A Work in Progress

I have officially been not working for one day (at the time of this writing: 9:57 p.m. Monday) and I've learned one thing: it is near impossible to maintain a routine when out of work. I mean, I've had the errant weekday off here and there, but those days have always been treated as extensions of the weekend or celebratory staycation days, purposefully free from obligation.

I gave myself a week between Friday's departure from my former employer of more than three years and my start date at a new job that I was only excited to accept because it wasn't my old job. Did that make any sense? I hope so, because I can't think of a better way to say it. There's a lot more I wish I could say about the state of my career right now, but in deference to professional courtesy, it has to wait. Let it suffice for now to say: This was certainly not where I planned to be. That probably sounds like a doom-and-gloom comment, but I promise you it isn't.

So in the vein of absolute WTF-ery that is my life right now, I thought a little status update of sorts was in order.

/// Today is the day to link up for Literary Ladies this month, but since I'm a slow-poke reader and because I double dipped on my reading challenges this summer, that update isn't worthy of a full post I'm afraid. A few weeks ago I shared what I've been reading this summer in this post as part of Kels' Bookish Side of Life reading challenge. Since then, here's what I've read:

  • Paper Towns (John Green) – I liked this a lot, but I love John Green and can't really think of anything he's ever done wrong. I didn't love it as much as I loved The Fault in Our Stars, but I enjoyed it about as much as An Abundance of Katherines. It was charming and sweet and funny in parts, a bit tedious in others, but I love the way he writes so it's always worth reading, even if it isn't essential. [Category: A book that is/will be a movie/TV show]
  • Wonder (R.J. Palacio) – Oh my god, why didn't you people tell me how many times this would hurt me right in the heart!? I sobbed, I weeped, I cried happy and sad tears. No spoilers, but COME ON, R.J., why'd you have to do that? I love multiple narrators (the book I'm writing alternates between two leads) and I love it even more when each voice feels authentic, original, and distinct. The author did an amazing job with this. [Category: A YA book]
  • (IN PROGRESS) Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell) – I'm 20% through this, according to my Kindle app, and so far am loving it. See previous note about alternating narratives. She does this well too. The pacing of this book is just on point and the characters are so vivid. I can't wait to read more. [Category: A book with a kick-ass female character]
  • (IN PROGRESS) The Martian (Andy Weir) – I resisted this for a long time, because sci-fi is not my thing. But at Kristen's insistence (and generosity in sending me the audio) I've been listening to this—definitely the best way to go; I would have given up in chapter one if I were reading it—for a few days and I really, really like it. The narrative changed up on me, which I wasn't expecting, but which also turned out to be a good thing. I'm about two-thirds through it and starting to get nervous for the ending. [Category: A book that was recommended by a blogger]
(Linking up with Kristen, Kay, and Kari)

/// Speaking of books, I'm plugging away at mine. If there's anything I've learned (and been told, and then been reminded of, and then had shoved down my throat and into my ears and stamped on my forehead), it's that the first draft of anything is shit. Now, that doesn't mean you'll change everything about your first draft, or that sometimes you don't absolutely nail it on the first try. But I'm finding this knowledge terribly comforting as I fly through my first writing. The nice thing about my book is that it has a defined period of stop and start—it takes place over the course of four years—and as of Monday night, I've been writing for 11 days and have written two years worth of story and 32,652 words. Um, ya THINK I was ready to get this thing down on paper?

/// Speaking not of books, New Jersey's hit its first heat wave of the summer. I feel like by this point in the year we've already had quite a few triple-digit-degree days and low 90s feels like a refreshing break. But it's been quite nice, by summer standards, the way we've hung out around the mid-80s. Until this weekend, when the sun decided to bring the hammer down. I broke a sweat taking my recycling out today. No me gusta.

/// It's downright amazing how fast a week can fill up when it's your first week off in....ever, and when you haven't been home on a weekend in seven weeks. This week's agenda: three professional meetings, edit a friend's resume, edit stories for Feather, hit prescribed word counts on my book (one down three days early, 3k words to go for the second), run a whole bunch, do a whole bunch of yoga, take a class, meet friends for happy hour, FaceTime Jessi, write a Bad Yogi blog post, visit my cousin (whose May 2016 wedding I am the maid of honor in—we gotta get planning), visit my parents, clean my bathroom, work on the lit mag I'm co-producing, and maybe sleep for like five minutes.

