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

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.

5 Photos that make me wish I’d gone to The Big Apple Author Event

Posted: October 16, 2017 by Rachel

I can tell you with absolute certainty that if New York were closer, I’d have gotten my butt down to The Big Apple Author Event in NYC this past weekend. Because, I mean, look at how much fun it looked to be! Some of my favorite authors all in one place–some of whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting.

These 5 photos made me wish I’d gone to the event, distance and cost be darned.

1. R.S. Grey and Renee Carlino

R.S. Grey and Renee Carlino

I had the pleasure of meeting Renee last October in Phoenix, but I would have loved to have met Rachel.

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Why it’s time for a social media detox

Posted: April 24, 2017 by Rachel

Starting tomorrow, I’m doing a social media detox, because—to be honest—it’s killing me. No Instagram, no Facebook and no Twitter or Snapchat (even though I’m rarely on those). I’m going to start with seven days, but I’m hopeful that I can make it much longer. Here’s why I’m doing it:

1. I need to break the comparison cycle. She has this, he has that, she wrote another book, he’s on vacation again—It. Is. Killing. Me. I’m aware that it’s my own problem, and that I have to train my mind to stop thinking this way.

2. To improve my mood. Studies show that the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you are to develop depression. And, as I’m sure you all know by now, I’ve been there. And I really, really don’t want to go back.

3. I need to get back to living in the moment. Picture this: my four-year-old son asks me to play and I say (with my face glued to my phone) “just one second” … and then ten minutes go by. I don’t want to be that type of mother.

4. My time is precious and should be treated as such. If I actually kept track of how often I pick up my phone and absently scroll through Instagram, I would be sick to my stomach. Literally. It needs to stop.

5. I need to re-evaluate. Why do I need to post a photo of my laptop at Starbucks so that people know I’m writing? Why do I need to share what I’m wearing, or eating, or drinking? Why do I care so much?

It’s going to be hard—there’s no sugarcoating the fact that I’m an Instagram addict. But that just motivates me even more to really give this detox a go.

So, if you see me online this week—proceed to give me a swift kick in the rear end.

3 things from the past week | 5

Posted: April 23, 2017 by Rachel

1. If you’re already having a weird day, don’t pour yourself a glass of wine or eat chips for dinner. Or pour yourself that second glass of wine. It’s never a good idea. You’ll feel worse in the morning, I promise you. I learned this the hard way.

2. It’s really frustrating to me that one day, I can manage to get 2,300 words written amongst chaos (I’m talking the kid running around, at my in-laws, at the coffee shop when I forgot headphones), and then the next day, I struggle to get out a measly 341 words). If you don’t already know this about me, I’m really hard on myself—so to be the kind of writer who still experiences these inconsistencies really gets me rattled.

3. I’ve been reading When You Find Out The World Is Against You and—while making me laugh and smile—it makes me think about Canada. It makes me miss Canada. It makes me smile and nod my head and yell out “YES!” (scaring my husband half to death) because here is someone who not only gets what it feels like to move to the US from Canada, but to articulate it so well also. I’m in awe of Kelly Oxford. And I kind of don’t ever want this book to end.