How Am I Doing with that Must-Get-Around-to-Doing-that-Soon List?

Posted: August 9, 2018 by Rachel

By sheer, dumb luck I came across a list that I had written two and a half years ago. My MUST-GET-AROUND-TO-DOING-THAT-SOON LIST that I had completely forgotten about. Dare I read it over and see what I can scratch off the list?

My Must-Get-Around-to-Doing-That-Soon List

Book (and take) that vacation to Mexico for our fifth anniversary
Read more classics
Stop comparing myself to others
Publish my second book
Quarterly organization of DJ’s closet
Buy a new journal for 2016 (preferably before 2016 begins)
Try one new restaurant each month for date night
Go back to Bardot for the beet and goat cheese salad
Host a wine and cheese party
Try one of those wine and paint places
Spend a Christmas in Canada
Stop comparing myself to others
Give up caffeine for a month
Give up alcohol for a month
Be more patient
Finish reading The Most of Nora Ephron
Have updated family photos taken
Do something wildly out of my comfort zone

All in all, that’s not so good. But it was a good reminder, and I’m hopeful that if I come across this list again in another two and half years, I can scratch off a heck of a lot more than three things.

I’m curious, though, as to what is on your list, so please share!

parents are funny

Posted: July 10, 2018 by Rachel

I called my parents in the middle of the day today, wanting to remind them about something. My mother answered the phone, her voice full of concern, as I’d just spoken to them yesterday (if I don’t call enough I’m in trouble; if I call too often she thinks something’s wrong). “I just wanted to tell you to watch World Of Dance tonight; Easton’s going to be on it.”

She put my dad on the phone. I was so happy to hear his voice. The number of times I call them and get to speak to my dad alone is likely one in twenty. He told me he’d been reading up on the new car we bought. He rattled off some specs I already knew; it’s likely that I’d told him in the first place.

When I think about Canada, my dad is what I miss the most. I’ve been a daddy’s girl from an early age. (I gravitate towards my father-in-law, too. It’s just in my genes, I suppose). When I think about my childhood, some of my favorite memories are of playing catch on the street with my dad. Tim Hortons trips with my dad. Playing tennis with my dad. I’m thirty-four and I still say, “Hi Daddy” when I first hear his voice.

Today’s phone call didn’t last long; I was staring down a work to-do list that would make the average person go cross-eyed, but it sure felt good to hear my dad’s voice.

I’m not so sure this had a point other than to say that parents are funny, and I constantly wonder what DJ will remember about me the most when he’s my age.

700 Books

Posted: June 19, 2018 by Rachel

There are a lot of truly great things about my job, but among my favorite is meeting our authors. I’ve had June 18th and 19th marked on my calendar for a month; a potential new author and his wife coming into town. We had dinner at a nice steakhouse last night, and met again today for a working lunch.

“How many books have you written now?” I asked.

The author combed his hand over his gray beard, pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and smiled. “Over 700.”

I wish I knew the exact number, but am aware that it doesn’t entirely matter because SEVEN HUNDRED BOOKS. At least.

This is where I had to reel it in. You know: it. That writerly instinct that makes me want to yell out something like: “how do you do it how do you come up with so many ideas do you plot first or are you a pantser how do you find time to edit TEACH ME YOUR WAAAAYYYSSSS.” Just like that—lack of punctuation and all. The good news is that I ended up with the answers to these questions, I just had to sit back and let it happen organically.

My boss and the author left the cafe we met in twenty minutes ago, and here I sit. I said, “I’m going to stay and work for a bit; get everything we discussed down before I forget it.” It’s the truth, but also not. I’m feeling inspired and motivated but also transfixed. I’m motionless with terror and awe in equal parts.

700 books.

1. I have the coolest job.

2. I better get writing

Let’s Talk About Some New Books I’m Dying to Read this Summer

Posted: June 1, 2018 by Rachel

6 NEW BOOKS I’M DYING TO READ THIS SUMMER

Well, it’s June, and I don’t know about you, but I always think of June 1st as the start of summer, June 21st be darned. I always read a lot more during the summer months. Whether it’s the warmer weather, the longer days, the sangria—I devour books this time of the year. I’ve been taking a bit of a break from writing, which is why I’ve been reading more than normal. However, my writing break is coming to an end soon and I have to be A LOT more picky about what I spend my free time reading.

