Thursday, January 31, 2008

I love my job!

Short and simple blog.

I love my company. I love what I do. I love my job.

I am soooo happy!

Friday, January 25, 2008

I own the second week in January!

A few posts ago I wrote about the Bylines 2008 weekly planner my short essay was chosen for. I just receieved my copy in the mail this week! I am stoked.!! You can see my entry below. (You can click to enlarge it to read the entry.)

I was bummed a little bit since that week is already over, however it was the week I was at Wilkes for my creative writing residency, so it was acutally perfect! The week I spent with my writer friends and mentors is on the other page of an essay about writing! I love it!

If anyone is interested, you can learn more about this planner for writers, visit I am really impressed- it's a very cool book with some neat features for writers.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Expired License

When you don't get served a beer, even though you look old enough and like the blonde girl on your license, you know you have a problem.

My license is expired- in a literary sense that is. It's dead. It's life is over. It's broken. And my procrastinating nature finally got a kick in the ass last night.

Several months ago I left my license in my back pocket like a usually do. I must have sat on it wrong. It cracked. Over time, the little crack spread. Now, the license is basically in two halves, held together only by the small end of the plastic card that is still in tact. Since the license is cracked, the plastic coating is also peeling. It's hideous. But it's still my license. It's me.

I've gotten into bars just fine until last night. I was at a national chain restaurant and I won't say which one because I don't want to get anyone in trouble, but the bartender said that he could not serve me. I explained to him how it just broke in half and that I have my change-of-address card too to prove its me. He took both to the manager, but came back: the answer was still no.

We were only at the bar at this place waiting for our table to come available-- we just wanted a beer. But since we had plans to go to two bars afterwards. Dave was getting peeved. "You really need to get this taken care of. We may as well just go home," he said.

"But, I always end up knowing someone. It'll be okay," I reply.

The bartender asked if I wanted to see the manager and I said I did. Lo and behold, out came a woman I used to work with. She said she couldn't serve me.

"But you know me!" I pleaded.

She gave me a much-needed lecture that I really need to get this taken care of and that it truly was illegal for me to be served. I listened. I will go to PennDOT this week, or even do it online. I guess you don't need a new picture- they keep them on file. That's cool. But the bottom line is, I was able to get served. It was just ironic that I knew the manager.

Things always seem to work out for me, but I know that my luck will run out one day and there won't be a cool bouncer or an easy-going manager that knows I really am almost 30. At the next bar, the bouncer laughed at my license, but let me in. Later, at a dance club we went to, the door guy swiped my license in one of those machines and said, "Damn, girl. This is in rough shape...."

I mean, it almost makes me want to keep it as a fun conversation starter. Imagine the stories I could make up of how my license broke:

--I broke up a bar cat-fight. I lept into the pile like a hero. We rolled to the right and rolled to the left, and I finally got the two girls off each other. I came out a little torn up and so did my license, but the drama is over. The girls are best friends now.

--The bartender accidentally locked his liquor cabinet keys in the liquor cabinet. Patrons were thirsty and getting angry. I picked the door with my license and saved the evening, although some damage was done to my lock-picking tool. I got a free Mojito out of the deal.

-- We were sitting at a wobbly table and our beers kept sliding around. I did a MacGyver and placed my license under the uneven table leg to stop the table from moving. During the course of the evening, the table was bumped a few times and the license cracked.

-- I was at a bar with Jack Bauer and the gang from CTU when a terrorist came into the bar-- he had a suicide bomb. I was almost killed and escaped, but left my license on the table. Jack went back into the the burning bar to save my license. It was a little banged up, but he said that if any door guy ever gave me a problem to call him.

-- A haggardly old woman was working the door at the bar. Jealous of my youthful-29, she snapped my license in half. "You're half my age you young bitch," she'd say.

To to the manager last night and all those who served me the past few months, thank you for taking my driver's license. I will get it fixed. Until then, looks like I should drink at home.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bylines 2008: I was chosen as one of 53 writers....

