Thursday, January 31, 2013

Walking to the Caf

Walking to the Caf
(not a poem)

The frozen snow crunches beneath our boots
And dusts the dorm roofs.
The wind nips at our noses
Like an over-eager puppy.
The sky is dark, but brilliant
Like there is a light shining behind its fabric.
Above us the moon gleams
(a silver smile).
Tree branches are dark and distinct on the sky
(spilled ink).
We laugh
And catch our breath
And smile so hard our teeth turn cold.
Shivers chase us into the warmth.
The night is a cloak
At our backs.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Magic Ends. Or at Least Pauses.

In what I think was my first post, I mentioned the not-so-small fact that an agent was currently interested in my novel and had requested pages.  While the result might not be something I'm eager to announce across the internet world, I like closure.


She wrote back last night and very politely rejected my novel.

Yep.  So that's the end of that.  Honestly, if you want to know, I'm not crushed.  Or discouraged.  Or upset. Or devastated.  Mostly when I opened that email, what I felt was relief.

A) Because I'd been waiting almost two months and was itching for an answer of some kind.
B) Because this whole time I've been questioning whether I'm really ready to be published.

I'm in college.  I have a work study job and I'm in intramurals and I want to be in another play and I'm part of two or three different clubs.  Plus, I just took an extended weekend off for a trip to D.C. (March for Life HOLLA) and I'm planning on spending spring break in Montana.  And during the summer I juggle two jobs, one full time and one part time (= roughly 50 hours a week).  Oh.  Also there's this thing called a social life that I like to pretend I have.

So, while it would have been superthrillingmindblowinglyamazing if this agent had wanted to represent me, it's also okay.  I have school, and family, and friends, and my faith, and a life, and writing is sort of on the side right now.

Yeah.  That's pretty much how it stands.  And I still have some things in the air: the ABNA contest, and a few queries to agents still floating around out there, but for now, when I'm barely able to write anything (not to mention work on my story) every day, it's definitely for the best how this turned out.

I'm stoked that she requested pages at all.  I mean, that's still awesome!  And in no way am I discouraged about my writing or my novel.  I might put actively trying to get it published on the back burner for a bit, while I focus on other things, but I know I'm on the right path (SHE REQUESTED PAGES!!!) and I know that I'll eventually find the right place for my novel.

*dramatic music*

Friday, January 18, 2013

Probably the best post I will ever write...

Ok, so in my tagline I did say that I would write mostly about writing and reading, but also about college and life in general, and well, mostly writing.

This is one of those posts (soon to be many, unfortunately) (fortunately?) that has nothing to do with writing and very little to do with college or life in general.

(Yeah, life in general is sort of a cheap tag, because there's not much that doesn't have to do with life in general.)

This post goes beyond the mere confines of writing.  Beyond the smidgeny details of essays and classes.  Far far beyond normal, boring, brain-numbing general life.  But.  At the same time, it has EVERYTHING to do with writing, college, and life.  Whoa.  Mind-blowing, right?

What could this topic be?

What could it BE?

Pure goodness?

Exquisite joy?

Perfection hardly believed to be attainable on this green earth?

Well, yes.

I know with all those descriptions, one would automatically assume that I meant coffee, but that's a post for another day.  At this point... chocolate is what I want to speak about.

Let's admit it: chocolate is the ideal motivation for anything.  Don't want to write?  Promise yourself chocolate.  Don't want to finish homework?  Promise yourself chocolate.  Don't want to work out?  Promise yourself chocolate.  And no, that does not defeat the purpose.  You EARNED it.


  • Chocolate reduces the likelihood of a heart attack.
  • Chocolate may prevent cancer.
  • Napoleon always carried chocolate with him.  (That's one intelligent dude.)
  • Chocolate is good for your skin.
  • Chocolate chips were invented in 1939.
  • Chocolate improves blood flow.
  • The largest chocolate bar weighed 5,026 lbs.
  • Chocolate is a natural anti-depressant.
  • 23 million Hershey's kisses are produced every single day.
  • Chocolate can make you live longer.

Yep.  I think right now is a good time to go treat yourself with a piece of chocolate.  Or a Hershey's kiss.  Or a  chocolate chip.  Or a mocha.  A chocolate-covered espresso bean or raisin.  A mug of hot chocolate.  Chocolate milk.  One of ten bazillion different kinds of chocolate candy bars.  The POSSIBILITIES.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest

Yeah, so I got an email about an hour ago reminding me about this Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award whatchamathingy, and I did what I do every year.

Squinted through the rules.

Checked the word count on my novel.

Read the fine print.

Considered it.

Shrugged and thought, "Next year I'll remember this earlier and give it a shot."