As a little reminder to myself, and to hopefully introduce you all to some new books, I’ve compiled a list of six new books I’m dying to read this summer.

books i'm dying to read this summer

  • VOX BY CHRISTINA DALCHER—Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.
  • THE ASSISTANTS BY CAMILLE PERRI—a young Manhattanite’s embezzlement scam turns her into an unlikely advocate for the leagues of overeducated and underpaid assistants across the city.
  • YOU THINK IT, I’LL SAY IT BY CURTIS SITTENFELD—A suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie.

Expect to see these books pop up on my instagram over the next few months!

I’ve love to hear the books that you’re the most excited about, or if you’ve been lucky enough to read early copies of any of these six books, let me know what you thought.

Bridget’s Fantasy

Posted: May 13, 2018 by Rachel

Bridget’s fantasies always seemed to go a little something like this: her, walking into a bar; him, already seated across the room. She would order a jack and coke from the unimpressive bartender and sit within eyesight of him. It would take him until he’d nearly finished his whiskey to stand up and approach her. But he never spoke to her, not once. Instead, he would lock his gaze on her, broken only as he passed her by. She never looked over her shoulder right away; doing so would make her seem desperate. No; in her fantasies, she always waited three minutes before quickly swallowing the remainder of her drink and following him to the elevator.

They would ride the elevator in silence, exiting—always—on the thirteenth floor. Usually she followed him, but this time, it was his footsteps she heard behind her. She swiped her key card, left the door open behind her. Barely inside the room, his mouth would find hers. After that, well, anything was possible.

las vegas and me

Posted: May 5, 2018 by Rachel

Las Vegas and Me

I’ve been asked why I don’t write about Las Vegas much. For that, I don’t really have an answer beyond: how do I write about a city I don’t really know?

It’s not like New York, where you might walk everywhere, where you run into friends on the subway or in line buying a bottle of wine. The closest I get to that kind of life is bumping into a fellow mom in the target grocery aisle (and even that, I can confidently say, has only happened twice in the just over seven years I’ve lived in this city).

My experience in Las Vegas is, I can guess, much different from a twenty-something single woman’s or someone who lives in those fancy oversized, over-priced housing developments that butt up against the mountains. And it is definitely different from someone who lives downtown, where I like to imagine they exist within a three-mile radius: coffee to work to home and repeat. Now that I could get on board with.

The truth is that Vegas and I are still getting to know one another. We’re at that stage in our relationship where we’re been seeing each other for a while and everyone has started asking us if we’re together or not. We own two homes here, work and play here. We are raising a kid here amidst my husbands big, italian family; so the reality is that yes, Vegas and I are together. We’re official.

But.

Seven years in and this city still feels strange to me. I’m more than on board with the weather here, with the affordable housing and food, with the great school district we found ourselves in. i’m on board with family close by. I’m on board with the incredible library system and the fact that there is always great coffee nearby.

But.

I could be somewhere else. If the opportunity came up, I could. There will probably always be a part of me that thinks how great it would be to move somewhere new. Maybe not forever—because I already live in an entirely different country than my family, why would I want to be far away from my husband’s too?—but it would be an adventure. One I wouldn’t shy away from. One I would embrace.

Maybe I’ll never want to be monogamous with Las Vegas. Maybe it will tell me itself that it’s had enough. Or maybe the answer is simply that we need to get to know each other a little better.

 

 

It’s not about the desk (ok, it’s a little about the desk)

Posted: April 20, 2018 by Rachel

I ordered a desk yesterday. A small, white thing with clean lines and a drawer that the reviews say is deceiving because it doesn’t open all the way. But what do I care about that, really? I didn’t talk to Dom about it first. I didn’t tell him I’d been debating the purchase for a couple months now, mostly because I knew what he’d say. “Why do you need another desk?”

