3 Things From The Past Week | 19

I’ve been so consumed with plotting and re-writes the past two weeks that I’ve barely read anything for fun. I’ve gone back to ground zero and have been reading a lot of books on plotting and characterization. Next month will be two years since I first published Finding Lily. I’m excited by how well the re-write is going, how much I love these characters. How I can’t wait to finish the re-write and truly do these characters justice.

This morning, I sat down on the couch with my first coffee of the day, curled my legs up underneath me and turned on the television. I’ve been slowly re-watching Felicity as a way to just disconnect and turn off my brain for a few moments.

I’ve been overthinking everything lately. Needless to say, it’s leaving me exhausted.

If you don’t know me in real life you likely wouldn’t know that I’m pretty anti-social. I went to a new hair stylist on Friday, and was legitimately nervous walking in because small talk stresses me out. She was perfectly nice, don’t get me wrong, but I was on edge the whole time.

I’m pretty shy when I first meet people. I’m careful about what I say, worried about how I come off, and desperate, desperate, for things to get past the point of small talk. I want to get into the meat of a friendship. That’s where the real beauty is.

3 Things From The Past Week | 18

Yesterday I started reading a book that, at its core, is about female friendship. I haven’t gotten very far into it because I keep stopping and scribbling down notes in my journal. Friendship in your thirties is so different then when you’re younger. Some day I’ll find the right words to explain what I mean by that.

I’m well aware of the fact that some days are just going to drain me. Some weeks, even. Like this week. I’m siting here absolutely blown away by the fact that the weekend has come to an end. Ask me what my week was like and all I remember is: my kid yelling, me avoiding cooking–and therefore, takeout, me ignoring my novel re-write, me spending too much money shopping online and guilt over said shopping, too much coffee, too much red bull, not enough quiet, not enough kissing and snuggling.

It was a tough week, friends.

I had to think a little harder to remember the good things about the week: my husband went to see The Who in concert and met them backstage. I started brainstorming a new novel. Chilled pinot grigio. A surprise massage with a girlfriend. Great books.

My cat sleeps on the floor at my feet while I work. It’s terribly comforting.

3 Things From The Past Week | 17


3 Things from the past week

1. I’ve stopped being able to write in coffee shops. They used to be the only place in which I could focus. Home holds too many distractions, I said.

Now home is the only place in which I get anything done.

When you’re a new, aspiring writer you read all those blogs that tell you to designate a writing space that is completely yours. I never believed in that. I always thought a writer should be able to write anywhere.

I grew up in small houses. Cozy, I’d say. I love my house here in Vegas, but it’s certainly not cozy. Maybe that’s why I find myself spending more and more time in my home office. If I set up a coffee maker in here I’d never leave. It’s the closest thing to cozy as I can get. It’s where I find myself writing these days.

I’m obsessed with seeing other writer’s spaces: their desks, their offices, or the coffee shops in which they write. It’s inspiring to me. Just like seeing a snapshot of some of my favorite authors working on their next book. It feels as though I’m seeing something special; getting the inside track. Like they’re saying to me: look, I’m writing, what’s your excuse?

I’ve been making up a lot of excuses lately.

2. Lately I’ve been feeling a pull in a different direction. Away from romance as I’ve been writing it. Whether or not anything comes from it remains yet to be seen, but for now, it’s a nice thought. An exciting thought. A thought that keeps me up late into the night dreaming up plot lines. I think about writing about a group of girlfriends navigating adulthood, a struggling marriage, a wife, pregnant and alone. Too many ideas, not enough time.

3. I started reading an incredible book this week, Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down. Down’s writing is so beautiful and heartfelt. I am about halfway through and can’t wait to see where the rest of the book goes. I’ve started following Down on instagram and will be devouring everything else she’s written.

3 Things From The Past Week | 16

1. I can’t quite remember how it came up, or why, but last night, after I put my son to bed, I said to Dom, “Look at the guys I comment on, they’re always older. Robert Downey Jr, Charles Esten, Kevin Richardson…” I turned to him, “I wonder what that says about me? Is it because I’m a total daddy’s girl?”

He said, unblinking, “I think it’s probably the opposite. It’s probably that you want someone to take care of you. Someone responsible. Someone older.”

I nodded, because that has always been true.

“Look at you as an example,” I said. “When we met, you were more of a man than anyone I’d ever dated. You owned a home, you were solid, you had a good head on your shoulders.”

Many of you may not know the whole story of how Dom and I got together, but let me tell you: we got lucky, him and I. We knew we aligned on the big picture items, but the little stuff — the kind of everyday stuff that can make or break a relationship — we had to figure that out after we were married. We had to play it by ear.

It’s not to say that it’s been an easy road, but then again, you don’t get married thinking it will be easy. I can say this though: Dom was — and continues to be — exactly what and whom I needed.

2. Kelsey, An online friend of mine has started sharing her writing online. It’s raw and honest and sometimes full of expletives… and incredibly refreshing.

A while back, Suzy and I talked about how there aren’t many “real” blogs left. You know; non-curated, sponsored, only-care-about-the-perfect-keywords-and-monthly-hits kind of blogs that seem to rule the online space these days.

