Image: Arnisto via flickr

Amidst my horrid head cold & Twilight binge last week, I somehow managed to stop watching TV. When I get sick my senses get a little wacky–I tend to have an extreme aversion to chaotic noise. So, no real surprise that I wouldn’t want the TV or radio on & instead opt for the quite of a book. But usually, I tend to go back to normal within a few days. Not so this time around. It’s been over a week & a half, & I’ve probably had the TV on no more than an hour total. I’ve stopped turning the news on in the morning as I get ready for work. I’ve stopped turning on something mindless when I get home from work. And I’ve stopped going to bed after watching whatever show I’d usually be sucked into. I’ve also found that I no longer like listening to the local radio stations during my morning or evening commute. The music part I can handle; the talk part, I can’t. I really don’t want to listen to anyone prattle on. So, it’s just been me & my iPod as I reacquaint myself with some of my music. (more…)

Image: brian fitzpatrick via flickr

So, I just finished the entire Twilight book series in 5 days after swearing I would never read them. I blame frustration with the movies for the last week of my life. I only grudgingly saw the first two films recently & wasn’t impressed. I had no intention of seeing Eclipse, but alas, a good friend wanted to see it, so I went. While it was slightly better than the first 2 films, I still found it ridiculous & cheesy. I was the one in the theater laughing at all the wrong moments & secretly heckling under my breath. When we got out of the movie, I just wanted to know how the series ended because I wanted to know the point of the whole thing. My friend, who has read & is a fan of the books, obliged & finished the story for me. But still, I didn’t think I was getting everything. So, because I’m impatient & don’t want to wait for the final parts of the movie series to fill in the story, I decided to go to the books.

Now, why was I so steadfastly against reading this series before? Admittedly, I’m not its target audience–I’m about 2 decades older than the target audience & I have a cynical/anti-melodrama streak that runs deep. But more than that, I’d read the critiques of Meyer’s writing, her technique, & I was turned off. I admit I read bad books–some by choice & some by accident; but the skewering of Meyer’s writing skills put her on my blacklist. Besides, I am a surprise fan of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I’m not usually a sci-fi/fantasy fan, & really hadn’t read YA fiction since it was age appropriate for me. I’d read Stephen King’s comparison of the two writers, & sharing his praise of what Rowling accomplissed as a storyteller & a writer, I didn’t want to waste time with Twilight. But my impatience & a horrid cold that kept me home from work for 3 days won out. And so I proceded to read all 4 books in the series over the course of 5 days.

…and my impression now that I’m done? (more…)

Yeah, so I’ve been a bad blogger. I apologize profusely. I am thoroughly chastised.

So, what have I been up to?

The magazine job is still going well. Almost 5 months in and it still feels like a great fit. I’ve had two feature articles published at this point–one on the national sleep poll and another on recruiting in the respiratory therapist industry–two topics I’d never thought I’d write about. Even though this is medical/trade publishing, it’s still great experience. I don’t know where I want my career in magazine publishing to go. All I know is that for right now, it’s the right fit for my skills, interests, and strengths. And it gives me a chance to write and edit. (more…)

Ok, just realized it’s been over 2  months since I’ve posted here. Eeks!!

How time flies!!!

Well, the biggest distraction keeping me from posting on a more regular basis is my new job. In February, in a whirlwind chain of events, I was offered & accepted an associate editor job at a magazine. This position has been the one I’ve been hoping for for sometime, & all of a sudden, on the day I decided I was officially tired of the freelance life & really wanted a full-time job with wonderful things like benefits, it magically appeared. I’d been looking for months for this exact position, & there was never anything quite right. But, there it was on one of the job boards that morning, & 8 days later it was mine. (more…)

As 2009 draws to a close, I decided to look back at my post for January 1, 2009. In that post, I decided in lieu of New Years’ resolutions I was going to come up with 4 words that would define my life in 2009. I chose:

CONNECTED

CENTERED

ACTUALIZED

PROSPERED

I’d say that 2 out of 4 is where I’ve ended up at the end of the year. (more…)

Monday I had lunch with a writing friend who has read pages of my novel-in-progress. She’s been a great sounding board for this story. Out of nowhere, she asked me if I had a title yet. The timing was a bit funny because only in the last week had I started to think that I had finally found something that was perfect. So, I floated my idea by her and she said it sounded perfect. (Yes, at times, my need for validation can be a bit ridiculous. I’m conscious of it and will be seeking therapy to deal with it once I finish this damn book and everyone tells me they love it.)

I had worried that I’d never come up with a title and would be submitting it to agents as “Untitled” or at worst, offering up prize money to a blog reader who could give me a good one. When it comes to writing, titles are the bane of my existence. Whether it be a title for a school paper, an article for the school newspaper, or hell, a title for a post on this blog, I suck at coming up with anything original, informative, funny, or witty. The only thing worse has been helping a friend come up with a name for her soon-to-be-born daughter. (Although, thankfully, I get final say on this one and won’t be resorting to a nickname to make the name palatable. Ok, the name isn’t that bad. There were worse ones under consideration. But I guarantee you, this kid will be spelling/explaining her name for the rest of her life.)

But, thanks to a song on my iPod, I think I’ve got a title.

So, my novel has a name, and it’s…Unraveling.

Music is such an important part of my life. Almost every pivotal moment–for better or worse–has been marked by a song. So, of course, I write with music. A certain song can get me in the right frame of mind for the emotion of a certain scene or into the head of one of my character’s. But more often than not, music serves as nothing more than white noise.

I can’t write in silence. I’ve never been able to write in silence. For as long as I can remember, whether it be doing homework in high school, writing a research paper in college, or a report for work, I have had my headphones on and a song playing in the background.

It occurred to me tonight as I was writing that more often than not, I play one song on repeat for the duration of my writing session. Tonight it was Bat for Lashes’ “Daniel.” Last night, Sarah Jarosz’s “Can’t Hide.” And the night before that The Swell Season’s “High Horses.”  Occasionally, I’ll go with pure instrumentals (Zoe Keating’s album is always a favorite.), but for the most part, lyrics don’t get in the way. The beginning of every writing session involves at least 10 minutes of me trying to find that one song that I want to hear, but that I can also completely tune out. I’ll sometimes spend 2 hours listening to the same song over and over again. I finally realized this is part of my writing ritual. Everyone has their own unique routine that helps them get in the mood and get focused. Apparently, those 10 “wasted” minutes and iTunes on repeat are mine.

…oh, by the way, the writing is going well. And most recent comments on second submission of pages to class were largely positive. The issues pointed out were the issues I was already conscious of. So, moving in the right direction.