.  I’ve looked at hundreds of pictures and can’t find one that’s close enough on his eyes to be really sure. My Ben needs blue eyes.

Mandy Moore is also in License to Wed. Again, I do not recommend this movie, but I happen to have a girl crush on Ms. Moore. I think she would make a very sweet Abby to John’s Ben. Her eye color is not nearly as important to me as Ben’s, though in the book Abby’s eyes are green and I believe Mandy’s are brown.

I think these two actors could have chemistry with the right story. Neither exactly fits the image I have in my head of my main characters, but truth is, I don’t think anyone can. I just like thinking that maybe someday there will be actors bringing them to life. Surely this is me living in fantasy land, but sometimes you’ve got to keep hope alive!

If you’ve read Twenty-Five, who would you cast as the leads?  If you haven’t, who would you cast as the leads in your own writing?

The Look

I love romantic comedies.  I’m a chick, what can I say.  I love love stories.  I have this sorta obsession with what I call “the look.”  I’m sure that all you ladies out there know what I’m talking about.  The Look is this way that a man looks at a woman and simply makes her heart melt.

For example:

Bill Pullman in While You Were Sleeping.  Every time he looks at Lucy (Sandra Bullock), I want to cry!

Colin Firth is the master of The Look.  Bridget Jones’s Diary, Pride and Prejudice, Love Actually.  He just nails it every time!

I think Bridget Jones’s Diary is the first movie where I really fell in love with The Look.  And now I look for it in every romantic movie I watch.  Or television show.

I think there’s just something so wonderful knowing that a man can look at a woman with love reading all over his face.  Even though it’s make-believe in the movies, I have to believe that it can be real.  That there are men in real life who look at the women they love like this.

That someday, someone will look at me like that.

Maybe it’s a pipe dream.  I’ll probably never have this

But maybe…