/// I went to see Inside Out this weekend, and I was absolutely blown away. (Don't listen to that one guy who said that ONE "easy" joke made the whole thing archaic and misogynistic; he's throwing a tantrum.) The concept and the journey this movie takes are impressive, to say the least, and so, so, so crucial. It was profound, and it was wonderful, and NO WE DID NOT CRY okay just kidding our entire section of the theater including my friend and me were sniffling and dabbing our eyes at a few points. The creativity that lives inside some people never ceases to astound me, and the people at Disney & Pixar have it in spades. I was awed by the entire thing, and I can't wait to own the movie. Seriously. Go see it.

That's pretty much what's going on around here right now. What's up with you?


  1. Enjoy this week in between your jobs - you deserve to unwind and not have a routine! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  2. I can't wait to see Inside Out, it looks so cute and such a win for girls and emotions.

  3. I think it is great to take a week off between jobs. I have always wanted to do that but never did. I freaking loved The Martian!!! I was skeptical about it like you, but really rather enjoyed it. The rest you have up there are on my to-read list...I have got to get to them! Enjoy your time off :)

  4. okay seriously i need to see inside out. it's happening.
    i am so glad you are loving e&p and the martian. i super dooper really really hope you continue to like them.
    Wonder - amazing, right?!?!!
    32,652 words - dang you go girl! congrats, for reaslies.
    enjoy your week off! i'm ridiculously jealous.

  5. I'm the worst without a routine. I used to think having summers off would be a nice gig, until I immediately went stir crazy and didn't know what to do with myself. Proud of you for making so much progress on your book already! It sounds like you have lots and catching up on odds and ends to keep you busy this week!

  6. I loved Eleanor & Park! I was kind of sad when it ended. I also really liked The Martian, even though it's definitely way out of the realm of what I read.

    Great progress on your book! Keep it up!

  7. Holy freaking busy! ENJOY this week! Get as much of your personal to-do list accomplished as possible. And just think, beach on Saturday so hooray for relaxing!

  8. Ahhh I want to see Inside Out so badly! A couple friends of mine wanted to double date and see the Minion movie this past weekend instead, and let me just say...wait until Redbox for that one. Definitely cute, but that's about it. Glad to see a good review for Inside Out!

    Also, like everyone else is saying...ENJOY THIS WEEK! :) and definitely try to dedicate at least one day to lounging around in your pajamas all day and binge watching a show on Netflix. Relaxation at its finest.

  9. With Wonder, my most favorite part is when he says everyone should have a standing ovation at least once in their life.

    I wanted to see Inside Out, and that's one of the benefits of having a 7 year old stepson (kid movies!), but he saw it already. Gotta wait for the dvd......

  10. I loved our FaceTime date today and can't wait for the next! You're the most ambitious and accomplished lady with your 32k words and still making time to fit it all in. Thanks for being you!

  11. So glad you get a little down time between jobs friend! You deserve it.

    I'm also going to need you to publish your book ASAP, because come on, you know I need to get my fingers on it :)

  12. Since you've mentioned audio books a few times, I took the plunge and am currently listening to "The Paper Magician"...I think audio books are an acquired taste. Or I just like doing my own voices. But I'm learning and it's super convenient to be able to drive and "read" at the same time ! And now I have more books to add to my reading list :)

  13. E&P was one of my favorite books of 2014! I'm so glad you enjoyed Wonder and are liking The Martian and Paper Towns (which I enjoyed immensely. An Abundance of Katherines, not so much).

    Over 32k words in 11 days?! You're kicking my ass and I've been working through my crap first draft since June (then again, I only write 15 minutes a day right now. It's literally all I can manage).

    I'm glad you're enjoying and taking advantage of your downtime.

  14. Firsts draft suck. That's hammered into my mind as well :) And Inside Out freaking ROCKS!!!!!

  15. First drafts definitely suck!!! Im so glad you are getting it all down on paper. You go girlie!!! PS doing great on the challenge!

  16. I want to give Paper Towns a chance.. but I am fearful that it will disappoint me in comparison to the Fault In Our Stars but maybe now that I know it isn't on the same level I can lower my expectations and give it a shot?! lol


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