Winter Lists On a Thursday Morning.

Posted: March 1, 2018 by Rachel

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but I was inspired this morning. So, here’s a little glimpse at life right now:

things currently on my nightstand.
mango papaya candle
slow motion by dani shapiro
ear plugs from last night
phone charger

songs I can’t stop listening to.
say something by justin timberlake & chris stapleton
help me out by maroon 5
hold me tight or don’t by fall out boy
still feel like your man by john mayer

things on my 2018 to-do list.
eat more popsicles outside
teach my son to swim
go on a road trip
finish my new book
see fall out boy in concert again

things i want to purchase but won’t.
another third love bra
every single one of dani shaprio’s books (i’m pretty close, anyway)

things i’ve loved lately.
archer farms donut shop coffee
waking up at 5am to write


Previous Lists:

Winter 2017
Winter 2015
Summer 2014
Spring 2014

I worry

Posted: February 25, 2018 by Rachel

Last week, I heard something in an interview with Cheryl Strayed that stopped me cold. I hit pause—Cheryl’s face frozen mid-sentence—and tried to regain my breath. I sat there for a few more beats before I decided it was best if I got up and moved around (I have a bad habit of sitting for periods far too long), so I went into the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee—my third of the day, probably.

And then I finished watching the interview.

I’ve since watched plenty of Big Little Lies and read Hourglass (and half of Still Writing), not to mention worked plenty of hours, but I can’t get what Cheryl said out of my head. I fear I never will.

She’d said that she worked as a waitress, specifically, because it was something she could turn off at the end of the day. She didn’t have to take her work home with her. When she wasn’t waitressing, she was writing. There were no blurred lines.

My life is one big blur. I work in publishing, from my home office. My days are made up entirely of reading books, thinking about books, marketing books, helping authors, acquiring new authors, etc. And when the day is over (pretending that I can turn it off at 4pm), I try to then think about my own writing.

I love my job, I sincerely do, but there is no turning it off at the end of the day or over the weekend. And because I work from home there is no way I can’t take my work home with me.

So I worry. I worry that it’s not possible to focus on my own words with so many others’ in my head as well. I worry that, working from home, I’ll never achieve that separation that Cheryl spoke of. I worry that the struggle will always feel like it does right now: impossible.

I worry that I won’t figure out how to make it work.

Could it really be as simple as finding the perfect chair? The perfect routine? An ideal room in which to write? The ideal notebook? (These are all things I’ve read lately—because we writers are superstitious creatures, did you know?). Maybe I’m only the perfect pen and favorite coffee mug away from figuring it all out.

Wouldn’t that be great!

My (Very New) Writing Habit

Posted: February 18, 2018 by Rachel

My (Very New) Writing Habit

For almost two weeks now, I’ve been doing this thing where I sit down in the same place and same time every single day, to write. I give myself an hour, because, really, that’s all I can afford most days. I’ve read enough from successful writers to know that the real work is sitting your butt down in the chair every day and, well, I wanted to figure out a way to make that work for me.

I take it quite seriously; that hour every day. Sometimes it means rushing my kid out the door (if it’s my day for drop-off) so that I can be back at my desk by 8 am. Other days it means telling my family I’ll see them in an hour and then close myself in the office. One morning, it even meant sitting in the hotel lobby while Dom slept in upstairs (and here, it should be noted that I sat and wrote in front of a lovely, warm fire).

I don’t always write for the full hour, but you can be sure my ass is in my chair that whole time. I’ve never been great at creating habits from scratch, but this one? It will be well worth it in the end.

—–

I haven’t really talked to many people about what I’m working on now. There are a select few who know how I’ve been spending my mornings; what thoughts are now filling my journals and notebooks, but mostly, I’ve kept it to myself. I think that, right now, while I have some inkling of what it could all be, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. It needs to be something more, something bigger, before I share it with everyone.  I have a habit of jumping the gun, and I don’t want to do that this time. Not with this project. Not with these words.