Except this time, when I was about to hit the delete button to send the email into my junk folder, I hesitated.  A series of thoughts nagged at the back of my mind.  My novel fits within the word count.  It probably could use a touch up, but heck, I submitted it to an agent per her request and it's probably as polished as it will ever be.  I even have a pitch written.  So.  Why not submit?

My sensible mind smirked and said, "Hm, well let's see, maybe because you FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS A MERE TWO MINUTES AGO?"

I don't like listening to my sensible mind.

Contest: entered.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How I Write

This, my lovely audiences, is how a typical 1-2 hours of writing goes for me.

*boots up laptop*
*goes and makes a hazelnut latte*
*comes back and opens up the appropriate Word document as well as an internet browser*
*Checks email, Facebook, Figment, (occasionally Pinterest), blogger, replies to email, pokes someone back on Facebook, gleefully counts the additional page views on my blog*
*closes unnecessary webpages (everything but email)*
*writes for ten minutes straight*
*feels very accomplished*
*checks email again*
*checks to see if someone has poked me back on Facebook*
*writes for five minutes*
*opens a different document and rereads something I wrote a month ago*
*get an idea from that*
*open a new document and spends fifteen minutes writing a story snippet with no point, purpose, or future that no one will ever read*
*remembers a few lyrics of a song I heard on the radio last night, googles them, finds the correct song, adds it to my Spotify list, and listen to it on repeat a few times*
*writes for five minutes*
*thinks of a great idea for a blog post*
*logs into blogger and starts writing the blog post*
*thinks of a witty Twitter post*
*gets on Twitter, remembers that I despise Twitter, decides against adding to its overall stupidity*
*writes for five minutes*
*makes breakfast for younger brothers (when I'm at home)*
*finishes blog post*
*reluctantly Tweets about it (but only because I need the page views!)*
*writes for another ten minutes*

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Inglenooks and Fairytales

I have a new favorite word.


Wait.  You read it too quickly.  Go back and savor it.  Three syllables, two distinct parts.  Ingle.  Nook.  Try saying it out loud - no really, you'll enjoy it.  It has a nice feel to it: not repetitive, not sticky.  It sort of flows through your mouth like a breath of air, coming in and then back out.  There's a certain rhythm to it as well, a cadence that bumps a little.

Oh, the nerdy sweetness of a new favorite word.

But the deliciousness doesn't end there.  Oh no.  It has quite a nice definition to it as well.  According to, "inglenook" means a corner or nook near a fireplace; a chimney corner.


Doesn't that just add to its unique coziness?  Can't you just see Cinderella crouched in an inglenook, dreaming of her prince?  Or a young mother humming her infant to sleep in a rocking chair in an inglenook?

An inglenook is a place of warmth and comfort.  Maybe in your own home or in a place where you are comfortable enough to feel at home.  It's a corner where you might sip hot chocolate and exchange pieces of life with your mother.  Or you might watch the flames in the fireplace and ponder dreams.  It's a place to have a heart-to-heart with a best friend or to reacquaint yourself with a treasured childhood book.  While you are in an inglenook, dragons are locked outside and the wolves cannot invade and the witches stay far away.  Wishes come true and adventures are desired, but comfortably distant, or maybe safely over.  An inglenook is something to come home to or to dry yourself off in front of after having been caught in a downpour.

Right there, my friends.  A little to the right, because there's a random bowl of wooden fruit occupying the left.  That is an inglenook.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Shaky Plans, but Plans Nonetheless.

It's a new year, my friends.

What am I doing?  ... *mumble* *mumble* blog post *mumble*  I like writing.  Don't judge.

I have no resolutions to make, no oaths to swear, or contracts to sign.  The new year is clean and wide and open, sparkling crystal free, with plenty of room in the margins for me to scribble my notes.  In fact, forget margins.  It's an entire book of blank pages.  There is unspoken dialog waiting to be memorized, descriptions not yet pinned down with words, entire volumes of hope, summer evenings, iced tea, whispered dreams, and shared hearts yet to be read or written.

Resolutions?  Pft, I say.  How boring.  How utterly conventional.

There are ideas, instead, bouncing around in my head.  Pictures and wishes and stories.  I want to start a new semester fresh and eager.  Embrace new friends and cherish old ones.  I want to travel across the states to places I've never visited before.  I want to stay up all night and laugh the sun out of its slumber.  I want to write centuries worth of "what if"s and a king's ransom of nonsense, and I want to weave myself into a fairytale.  Maybe I'll have an adventure or meet a kindred spirit or just get A's in all my classes.  Or actually bake muffins at college.  Or learn how to do a handstand.  Or defeat biology.  Or meet a prince.  Or all of them!

My plans are a little sketchy.  Bear with me.

2013, I declare you to be an amazing year.  It's just pretty much the way it's going to have to be, whether you like it or not.  It has been decided.