I have a nice, big desk in a separate office that is cold in the winter and hot in the summer and I can never quite figure out how to dress properly so that I’m comfortable either way. But the problem is that I work from home, at that desk, in that space. For eight hours a day, I sign contracts there, finalize book interiors there, write marketing plans there, among the other eight hundred tasks I do as part of my publishing job.

That’s the problem.

When I’m in that office, sitting at that desk, I’m in day job mode. And no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, I can’t break out of that work mode after work hours.

What I’m trying to say is that at that nice desk, in that lovely office, I cannot write.

So I started thinking about buying another desk. Just a small one that I could fit in the bedroom, or even the guest room if need be. It doesn’t really matter where it is at this point as long as it’s not in the office.

The desk is set to arrive by end of day Tuesday and I can only hope that once I figure out a home for it, the rest of it—the writing bit, the finishing-of-the-novel bit—will all sort itself out.

Why do I need another desk?

Let me show you why.

What I Read: March 2018

Posted: April 2, 2018 by Rachel

Phew, it really feels like I’ve read some great books so far this year. Despite going through a (pretty) consistent reading slump, I somehow managed to get through five books last month.

What I read in March 2018:

  • SLOW MOTION // In my mind, Dani Shapiro can do no wrong. I just adore her writing style. Pick this one up if you’re into about addiction/depression.
  • THE GREAT ALONE (BOTM) // This book was so, so good and left me with the biggest hangover. Take my word for it—pick it up.
  • THE ANIMAL UNDER THE FUR // I really thought I was going to like this one a lot more than I actually did. I was a big fan of E.J. Mellow after reading her Dreamland series, but this one just fell a little flat for me.
  • BLACK & WHITE // another Dani Shapiro book; but this time, fiction. It’s funny to me to read some of the reviews for this book. I thought this book was absolutely incredible, but to hear that some people didn’t finish it, they thought it was just awful…. there is such a disconnect. All I can say is that this book was truly incredible.
  • SWEETBITTER // I first read this book in Dec 2016, and ultimately wasn’t a big fan. I decided to read it again, and I can’t quite believe that I had overlooked it the first time around. An incredibly undeniably intriguing cast, delectable insight, drama, drugs, romance… what else could you want in a book?

Read more

The other man

Posted: March 29, 2018 by Rachel

This is how you fall in love with another man. He’s there, in line at the grocery store. You’re standing so close that you can smell his cologne. You’ll never again be able to forget that scent, never again be able to associate it with anyone other than him. He’s dressed in a suit—dark blue, a blue and white checkered shirt underneath. Brown leather shoes. A nice watch. A gold wedding band. You’re embarrassed; you wish you’d worn something nicer than your ratty, old jeans and Birkenstocks. Next to him, you look like a child.

He pulls out his wallet to pay for his lunch: a sensible salad and banana. You’re re-considering your frozen burrito and red bull when you look up to find him studying you. His eyes—which can’t be described as green or blue or hazel or brown because they are some color there is no name for—are locked on you.

“Hi,” he says, his voice deep and husky.

You wonder how there’s any room for all the other shoppers, what with your hopeful faces and imposing guilt.

The Kind of Woman I Want To Be

Posted: March 24, 2018 by Rachel

I want to be the kind of woman who can easily turn away from social media when it feels like too much.

I want to be the kind of woman that wouldn’t care that her stomach oozes over her jeans when she’s bent over.

I want to wash my face at the end of every day (I still don’t do this, after all these years).

I want to be better about biting my tongue.

I want to never again throw away any of my journals (what a hard lesson to have learned).

I want to be more patient.

I want to be the kind of woman who isn’t afraid to eat by herself.

I want to be the kind of woman who doesn’t go shopping when she’s feeling blue. In the end, I only feel worse.

I want to perfect the at-home iced vanilla latte before summer comes around

I want to be the kind of woman who wears long, flowing skirts (like this one, recently purchased).

I want to always reach out to those I admire and tell them so.

I want to be the kind of woman who loves wholly and without judgment.

I want to be better about saying enough is enough.

I want to be the kind of woman who takes more risks, goes more places, takes more pictures.

I want to embrace being almost thirty-four.

**

P.S. The 2014 version