Your lupines, please

Hey, everyone. I went outside at work this morning to get some shots of the library’s lupines, which are beautiful. Here are a few of those shots. Hope you’ve had a wonderful week.

 

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Branching out

Hey, everyone! I have exciting news! The first piece I ever queried was published today! It’s a nonfiction/inspirational piece written for a website for young, Catholic women. If you’d like to take a look, click here. It’s also already linked under my writing tab here on the blog. I hope you all enjoy it!

Soon…soon

The title of this post pretty much is my mantra in regard to my second draft right now. I’m nearing the finishing line with it and while I’m excited, I’m also getting doubtful and tired. People always compare pursuing any creative work to giving birth, so in terms of that analogy, I guess I’m at the part where you’re exhausted and breathless but you’ve got to keep pushing because there is no stopping now. Never having given birth, I don’t know how accurate this analogy is, but it does seem apt.

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The picture is of my current page count. Subtract 275 from that number and you’ll get how long this new draft is. I didn’t mean to hand write the whole thing, but that’s just how it turned out.

Like I mentioned before, the doubts are starting to speak louder than they have at any other point during this process. They keep telling me that no one will want to read or publish this and that these characters are too broken and unlovable for people to root for. The important thing is that I loved and believed in this story first and if I do my job right, then others will care and want to read it. I’m not there yet, but this draft is so much more book-shaped than my first one and I already have so many ideas for how to move forward. I’ll get there and if you’re struggling with your own things, know that you’ll get there, too. Soon…soon.

 

 

P.S. To all of you who have just subscribed via email, welcome. ❤

Some drawings

Hey, everyone! A few days ago, I was given a white Chanel box by someone close to me who wears their perfume. It’s now my new pen box. I decided to draw on the box and I wanted to share some pictures with you. I draw quite a bit though I don’t normally show my drawings to people. I’m trying to change that. Hope you’re all doing well. 20180316_202555

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Yes, the wheel is purposefully lopsided.

A silly meet-cute

I haven’t told a story from work in a while. But I have one for you today. And, for those of you who don’t know, a meet-cute is the point in a movie where two characters, generally love interests, meet.

I was back at the reference desk one morning about two weeks ago and a man came up to ask about our mobile printing services. I helped him out as much as I was able. He hung around the desk then went to go back to his seat. A woman came up from the computer lab with a lot of papers to print off. I helped her out then went to go get the stapler she would need to staple all of those pages together. The man came back and started to talk to me about books. I checked the stapler to see if it needed to be refilled and it did, so I was trying to refill the stapler while talking to this guy. He was a nice guy and was interested in donating to the library and we were talking about horror stories and just having a nice time. He then politely introduced himself and stuck his hand out for a handshake.

While all of this was going on, I was fiddling with the stapler, which had jammed, and decided to test it. I didn’t realize my finger was in the way. A staple sunk one of its prongs in my finger, just as he offered me his hand. So our introduction went something like this:

“Oh, I’m sorry, I should have introduced myself earlier. My name is Brad.” *Cue extended hand* (His name wasn’t really Brad, I would feel awful if I put his real name here.)

*Me, stapling myself, trying not to cry out in pain while trying to yank the staple out of my hand for an absurdly long time. Finally get it out after about three yanks* “I’m…bleeding. I mean, my name is Elizabeth and it’s nice to meet you!”

I shook his hand then, the hand that didn’t have a  bleeding finger. He was a good sport about my little mishap, made sure I was alright, finished what he needed to do, and left shortly afterward.

I couldn’t help but laugh about that little incident for most of the rest of the day, equal turns amused and embarrassed by my little meet-cute.

My social graces know no bounds, apparently. Bye for now, everyone.

It’s Lent

“Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart…”-Joel 2:12.

Lent is one of my favorite liturgical seasons for many reasons. One of them is how honest Christians are about how sinful we are and how vast and overwhelming God’s mercy is. Being honest about that stuff is difficult but at least during this one point in the year, we are honest with ourselves, with each other, and with God. We are so honest about this sinfulness that we begin this season by literally smearing it across our foreheads. It’s humbling and shows that we all have room to grow. But the best thing about having room to grow is that you can still grow.

I have a really good feeling that though this Lent is going to be challenging, it will be so rewarding and healing. Please, God, make it so.

Happy Ash Wednesday, everyone.

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A patron left us Mardi Gras beads at the library last night, so I’ve been wearing them most of the day. It occurs to me that my face looks really puffy in this photo. I had gum in my mouth when I took this, so that’s why.

Check in #3

I wasn’t sure what kind of post to start 2018 with, and after much dilly-dallying with different ideas, I just decided to make this a check in, which will cover some really random stuff. Hi there. I hope the not-so-new year has been kind to you all. It’s been an interesting one so far.

  • The most interesting thing that’s happened so far is that I’ve learned more about what makes me who I am. Literally. I bought my mom a DNA test for Christmas last year and we finally got it ready to go at the beginning of December. We used the 23 and Me test, for those of you who care about that kind of thing and both my mom and I are so pleased with their service and how they present their findings. I bought the test because she’s always been curious if she had Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and the test confirmed her hunch. We were also staggered to discover that a small portion of our DNA comes from Scandinavia (it looks like Finland, specifically) and Northern Russia. The test also showed that, though my mother’s DNA is predominantly European, way far back, we come from the Middle East and Africa. It’s been really interesting to learn more about DNA and the tools and information that are available to help people learn about where they come from. If you’re looking for a DNA test, I highly recommend 23 and Me.
  • I’ve started tracking my daily writing progress, which I’ve never done before. My best friend and former roommate gave me a special calendar for Christmas and out of the blue, I decided to use it to track my writing progress, not only for the novel I’m working on, but also for short stories, articles, and other writing projects. So far it’s been helpful in making sure I get stuff done and also helping me prove to myself that I do more work than I think I do. I don’t know why, but it’s astonishingly easy for me to make myself think that I don’t work as much as I should. Having this calendar has helped me to realize just how much I do and to be more conscious of the time it takes me to do it in.
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    This is what this month’s page looks like so far. Please excuse my bad handwriting. If I decide to continue this in the future, I definitely need to learn to write smaller or to get a calendar with bigger boxes. 