There is a really cool calendar for writers called Bylines. Each year they seek 53 writers to tell their story for use on one of the week sections. This year, the editor chose mine. I can't wait to see what week my quote falls on!

These are all the other writers who were chosen:

Here is a description of Bylines 2008:

The 2008 edition has 53 more great stories, with writers representing 24 states and 5 foreign countries! And we have kept the same low price for 5 years!Available Now! Not your ordinary daytimer, Bylines 2008 Calendar is chock full of inspiration, humor and passion. Just the sort of thing aspiring and working writers need to read on a daily basis to keep the creative juices flowing and the angst at bay. Bylines 2008 Writer's Desk Calendar:

-Each week features an author sharing his/her insights on the writing life.
-Ample space for jotting notes, and highlighting upcoming events on the calendar
-Weekly calendar; also a "month at a glance" view for planning longer projects

Extra Features:
-Daily listings of famous writers' birthdays
-Handy resource list of our favorite books and writing-related websites.
-Page to designate writing goals for the year; also pages for writing monthly goals
-Listings of "literary" holidays
-Pages to write down conference notes
-An expanded resources section

Even MORE features in the 2008 edition:
-Handy submission tracker, that can be copied as needed
-pages for recording phone numbers and email addresses
-pages for keeping track of travel/business expenses

Back from Residency

I am back from a week-long creative writing residency, the second of four residencies. I am almost half-way to the MA in creative writing!
It was harder to leave this residency than the first one back in June. Relationships are stronger and we're all getting ready to delve into our capstone projects. The amount of talent in my cohort is just incredible. The chemistry of our group is also incredible. Combine the two, and we have a killer support group at hand to help us all achieve success with our novels, memoirs, plays, screenplays and poetry collections. Aside from having been assigned our faculty mentors, we still all have each other to get advice and support from as we continue our trek.

I learned so much in the past seven days. A lot about myself and a lot about the writing life and profession. For example, at the oral interpreation classes, I learned that I move my feet a lot and I also learned that fecal denial is a subject that people enjoy. (I need to work on my presentation skills.) But seriously, I learned that it's not easy to be a professional writer, that much I know. But with the support of my newly named mentor, Becky Bradway, I know that I will get great, solid guidance toward my capstone manuscript.
One piece of advice I will take with me. I learned from another faculty member, Bev D'Nofrio that the truth is more important than anything when writing a memoir- I was worried what some people may think, or that I would hurt feelings. So, I think that as I write I am going to learn a lot about myself. But more importantly, I should not hide details if they are part of the story, no matter how painful they are. I do have humor as a guise though - I intend to use humor to overpower any serious issues. The reader will know they are there, however. The best example of this is Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs. I am really looking to him style for a model.

I could go on and on about the week at Wilkes. If anyone out there is yearning to be a writer- you need to look into this program. Search my blog by keyword "wilkes" to read all about the residency last June as well. Good times.

Back to unpacking. Back to my normal life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The I Love Dave Blog

Dave does not read my blog that much- or ever for that matter. But he said he'd start this week while I am away.

So, hi honey! I love you!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Self- Depricating Humor & the Writing Life

I am completely comfortable with myself. As you should be. I have decided that for my creative non-fiction project, I am going to do a memoir. I am going to create a seperate blog to post these chapters as kind of a way to get a test audience.

I have such a fun and colorful and interesting past (as my writing mentors agree) life that I just have to reach back, pull out and put on the page. I am writing this post during some downtime at the Wilkes residency, FYI.

