Blogging, Seafood and Writing

  • So yesterday, I spent a while typing up a fancy-schmancy post about my experience at Blog Better Boston this past Saturday. It was pretty good and full of pictures (some mine, some borrowed). So yeah, I was working on it on my computer. I remembered there was one photo I wanted to add (that was on my phone)… so I went to my WordPress app on my phone, added the photograph, and uploaded it. What I didn’t realize was that because none of the changes on my computer were saved, uploading it on my phone pretty much reverted it back to the original post (which was pretty much just 6 pictures and about 3 sentences). Needless to say, that was a fail on my part.
  • Last night my boyfriend’s parents had us over for a clamboil, with his sister and her boyfriend too. We ate fresh picked Rhode Island clams and it was absolutely glorious. I loved everything about it. I’m so lucky to have such great people in my life.
  • Since food is obviously quite important to me, I should mention that I am already so excited to eat dinner tonight. Mr. O is making us steak and garlic potatoes. Plus, the steak has been marinating in Worchestershire sauce and I am pretty obsessed with that. How lucky am I? Seriously. I’m so lucky.
  • I have this pretty bad habit of trying to downplay things that are bothering me, etc. When people ask how I am I usually respond with “fine” or “great, thanks!” Which in some way is correct. I’m happy, in love. I’m fortunate to have a great job. I go to a great school. I surround myself with good people. But I need to be a little more honest with myself and other people when life feels overwhelming. I need to learn to ask for help or support when the going seems tough. And people also need to understand where my current priorities are. I’m graduating in July. Which means my thesis needs to be finished within this month. In May, I will need to get my thesis approved, and then as soon as those shananagans are over, I have more to do for school. I need to prepare for my workshop in which I’ll be a student this summer. I need to prepare for my workshop in which I’ll be a TA (teaching assistant) this summer. I need to create, coordinate and prepare for my student seminar. I need to pick out what I am going to read for my student reading. I need to pick two lines of my writing (out of my entire thesis, just two lines!) which will be read as I walk across the stage on graduation day. I need to WRITE A FRICKEN graduation speech. And, yeah. I think that is about it (for school). So, needless to say: I’m feeling completely overwhelmed. I know I can do it. I’m confident I’ll figure my way through this, but I’m not going to short change myself any longer. I love school, but it isn’t easy. It shouldn’t be.

    @reinventingerin

    I announced this to the world last night

Pulling Back the Curtain

So I am participating in The Scintilla Project, and today is day one…One of the prompts was to pull back the curtain and introduce our true self. Now, I think I do a decent job of baring all on the blog, but what if you’re new? What does this blog really tell you about me?

I snuck a peek at my About Me page, and BOY is it outdated. It states that I am in my first 101 in 1001 goals challenge. Not true, In October of 2011, I started my second 101 in 1001 challenge. I honestly love this challenge. It gives me space, yet still keeps me accountable. The only issue I have with it right now is my lack of update. I have not posted one single thing yet about challenge #2. I think the goals are listed on the new blog, but I do not think I’ve even updated it. The first 101 challenge was fun. I didn’t complete as much as I’d like, but hey, I tried hard. The same goes for updating my first challenge’s blog. I started to write the items I failed at, but I still haven’t cleaned it all up and tied it with a bow. I really hope to do that soon, and I am sure when I do, I will announce it on this blog.

This year, I am  trying to recap every month– here is January and February— at the end of the month so that I don’t have to scramble and try to remember what happened during the year in December. I like the monthly check in so far.

I’m also participating in the 12 Months Challenge. Every month I pick a goal and try to work on that one goal for the month. Then I check in on this blog and let y’all know how I am doing. In January I worked on wasting less. In February I worked on purging unneccessary material goods from my life. I kicked ass these two month. March has been difficult for me so far. My goal is to write for thirty minutes a day. You’d think this would be easy seeing as I am working on my thesis right now (more on this in a second), but nope. I’ve got a case of semi-writer’s block, totally the wrong time to have writer’s block. So I’m trying. I think I’ve done thirty minutes for 7 or 8 days so far, which isn’t too bad. Be sure to check back in the beginning of April (or end of March if I’m caught up with life) to see how I did.

So, thesis… I am a graduate student at Fairfield University. I am studying Creative Writing and I am in the Nonfiction Genre. I graduate in July and I was chose by my peers to be the graduation speaker. I am pretty excited about that and consider it to be such an honor.

While there still is a lot to know about me, that is it for the time being. You can check out this post for a little more info, but I’m sure with this Scintilla Project, you’ll all get to know me well.

12 Resolutions: Reviewing February and Introducing March

So, basically, I kicked ass in January and February for my monthly goals. In January I wasted less, and in February, I purged more. I’m actually going to be posting a lot about last month’s goals. I tried my best to take pictures of everything I donated or trashed, but to be honest, I know a lot went without being photographed. It shocks me that I still have so much I can get rid of, but I actually found purging to be quite fun and motivating, so I will definitely continue it this month as well.

I’m already failing a bit this month. My goal for the month was to write every single day for a minimum of thirty minutes. In the grand scheme of things, this should be remarkably easy. I am a creative writing graduate student who is completing her thesis. This simple fact alone makes it necessary for me to be writing at least thirty minutes, but really I should be doing much more.

The problem is that I have been falling flat on my face this month. My next packet is due two weeks from now, and I need to hustle in order to complete it. Not only do I need quantity, but I need quality. I definitely find that my writing is better when I write regularly, so I am hoping and praying to complete 45 good pages at minimum in the next two weeks. I know I can do it, but it means I need to make some life changes. Today is the 13th of March. So far, I know there were 6 days that I wrote for thirty minutes. There are nineteen days left in this month (only 14 until my packet is due though), so I’m making it public, and I hope when I check back next month I can confirm that I’ve followed through.