Well, Kelsey’s blog isn’t like that, and I hope it never is.

She’s been writing for a while, but to see her passion grow and grow over the past six months has been a pretty incredible thing to witness. Her passion inspires me to push harder.

3. I sent my mom a photo of my son touching a snake at a kid’s birthday party yesterday with the caption, “he doesn’t get his fearlessness from me.” I couldn’t go anywhere near the thing, even though it was pretty small, but DJ went right up and touched it without prompting. My heart soared. That’s my kid, I thought. I hope he never loses that sense of wonder, that desire to jump.

3 Things From The Past Week | 15

1. I can’t remember exactly what it was my son was doing, but he was standing nearby, close enough that I could think, for what feels like the hundredth time, that he has such beautiful, long eyelashes. I looked at him and I thought, I can’t believe that I made you.

He’s four and I’m still in awe of this fact.

I had my phone in my hand because my father-in-law had just sent me a message. I opened up our thread and wrote him: “I still look at DJ and can’t believe I made him. Do you ever look at your kids and think that, even though they’re all grown up?”

“They make me happy even now. DJ is a different, but just as good, type of joy,” he wrote.

Even now, days later, thinking about that moment makes me ache in the best kind of way.

2. I spent a lot of time this week noticing–and calling out–all the times I make excuses. It’s disarming, really, to realize how often I tell myself I tried when I didn’t.

3. I was recently interviewed by Nicole of Explosive Bagel. She titled the interview, “Finding Your Spark: Writing, Reading and Investing in Yourself.”

Nicole asked me things like, when did I first consider myself a writer, and how I deal with writer’s block (oh, boy). I also talked a little about my reasoning behind re-writing my first novella, Finding Lily, and how I became a self-published author.

Talking about myself is hard. I know I do it all the time in these 3 Things posts and elsewhere, but interviews are different. I feel pressured to sound smart and knowledgeable and to say something new and wise that hasn’t been said before (What’s that saying? There are no new ideas, only new ways of making them felt).

Anyways, you can read it here if you’re interested.

3 Things From The Past Week | 14

1. I’m coming to you this week from Kansas City, Missouri.

As I write this I’m fighting off tears. It’s Friday morning, I’m cold and I’m tired and more than anything I want to be back at home with my family.

My job thankfully doesn’t involve much travel. But when it does, I don’t like to be gone long. It doesn’t take more than a day away for me to miss my boys. To miss my bed. To miss home cooked meals and regular sleep patterns. Comfortable clothes and running shoes and a good cup of coffee.

I know the tears aren’t just about being away from home. I can blame it on that all I want but the truth is—and I’m finally admitting it—my writing isn’t going well. And I can’t recall a time I have ever struggled so hard. Every day, before I even sit down to write, I feel depleted. My heart is in it, but the rest of me isn’t. Even writing this, now, feels like a struggle.

So maybe I’ll let the tears come. As long as they heal me.

2. I recently had a friend ask me why I started writing these weekly 3 Things posts. Initially, they were a way to get myself writing. To write about things, people, places that I might not normally write about. I hoped–and continue to hope that writing these posts each week will force me to write about myself in a way that I’ve been too scared to. Take Chris for example; if I could one day write half as openly and honestly about my life the way he does about his? Well, then, I will have accomplished with these posts exactly what I had hoped.

3. I’d never been to Kansas City until now. I’m not sure that it would have been a city I appreciated earlier. In my twenties. But the 33-year-old version of myself walked for two and a half hours through the city. Sure I ducked into a few shops here and there, but mostly I just looked. I opened my eyes. I appreciated just how different the city is from anywhere I’ve been before. I took photographs of the buildings, of the doorways, of the stairs, of the water, of the street signs.

I walked for two and a half hours, sweating clean through my t-shirt because of the humidity that I’m not at all used to (coming from Vegas). But goodness, I think I could live here. It wouldn’t be too hard to love this city.

3 Things From The Past Week | 13

Author Rachel Del is always on vacation
1. I read something incredible this week. It was called On Finding Love Again. (No, I’m not trying to tell you anything; it just caught my eye and I couldn’t stop reading). You know how sometimes, when you’re reading, you come across something so profound that you feel the need to underline it? That’s what happened to me. This is my version of underlining what stood out to me.

We are all desperate for love. Every single one of us.

It’s true, isn’t it? 

This is not “being a girl”. This is being a human.

Some of us are more honest with our desperation. Others of us have gotten good at hiding it and stuffing it. Some of us have learned the art of knowing and acknowledging our need for love and finding realistic ways to meet it, without manipulating or cajoling. We’ve learned how to be the love of our own lives, to ask clearly and directly for what we are wanting.

Others of us are constantly performing and manipulating or taking love by force (which is not actually love by the way) because we haven’t yet learned the art of sitting with our own need, with our own desire, the art of going without something we crave. But regardless of where we are in our journey, there is one thing that levels the playing field.

We all crave love. We just do. We are all desperate for it.

Every single one of us.