The Naysayers
There are always people that are going to roll their eyes. I firmly believe that is because they are envious or even worse, jealous. Many times when someone succeeeds or even just enjoys life to the fullest and can laugh at themselves, those who take things to seriously begin to mock that creative person. Many of you will know what I am talking about. A silly picture will appear and people act shocked. I would never share anything that'd I 'd be embarrassed about. But on the flip side, I want to entertain, so my stuff has got to be edgy. For example, tonight at a non-fiction meeting, I spoke with Bev D'Nofrio, the woman who wrote Riding in Cars with Boys- it was a very edgy memoir from her childhood that ended up being a movie of the same name starring Drew Barrymore. She is on the facutly here. Wonderful woman- and she really gave me some great advice and encouragment. I am more apt to listen to her than someone who scoffs at a silly picture on my blog. I love the faculty here; they understand me.

You know what? It is people like Dave Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs, Chelsea Handler, Tucker Max, Dave Barry and even almost every stand-up comic out there that PROVE that laughing at yourself and sharing your follies is a way to become successful. Self-depricating humor is something that has always been popular, but it seems that in today's society where reality shows and revealing memoirs are king. That's what works. If you happen to personally know someone who shares a funny story, why on earth would you think less of them if you laugh at people like Dane Cook and Jerry Seinfeld and the other above mentioned people-- they are sharing the same things. Does that make sense. I personally have not run into many naysayers- and if you are one, Syonora. I don't care- I surround myself with supportive people.

I had a conversation with someone tonight about this topic. He said, "What if other people call you ridiculous for something that you did one time?"

I say, "So what.... it was a five minute time in my life that made people laugh. People laughed. That's what matters." If I want to be a writer, then I also want to be an entertainer- you don't get to be an entertainer by being boring.

I think being comfortable with yourself to do something silly solely to get laughs makes you a good person, and far more fun to be around. And I am okay with that. Why are some people so serious? I look at people in my creative writing class and instantly gain respect for them because finally, people like US are together. And you know what- those in my field that ARE successful are the ones the are responsible for entertaining the REST of the world though art- novels, essays, memoirs, screenplays, plays, films, poetry and such. Do realize that television and Barnes and Noble would not exist without people like me and my peers?

If you want to write or create and someone laughs at you- even if it is a blog post- ignore them. They are no good. Not everyone will agree with everything, but you know what, I want to be a writer. I want to be successful. You don't get anywhere in life, epescially in the arts, by being a wallflower. Standing out and being remembered is key.

I am having a great time at the residency this week. I am surrounded by some of my favorite people in this world and being more inspired than ever. Just wanted to check in with my blog...
I am going to do a memoir and it is going to be fun, like me.


(edited for typos)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Dark 2008

New Year's Eve was a blast at Paul's house! Awesome food (I ate way too much!), fun games (I won one!) and great people.

New Year's Day, however, left a lot to be desired-- and I hope it wasn't a sign. We stayed the night at Paul's house and returned home on the first day of January at around 11:00 a.m. Hungover, I decided that a nap would do. I slept until about 2:00 when I realized that my little space heater was no longer on. I thought maybe Dave turned it off until I saw that the clock was also off.

"Did our power go out?"


I went back to bed. So much for the laundry. Ah! But my laptop battery is full! I get up, go downstairs to the dining room (where I have temporary office set up until I get a new desk for the office) and turned it on. Ooops. The wireless router, which is hooked to Dave's desktop, needs power to work. So, I had no internet. I went back to bed. Dave was reading some magazines, but once it got dark around 4ish, I guess he zonked out too.

We had all the candles in the house lit and were able to use the new flashlight Dave got for Christmas. But we were so bored. And hungry. We had virtually no snacks- only marshmallows left over from our summer party and crackers. We're trying to avoid snacks. Now, we needed them for survival! Everything we had required cooking, or water. Or something.

"I wonder what this will be like at the end of the world," Dave said.

Later he said, "I bet this is how some people live all the time since they dont' pay their electric bill...."

Neither one of us wanted to go out for dinner. We partied the night before and were unable to shower. Had we known the power would go out at 2:00, we'd have planned ahead.

The lights came on a little after 11:00 p.m.

All we had on New Year's Day was our imaginations and each other. I guess it wasn't so bad after all. Just very dark.