happiness

Hey 20’s, our time together is running out

So I might have forgotten that this little blog of mine existed. I’m mildly comforted by the fact that it’s practically a shout into the void for now… no shade to my close family and friend followers or the strangers who may come across this and somehow make my world feel smaller… cozier.

I’m rapidly approaching my 29th birthday and doing a lot of reflecting on my post-college adult life and my future. My goal is to walk a path of authenticity and take control over my own happiness. I pray for the strength and courage to make choices that serve me positively and to commit deeply to all that I cherish and all that brings light to my life and to the lives of those whom I care for. I want to live open, and honestly, and beautifully. I want my happiness to be so evident to my loved ones that if I were to die tomorrow, they could know, with no doubt, that I lived– or at the very least, worked very hard toward– my very best life.

Here’s my slice of #vulnerablepie …
(more…)

Advertisements

I wrote a book y’all

I finished the first draft of my first novel about a week and a half ago. I think it’s finally set in… both the fact that I actually finished it, and the fact that I have to do something else with it. I’ve spent a good deal of time working to convince myself that what I’ve created isn’t 100% crap. Now, it may be 99% crap, but I can work with that. The big question is where to begin! This time last year I was digging up information on how to outline and get your story started. This year I have to tackle editing the first draft. Do I start with spelling, grammar, continuity, content? Do I do all of these things at once, or make several passes through? It’s pretty intimidating to look at my near-300 page stack of creative vomit and try to figure out how to polish it into something presentable. All I’ve managed to do is go on a mini office supply shopping spree.

Editing tools!

Okay, that’s not all I’ve done… I’ve also taken all of my bookmarks for landmarks and displayed them in a shadow box. Completing a novel from start to finish was something on my bucket list (more as a challenge to myself, not an arbitrary thing to tick off a list- this writing thing is forever) and I have a habit of not adequately celebrating/acknowledging my accomplishments so I wanted to do something nice. I also like the idea of keeping up with this new tradition for any future novels I may write.

My first draft and all eight bookmarks for landmarks

My first draft and all bookmarks for landmarks

If you have any editing tips, please share them!

-ED

PS. Fun coincidence… today is an exact year since my very first blog post!

Bookmarks for Landmarks! #7

It’s done! I finished my first draft about 30 minutes ago and I am thrilled. 71,343 words. I’ll definitely be back with a longer post soon. I’ve been working on this draft for a full year and what an experience it’s been! I’m so thankful to all my friends, students, and family that have encouraged me along the way.

Here is my final bookmark! I’ll be arranging all of them together sometime soon and celebrating with friends this weekend!

71, 343 words

71, 343 words

-ED

Bookmarks for Landmarks! #5

Yup. Here we are again and I couldn’t be happier. 50,000 words feels really special, and it’s been a long time coming. My story has taken some surprising new turns that have me feeling very positive and excited. I’m really looking forward to the summer when I have endless hours of time to devote to my book… hopefully I’ll be working on draft number two by then!

50,000 words

50,000 words

Happy February and happy writing! -ED

Life’s a …

Hello everyone! Yes, I am still with the living. As you might have guessed from my 2.5 month absence, things with my first draft aren’t going very well. I saw this coming when I failed to make my first word count goal after returning to work (I’m a teacher and spent my summer off writing). When I miserably failed to make my second goal (I’d written like 1000 words in a month, my goal was 10,000), I felt really bad. I promised myself I would catch up and get back on track and at the same time, I decided to put off blogging until I had good news.

Well, I don’t have good news in terms of writing and word counts but I’m finally ready to try to reconnect with my manuscript and get back on track to finishing my first draft.

But first, a little update on what I’ve been up to other than writing. Work keeps me pretty busy and I’m also a graduate student. This means I teach, I learn, I make assignments, I do assignments, I grade papers, and I write papers. In addition to that, I coach lacrosse. All that said and done, I can’t honestly say that I had no time to write. Even with my full load, I have a fair amount of down time. So anyway, after getting back into the swing of things at work and failing to meet my first few back-at-work writing goals, I made a plan to try to catch up during our first week long break from school – fall break. Unfortunately, a heart-crushing break up threw all those plans out the window. More than one person encouraged me to pour my sadness and emotions into my writing. It made sense. My main character was actually right in the midst of some similar emotions. I was feeling so many things so intensely that I’m sure anything I would have written would have read strikingly true and honest and real… but I couldn’t write. I didn’t want to do anything, in fact (aside from sleep). For two plus weeks I moped around, slept, cried, and went out with friends and pretended to be happy and “over it.” It wasn’t until I got on the scale and found myself an unnecessary 10lbs lighter that I really realized I needed to make a conscious effort to not let myself fall deeper into my fat cloud of despair. SO I busted out the superglue, picked up the scraps that were my heart, and got busy pasting everything back together. I might have done a shoddy job, but it’ll do just fine for now.

After that, I very quickly became obsessed with letting the world see a part of me that only I know- a me that only ever actually existed inside my head. I applied for a passport, I signed up for a 5k and started working out, I spent time making myself feel pretty (painting my nails, trying out new things with my hair, picking cute outfits), I moved to a cute new apartment closer to the city and I made a choice to be happy and let life take me where it may.

The one thing that’s been late to latch on to my new and improved lifestyle is my writing. It was always on my mental to-do list, but I haven’t even gotten around to opening the Word document yet. I have some sort of mental block going on and it’s my intention to crash it down. My next week-long break is next week for Thanksgiving. I’m not going to set a word count goal or anything, I just want to reconnect with the story that had me bursting at the seams with excitement over the summer. I want to really want to write again. I feel so hopeful and optimistic about everything else in my life right now… writing consistently again would just be really amazing icing on the cake. I’d also say, even though I’m feeling so much better and SO much happier, I’m still filled with lots of potent emotions that I hope will spill beautifully into my writing.

As always, please wish me luck. I need it!

ED

El gato and I are so excited to see where life is going to take us.

El gato and I are so excited to see where life is going to take us.

Summer’s almost over

3 more days… then it’s back to waking up at 5am! I’ve been desperately trying to get my sleep schedule back on track, but I continue to struggle to pull myself out of the bed before 10am. At this rate, I’m not too hopeful about correcting that by Monday, but that’s what pre-planning week is for,  getting used to waking up… that, and going to meetings, and getting my classroom set up, and preparing my syllabi, and blabbing away at open house, and getting ready to meet 150 bright eyed 14 year olds on August 4th.

Summer has gone by pretty quickly. I didn’t do, or go anywhere particularly special, but I can’t complain. It was a good break. I am disappointed in how incredibly lazy I’ve been. You’d think, with 6 weeks off, I would at least keep my apartment pristine and work out regularly, especially considering that I didn’t go out of town, at all. Nope, I spent quite a large amount of time sitting on my bum. I can already imagine the burn I’ll feel in my calves and feet when I go back to standing on my feet a minimum of seven hours a day. Granted, I wasn’t doing absolutely nothing while lounging on the couch. I’m very proud of the time I’ve spent working on my manuscript and I’ve been doing very well in grad school. This week I was even able to get a head start on some back to school stuff. I just have to find some balance. Gotta make time to clean, time to eat, time to read, time to study, time to write, time to work, time to take care of myself, and time for friends and family. I’ll be a stressed out mess if I can’t develop some kind of consistent routine.

This weekend will be particularly busy as I try to get my life in order before Monday. I’m still trying to hit 30,000 words by Sunday as well. With a current word count 26,538, I going to have to have a couple of spectacular writing days. :-/

Wish me luck!

-ED