     

  • At last, I heard back from some editors that I sent different pieces to, so be on the lookout for more things being added to my writing page. I’m really excited about these two pieces, since they’re different from what I’ve had published so far. That’s all I’m going to say for now. 🙂
  • I finally saw Star Wars VIII. I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t like it, but I did! It was different than I thought it would be, which is not necessarily a bad thing. There’s too much to go into here, but suffice it to say that I think this installment in the trilogy is not just a good addition to an already amazing canon of films but it provides a good springboard into episode IX. We’ll see where they decide to take the story next.
  • Charles Dickens has been hard core stalking me from beyond the grave. Ha, in rereading that sentence, it sounds like he is the Marley to my Scrooge. No, I don’t mean that kind of haunting. I just mean that he’s showing up a lot in my life. It started when I started watching the TV show “Dickensian” last month (trailer is linked here.) It’s a fantastic show, which I want to watch again and again. The one bad thing about that show is that it’s made me realize just how ignorant of Dickens I am. I’ve only read Great Expectations and have seen “Bleak House”, “Little Dorrit”, and “Oliver Twist”. I’d really like to get more into his work. I think I’m going to start with Hard Times, simply because it’s one of his slimmer works. Plus the opening paragraph is amazing in terms of establishing character. Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions as to which of his works I should read.
  • Should I get an Instagram? I’ve been thinking about that question off an on since I got my phone last year. I’m really on the fence about it. On the one hand, I think it would be quite fun, especially to tie it in with this blog. On the other, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be too good at keeping up with it. If you have any ideas, let me know.

That’s about it for now. Sorry it’s been so long and for the rambling nature of this post. There will be lots more to come soon, you can be sure. Bye for now, everyone!

P.S. I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten a lot more email subscribers in the past few weeks. Thank you for signing up! Welcome!

2017 in photos

As this year is coming to a close, I’ve realized a bunch of things. The first is that there’s been a lot going on. The second is that I wasn’t too good at handling most of it. I felt incredibly alone and had a difficult time opening up to anyone, even those I trust completely, about what was going on.

While I couldn’t use words to talk about what was going on inside my head and heart, I used plenty of them to write. I also took a lot of pictures, which have always been a helpful tool for me for communicating not just with other people, but also with myself. So here are a few of those pictures. None of these have been edited and I’m not going to caption them, either. I hope you like the story they tell and I’ll write again soon. Bye, loves.

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End of the year book tag

Hello, lovely people. So there has been a new book tag floating around the bookish side of Youtube that I thought would be fun to cover here on the blog. If you couldn’t guess by this post’s title, it’s the end of the year book tag. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and now that the new year is less than two weeks away, I think it’s a good time to put this up. So let’s get started.

  1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
    Like about 5. Currently I’m reading Before the Devil Takes You by Libba Bray, Renegades by Marissa Meyer, All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell-Boyce. So yeah, I’ve got some work to do.

2. Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
I haven’t been reading too much lately, so I’m fairly sure that I won’t be able to finish most of these, so I bet all of the aforementioned books will transfer into the beginning of 2018. At the very least, I’ll definitely have Tolstoy with me.

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Photo credited to Amazon. This is the edition I have. It’s massive but thorough in its footnotes, which is good for such a big novel.

3. Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
No, I’m doing alright. Most of the books I’m champing at the bit for aren’t being released until mid to late spring of next year, so I have some time to catch up and read some more of my never ending “to be read” pile.

4. What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
I definitely want to finish Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth. I just started reading it today on my lunch break and have been enjoying the story so far. And if I can finish either Before the Devil Breaks You or Renegades, I’ll be a happy camper.

5. Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?
No, I think my favorite book of 2017 is pretty much set. But you’ll have to wait until my 2017 reading wrap-up to find out what that book is *cough coming up soon cough*

6. Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?
Yes, I have! I surprised myself by wanting to make reading resolutions after originally watching different tag videos. I normally don’t like making plans for my reading because I don’t like planning things out too much, especially activities that I do for fun, such as reading. But I have made three easily achievable goals for myself and we’ll see how they go. Those goals are 1. to finish reading Jane Austen’s novels (I haven’t done that yet, much to the embarrassment of my English major side). 2. Read at least one work of nonfiction (I’ve managed to read three works of nonfiction this year and, though I am a really slow nonfiction reader, I’ve been enjoying delving more into the genre and I want to read more of it). And, finally 3. Read at least one of Toni Morrison’s works (I read part of Beloved  for my women writer’s class during my final semester and I wasn’t able to finish it, unfortunately. I hope to remedy that).

There we have it, folks. What about your end of 2017 reading? Have any tomes that you’re scrambling to finish? Let me know in the comments. I’ll link the original video down below. I hope you’re having a great week. Bye for now!

Wind-up

I swear

I was born

with a wind-up winch

in the middle

of my spine.

It gets cranked and

twisted,

’til I am tense

with the strain of it.

But instead of running or jumping,

I unravel.

 

I’ve been meaning to do a wrap-up of NaNo for this year, but I didn’t feel like it today. Here’s a poem I recently wrote instead. I hope everyone’s doing well.