I sent the link to a friend of mine and out of the many, many words, those first two lines is what she immediately highlighted and sent back to me.

It doesn’t matter where we are in life; married, single, etc., we all need love. Because we are human.

2. Next week I’ll be away for a few days for work. For some reason, I have it in my head that I’m going to just take a carry on. On Thursday night after my kid had gone to bed I pulled out the carry on with the intention of doing a dry run with my clothes, etc to see if I was crazy. Dom took one look at my clothes and said “no way.” I’m not a competitive person at all, but that made me even more motivated to fit everything.

You should have seen his face when I showed him how I could make all my clothes fit in just half of the carry on.

I think I’ve got this one in the bag. Pun most definitely intended.

3. I discovered the most delicious coffee this week. It’s called Stone Street Coffee and it’s brewed in one of my favorite places–New York. I ordered the Tanzanian Peaberry blend and it’s all I could ever ask for in a coffee. And probably the best thing about it is how low in acidity it is. For someone who drinks as much coffee as I do, that’s important.

I almost didn’t order the coffee. It had been sitting in my amazon wishlist for weeks. I told a friend I was nervous to try something more expensive. If I liked it, would the more affordable coffee start to taste lackluster?

But I ordered it anyway, and I’m so happy I did.

3 Things from the past week | 12

This is 331. I turned 33 this week. I’ve been having a tough time with that number; what it means, what it doesn’t mean, what it’s leading towards and what it means I’ve left behind. I try not to be the type of person who looks back on their life, tortured by the things they cannot change. Instead, I want to look forward as much as possible—to what is ahead of me. To the wonderful things that will happen to me this year—at 33.

A work trip to a city, a state I’ve never seen before.

Two days spent by the water with my boys.

Finishing writing and re-releasing Finding Lily.

Bedtime stories.

Meals with friends and family.

Waking up beside the love of my life.

… and so many more things I can’t even begin to dream of.

So perhaps 33 won’t be so bad. Maybe it will turn out to be one of the best years of my life.

I certainly hope so.

2. An ex messaged me on my birthday. He was a wonderful boyfriend, but we were young. We thought we knew—but had no idea—who we really were. We’ve both, separately, made wonderful lives for ourselves. Still, it’s odd to look back now, knowing it’s been this long since we were together, knowing how I felt about him back then. It’s a startling reminder that love can fade, but that hurt can, too. I couldn’t imagine my life without him once. But look how well we’ve done. Apart. The way we were meant to be.

The truth is that it made me unbelievably happy to know he was thinking of me on my birthday, if only for the five seconds it look him to reach out.

3. There’s somewhere I’ve been wanting to go. A real destination, not some place in my head like I often go to. There, the trees are thick and plentiful. The water calls for me. Nothing but fresh air. Nothing but quiet.

We may go, finally. But it’s not for certain, and by saying the name out loud I feel like I may stop it from happening.  So I’ll keep it in my head and my heart, for now.

3 Things from the past week | 11

1. As an introvert I sometimes find being a writer to be a terrifying process. The act of writing is great—wonderful even. But everything else: reaching out to readers, projecting a fun image online—that’s where I struggle. I was not popular in school. I’m certainly no more popular now. And sometimes the writing game feelings a little too much like I’m jumping up and down, waving my hands around, asking for people to pay attention. And well—I’m too shy for that. I’m too worried that people won’t like what they see. Worse; I’m worried that even if they do see me, they won’t care.

2. Yesterday I cracked open Nevertheless by Alec Baldwin. I haven’t gotten too far but I think it’s safe to say that i’m going to enjoy it immensely.

Something he wrote has stuck with me. He was talking about his mother sending him out of the house to the grocery store. “I’d be more than willing to go. ‘I’m out!’ I’d think. I was nine years old and addicted to solitude.”
Addicted to solitude.
I couldn’t have said it any better.
3. Did you know that I blatantly stole the idea for my 3 Things series from this beautiful woman right here?. I stumbled across her writing somehow and was so inspired by her honest writing that I knew I wanted to write some of my own. Each week, I try to push myself to open up more and more. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but I love having these little snippets of my life to look back on. Some day I hope I read back on today’s post having mastered the art of catching—and holding on to—readers’ attention. Maybe then I’ll be thinking: hey, I’m introverted, but I can still do this.

Wouldn’t that be lovely?

3 Things from the past week | 10

1. You give me a book or a movie with a protagonist writer (or photographer, for that matter) and I’m all in. Just one of the many reasons that I’m thoroughly enjoying my first Jessica Hawkins read, Yours To Bare.

2. It’s been a good week. The hubby and I got out on the jet ski for the first time this season, we watched a movie together in the middle of the day. I’ve been writing; not just my novel but a lot more journaling, which always makes me feel great. Do you keep a journal? I’ve been working out again, which feels truly great. Work seems to have calmed down a little and I feel like I can finally breathe normalizing again. Plus, it’s a long weekend, so there’s still tomorrow to sit back and do absolutely nothing.

3. The heat here in Las Vegas is ramping up. I find myself kicking off the covers mid-sleep and turning on the overhead fan and boy! am I sleeping well. Finally.