Last year I wrote about all the little things I was thankful for. This year I’m going for just one big one: family. My definition of which is pretty broad; could be the one you’re born into or the one you marry into. It’s also the beautiful family of friends you make for yourself. Sometimes it’s simply that group of people you stumble into at exactly the right moment.
I would love to hear about your family, however you define it, in the comments below. Happy Thanksgiving!
Above, I’ve pictured just a few members of my family (clockwise from right to left): 1) Family of VA & NJ friends in NYC 2) Going on 37 years of friendship 3) Best friend and family (Mr. Escobar) 4) Cousins! 5) More cousins! (and parents & grandparents, too) 6) Family by marriage (and horses!) 7) Pretty sure we have a similar picture from about age 5 8) Write Club (minus one, she’s there in spirit)
I took Monday off this week, after spending the weekend at the James River Writers Conference (which was excellent). I have finally learned that this is essential in order to care for my inner introvert. Here’s the thing though, ever since I started approaching my writing as a job, my tendency is to put a great deal of pressure on my days off with to do lists as long as my arm. And while it is a different kind of work, it is still work. I’m being quiet, but I’m not resting.
When I attended my first James River Writers Conference in 2006, I was just beginning to explore this crazy notion of putting words to paper. I went back the next year with a finished manuscript and pitched it to an agent. The next time I attended the conference, that agent had my novel out on submission to editors. I remember wondering how it would feel to attend the conference as a published author.
This weekend I get to find out. Continue reading
In the fall semester of my senior year in college I was sitting in the office for the peer education group that I was a member of. I was making phone calls about an upcoming retreat and adding items to an already lengthy to do list for the day. I felt completely overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility that came with the leadership role I had taken on. In that moment, balancing this with my academics felt impossible. It was the same moment that I had the fleeting thought, If I was planning this activity because it was my job, I think I might actually like it. Continue reading
My walk home from work often takes me by a large open floor plan office with huge windows on the street. Several design/web/graphic/creative-type companies work out of the space. I can never not look in. When I walked by one day recently, the place was empty, but one monitor was still illuminated, desktop emblazoned with a huge graffiti-like font that read: THIS IS NOT YOUR SIDE HUSTLE. Continue reading
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending my friend Sarah’s bachelorette party (aka “Hen Party”, if you’re from the UK). It was such a fun weekend! Here’s what made it awesome: Continue reading
First and foremost, let me start by acknowledging that ten years of marriage in no way makes me an expert on the subject. It’s quite possible that in another ten years I’ll look back at this and dismiss it as total bunk, but (for now) here are some things that I’e learned:
My 10th wedding anniversary is this coming Friday (September 6). When this comes up in conversation, I’m immediately asked what our plans are. Are we doing something special? We do have plans now, but we just decided on those last week. And they aren’t really particularly different than other anniversaries; a nice dinner at the restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner. No big huge party with fireworks and sparklers on top of a cake. No Mediterranean cruise. No trip to Vegas to renew our vows. Continue reading
Several weeks ago on a Saturday morning, I altered my route from the coffee shop home, walking the opposite way around the block. I turned the corner and ran right into a vampire. (Pictured above.) He’s part of the street art project that’s been going on in Richmond the last two years. I have no idea exactly when he appeared, or how long his creation took, but for me, it was like he materialized overnight.
This fall’s incoming class of college students (class of 2017, woot!) was born in 1995. This was the very same year I began my own college career. Since my other (non-writing) job involves advising and teaching first-year students, I have become fascinated by this juxtaposition. Here’s what 1995 was like for me: