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

The Writing Folder

Posted: March 20, 2018 by Rachel

It’s been a bit of a strange morning. The sky is solid grey, not a cloud in sight. There’s almost no sun. The house feels cooler than normal, and my new wool socks just don’t seem to be cutting it. Probably I should just slip into a warm bath, light a candle, make a fresh cup of coffee that hasn’t gone cold. But, oh, that’s right—I have to work.

**

I’ve been working on something new this year. It’s definitely not a romance novel. It seems silly that it took me so long to realize this “new thing” is probably what I was meant to be doing all along. But there’s comfort in knowing it happened now, rather than a year from now. I’ve always carried around this regret over having not started writing seriously sooner. But, I digress. That’s not really what I was thinking about when I sat down to write today.

There’s this folder in my documents that has moved from computer to computer over the years. It’s aptly named, Writing. I clicked through it a little this morning; all the years of Nanowrimo attempts (and a few wins), the word documents titled “untitled” or “new story” that contain little more than a few short paragraphs. I’m great at beginning; but not so great at finishing.

As I clicked through the folders within folders within a folder, I got the idea that maybe there’s something in there worth continuing. A diamond in the rough. And so I started reading over a few things. While most of it is absolute garbage, there were some pieces that took me right back to the past, as though it were the present:

**

Dean is doing that thing again where he paces the room, arms crossed tightly over his chest. He’s making me crazy, and I want to tell him so. Instead, I watch him. Back and forth, back and forth. And then I drop my head and begin to cry.

“How?” he asks, for the third time.

I’ve got my head in my hands but I lift my gaze to meet his. A small chuckle breaks through my whimpers. “I think we both know how this happened.”

Dean stops pacing. “You’re really laughing right now? This isn’t funny, Brigette.”

I clear my throat. “No, I suppose you’re right.”

He resumes his pacing. I focus on the rhythmic click clack of his shoes along the tile floor. I align my breathing with his steps, willing my heart to slow.

“A baby, Brig?” his voice is incredulous. “We don’t want kids, remember? We both agreed on that from the very beginning.”

“So what do you want me to do?”

I know what he wants me to do. But he’s going to have to be the one to say it.

**

Something started, but not finished.

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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