- Last week Andy had business in Orlando, so I joined him afterward and we spent the weekend at Disney World and Universal Orlando as a honeymoon of sorts. We had done Disney years earlier — our first trip together as a couple, in fact — but Universal was new to us. I was very excited for the Harry Potter stuff, and it did not disappoint. Hogwarts! Gringotts! (My favorite ride, fyi.) Platform 9 ¾. Ollivander’s. Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Honeydukes. Knockturn Alley. And so much more. The details were amazing. I teared up once or twice, due both to my emotions as a fan, and to my emotions as a writer, imagining what it must be like to have a world that you created come to life so beautifully.
- In other news, I’m mad at Google Docs. (And myself.) Generally I don’t trust cloud-based services for important things, only for backup or temporary transfer/storage. But in this case, I wasn’t traveling with my laptop, and I had a short document to finish up and send to my agent, so I decided to work on my iPad mini. Using the Google Docs app was actually quite pleasant. Even Track Changes functioned nicely! But I was in offline-mode for most of the time, and when I reconnected to the internet, half my work disappeared. (Like, the document synced backward to an older version.) I’m sure this is a rarity, but once you’ve been burned, you don’t play with fire again. No more working in the cloud for me.
- I blazed through Season 2 of Longmire. I wasn’t even sure I would watch it, since I was lukewarm on Season 1, but it just kept getting better. Maybe because the characters have all been established, so now we can really mess things up for them. (Hah.) The relationship between Walt and Branch is probably the most compelling for me, because it’s so complicated and nuanced. It’s like a coin spinning on its edge, and you’re just wondering which face it’s going to stop and fall on: healthy and respectful, or ugly and destructive. Unfortunately I have to wait to find out, because Netflix doesn’t have Season 3 yet. Plus, the fate of future seasons of Longmire still hangs in the balance. (I suppose I could read the books.)I also appreciate the stalker subplot, because it highlights the problem of how crimes like that are policed (or rather, not policed), and it shows how even a mentally and physically tough woman like Vic can be made to feel small and scared.
I’m a big fan of bullet points lately, so this might become a more regular thing. (Or not. Who knows.)
- Every fall, Andy and I play in a flag football league with our friends. Usually we aren’t very good and it’s just about having fun. This year we were the #1 team on Wednesday nights! (But we lost in the playoffs. Womp womp.)
- Now that the dust has settled from our month-long, multi-city wedding tour, I finally had time to go through the disaster zone that was our guest room. I had stashed anything and everything in there, including presents, decorations, and weeks’ worth of mail. It kills me to have clutter — but I’m trying to learn to let that go sometimes, especially when other things should take priority (such as getting married, or writing a book). Anyway, I now have a nice neat catalog of who gave us what. Thank you notes (and hand cramps) can now commence.
- After seeing dozens of people from all spheres of my life talking about it, I finally started listening to the Serial podcast. Very well-made and compelling. I keep flip-flopping on whodunit — and more importantly, I keep contemplating big human themes like how truthful memory is, how much we can know the people we love, and whether there is the capacity for darkness inside each of us.
- If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably already know that I’ve been catching up on Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Back during its original run, I stopped watching sometime after Jess showed up, but before Rory went to college. True, that means I caught the good years, but still, I’m glad to finally know the whole story. The best part was, without question, the relationship between the Gilmore Girls — Lorelai and Rory, as well as Lorelai and Emily. There was so much mother-daughter goodness (and sadness) to savor. It also made me reflect upon my own mother-daughter relationship, and the one(s) I someday hope to have.
I think it’s kind of funny that I can spend months (even years) drafting, fleshing out, and revising a single novel-length story idea — yet for quick little blog posts, if I don’t get it down right away, odds are, I’m never coming back to it.
*selects all Drafts, moves to Trash*
Soooo, what should we talk about?
Just for fun, here are a few of the things that I had intended to discuss but have now lost the urgency to compose roughly 500 words about:
- The adorably melodramatic Korean drama Boys Over Flowers. With a tie-in to S.E. Sinkhorn’s post about enjoying problematic media.
- The crap finale of How I Met Your Mother.
- A happy update about the crap finale of HIMYM: They re-edited the ending, and the better version is available on DVD/Blu-Ray. (Also it was leaked online for a while, and I loved it.)
- The awesomeness of BBC’s Sherlock. Tentative post title: “Bromance with brains.”
- Dawson’s Creek, with its John Green-esque dialogue, and how I connect with Dawson’s character (naive, optimistic, single-mindedly passionate about his art) but also with Joey (nerdy, inexperience, brunette, tomboy, crushing on the best friend she grew up with).
- How I’ve always processed life by writing about it. For kicks, I had planned to include one of the letters I wrote as a kid to my parents when I was very upset about something. The little hearts over the i’s really meant business.
Several weeks ago, Andy and I had the pleasure of seeing Sara Bareilles in concert. I confess, I’m not always one for live performances, because I dislike sharing the experience with a crowded mass of drunken boors and flash-happy tweens. Fortunately, Sara’s fans were a calm, courteous lot, and so I was able to enjoy her tremendous vocal talent, along with her clever, heartfelt lyrics.
To be honest, she didn’t “work the crowd” the same way I’ve seen Ed Sheeran or the Spice Girls do. But Sara engaged us by being a storyteller. She shared the inspiration behind her songs. She revealed personal triumphs, struggles, and future aspirations. She took us back to her roots with a special a capella performance. She even gave us a sneak peek of her work-in-progress.
(Did you know that she’s doing a musical adaptation of Waitress? OK, I know nothing about the movie besides what Sara told us, but her song “She Was Mine” was soooo good.)
Moved by her artistry, I shed a few tears during the concert, and at the end of the night, I walked away with a feeling of warmth and genuineness. From Sara, and from her music. I was reminded that you don’t have to be flashy to shine. Find your passion and share it with the world. Focus on what you’re good at. Connect with others, heart to heart. That is so much more than enough.
Just for fun, here’s a brief clip of Sara singing one of my favorites, “Gravity”:
Dark night, bright parlor, long line. I step in and take my place behind all the couples and families. I am the only one here alone.
Flavors are handwritten on a chalkboard behind the counter. I scan the list, pick two I want to try, and then settle in for the wait. My hands are too full to check email, Twitter, or Facebook, like everyone else is doing. So I default to people-watching and eavesdropping. Common pastimes for a writer.
The girls behind me are trying water yoga tomorrow. One of them can’t swim. Another one is named Avery, and she has the best hair. Wavy and blonde, with a braid framing one side. All of them are stylish and thin, somehow managing to look both hipster and preppy at the same time.
There are a lot of maxi dresses in here.
It’s been a long day, but I’m avoiding my hotel room. I’d thought it would be wonderful to have a clean, quiet space to myself. Somewhere new but predictable. Somewhere without responsibilities.
Instead it feels lonely.
After checking in, I escaped to dinner. I chose a place that I had been to once before, years ago, with people I loved. But even the memories of them aren’t enough to keep me company tonight. I text one and call the other. It helps.
Finally it’s my turn, and I ask for wildberry lavender and “Buckeye State.” I like complementing fruity flavors with chocolate. When the cashier hands me the receipt, I accidentally sign in the wrong place. I feel like an idiot, but she just laughs. It’s a good reminder to find the humor in things.