These words are rebuilding me, letter by letter.

Maui: because it’s been one of those weeks, and I just want to reminisce

Posted: February 8, 2018 by Rachel

The last almost two weeks have been, well, kind of a mess. First, I fell down the stairs and messed up my tailbone. Then, just days later, DJ and Dom both got the worst cold they’ve probably ever had. That I didn’t catch it was a miracle. DJ missed a lot of school, Dom missed work, and I was here, working from home like I always do. It was a rough six days, to be honest.

I’m tired this morning; the kind of tired that coffee cannot fix. DJ is back and school and Dom is back at work but my mind and my heart haven’t quite caught up.

And so I wanted to look at something beautiful. Be reminded of something beautiful.

Like three blissful, child-free, relaxing days in Maui this past December.

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I’ll tell you what I want you to know

Posted: February 6, 2018 by Rachel

Over coffee with a girlfriend recently, I admitted that I’m a terribly private person. I didn’t give her the chance to say what most people say—“you sure share an awful lot online for someone who claims to be private”—before I set down my too-strong coffee and leaned closer, saying, “I share what I’m okay with other people knowing.”

That is to say: I’ll tell you what I want you to know. And the rest I want to keep to myself.

I share a lot more with some people than with others, as I think most people do. And there are a select few who get very little of me, mostly because I’ve learned from my mistakes. I consider myself a forgiving person. I’ll forgive you, but I’m also not going to give as much of myself to you in the future should you hurt me.

Lately I find I’m struggling with what to say and what not to say. I used to talk a lot more openly about my life, which is funny if you think about it, because my life has changed so much in the past seven years. Right now, I can think of three things I’d love to write about, but it would mean opening myself up to people I’d rather keep at bay.

So, like I have for too many years now, I stay quiet.

But I find I’m missing it; writing about my life. And I’m determined to find some kind of middle ground, some areas of my life that I’m comfortable sharing. Because as simple and slow as my life is, there is so much good in it that is worth being celebrated.

What I Read: December 2017

Posted: January 2, 2018 by Rachel

December Reading List

 

Despite the craziness of the last month of the year, I was able to read four novels in December, bringing my tally for 2017 up to a cool 50 books read.

I should call December (and the end of November) the month of Christina Lauren, because I read four of their books in succession–Autoboyography being my first and favorite. That book deserves it’s only special review, that’s how much I loved it.

But, I digress.

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3 Things From The Past Week | 30

Posted: December 17, 2017 by Rachel

3 Things From The Past Week

 

1
I work from home and sometimes things can be a little too quiet. I used to listen to music, but have, over the past few months, started leaving the television on. Usually, I just let a show like Friends or Felicity run in the background, but around the time that the calendar changed over to December I started playing Christmas movies. I love Christmas movies, the cheesier the better. Except for Love, Actually. I don’t know what it is about that one, but I just don’t like it. But turn on The Holiday and I’ll watch it over and over.

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3 Things From The Past Week | 29

Posted: November 12, 2017 by Rachel

3 Things from the past week

 

1
I disappointed my boss on Tuesday. It’s a new feeling, and not one I like. I knew I disappointed him because I could feel him watching me, wanting me to do something, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to.

We were at PubCon, sitting at a table in the exhibit hall when a woman came up to us and asked us if any of us would like to be interviewed on camera talking about digital marketing. Right away, my boss volunteered me, but I shook my head.

I was angry. He knows I’m terrified of speaking in front of people. Being filmed is even worse. And yet he volunteered me. On the spot, just like that. No preparation.

The woman looked excited, told me they couldn’t get any women to participate. I didn’t look at my boss as I shook my head and declined her offer. I could feel him watching me, disappointed.

It kind of feels like I’ve been letting down a lot of people lately, myself included.

2
This was the toughest week in every way possible. I know you’re not supposed to wish time away, but I’m glad this week is coming to an end. I just want to put it behind me.

3
Four weeks until Maui. I can’t put into words how much I need this mini-vacation.