February Observations

Can you believe February is over? I honestly cannot. I feel as if it was just New Year’s Day, but two whole months have passed. Last month I promised you that I would be recapping my months for all of 2012, so since I like to keep my promises, here is February…

February Highlights:

  • I got LASIK eye surgery, and everything went so smoothly. I can see! This experience has been incredible, and I feel so fortunate for my great vision.
  • Getting my first thesis packet back from Kim Dana Kupperman. She is an incredible mentor to work with, and I am so pumped for this semester.
  • I signed up for Statejoy’s Fierce Love Course. I know I barely have time to sleep, and this is another thing I will need to make a priority, but you know what? I think it is a great decision. It is about time I make myself a priority in life. Plus, the lovely San and I decided to be Fierce Love buddies and keep each other in check.
  • Mr. O and I ate lobsters again for Valentine’s Day, but this year we shared the meal with Wolverine and my parents.
  • I started my 365 pictures goal for my 101 in 1001 challenge.
  • My resolution for the month was to Purge! I kicked ass at that goal this month. I can’t wait to share all the pictures with you next month.

Stinky February Moments:

  • Mr. O’s car has been giving him a bit of a hard time.
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month).
  • I feel like I did quite a bit of laundry this month. It isn’t so much that laundry is a bad thing, the problem is that Mr. O has pointed out to me (quite fairly) that my ironing skills are so-so at best. Que sera, sera. I tried.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My grandmother turned 101 years old this month.
  • My wonderful friends Sarah, Monica, Jim, Jenn, my cousin Briget, Mr. O’s sister, and my best friend’s mom all celebrated their birthdays.
  • It is a Leap Year! I’m obviously unsure of what today will have in store for me, but I’m planning on making the best of it. I think Mr. O and I are going to write a note to us to be read the next leap year. That should be fun.

I’m looking forward to____ in March:

  • Mr. O, Wolverine and I will be taking a weekend away in New Hampshire.
  • Going to the Blog Better Boston Conference and meeting my lovely friend Kate (and new friends too!)
  • Kicking ass with the new writing I need to do this semester.
  • Putting effort into the Fierce Love Course.

Overall Thoughts:

February was an okay month. Everything seemed so busy. I have a lot of work and a lot of schoolwork to get done. Not sure how I am going to accomplish it all. Mr. O and I have been settling in quite well, and I love our routines and everyday life stuff. I’m worried about my friend whose husband, sister and niece are all extremely ill. I can’t wait until all my friends start having their babies! I’ve got one coming in March, one in April, another in May, one in July and one in September! I love infants. I can’t wait to hold one. Not much more to really say about February. It was a busy month. I felt a bit overwhelmed all month. It was a nice month though, not bad at all…just looking forward to March. I can’t wait until Spring is officially here.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Want to know more about my year? Check out the previous months:
January

two years

Two years ago, Michael C. White sent me an email. It came to me via Blackberry, and upon reading the words on the miniature 2 inch screen, I  threw my phone at my boss; jumped around in the air, yet didn’t answer any of my coworkers’ questions as to why I was jumping; drove home quickly, though safely; and then hit my brother’s car while parallel parking.

He was writing to let me know that I had gotten into Fairfield University, which was the leader of my top three MFA programs.

An hour later, I got accepted to another graduate school. In the next two weeks I was accepted to all of the five other schools I applied to. I’m sure I mentioned this previously on the blog, but the first time I applied to graduate school I got denied by all five colleges. I was an undergraduate at the time, and I threw a bunch of recently written fiction together and applied to some of the most prestigious writing programs. The completed application was half-assed. I just didn’t expect to not get in to graduate school. I don’t write about all my acceptances to boast or brag (but I must admit, I consider getting into every grad school I applied to as one of my greatest accomplishments); I write about it to showcase that if you fall down, you need to brush yourself off and try again. I waited longer than I should have to reapply (out of fear), and I applied in nonfiction (after only writing two nonfiction “essays” in my entire life), but I did apply. I did my research and put in a lot of time, stress, tears and effort into my graduate school search.

I highly doubt Michael White knew just how much of a gift he gave me. I’m sure he knows that an applicant will be thrilled to learn of his or her acceptance. I certainly was. It is just that the past two years of my life have been the best two years of my life. My experience in Fairfield’s MFA has challenged me, changed me and pushed me to be not only a better writer, but a better person.

Thank you for taking a chance on me, Michael White. I won’t let you down.

prepare yourself for complete awesomeness

Tomorrow my MFA Big Brother and I are switching blogs in honor of Truck Day for the Red Sox. You aren’t going to want to miss this epic event.

Publishing Beware the Hawk

And the Defining Moments Series continues! A.J. O’ Connell, who was previously kind enough to write a guest blog for this series- on having two names– is back to discuss another defining moment in her life. I know A.J. because we both attended Fairfield University’s incredible MFA program. I’m so proud of her for recently publishing her first novella, and I couldn’t be more excited to promote it (you can purchase it here for only $2.99!!) on my blog.


The day my novella, Beware the Hawk, went up for sale on Amazon was the day I realized that I could not take the book back.

It sounds like a strange and ungrateful realization for an author to have.

I sent the manuscript to my publisher, Vagabondage Press, in September, with the hope that it would be published. I proofread the galleys in December, knowing that the book would be published. I promoted the book in January, because I wanted people to read it once it was published. All I’ve ever wanted to do is write  – and publish – fiction.

And then, one day before my official release date, when Amazon put my book up for sale and people actually started buying it, I started to panic a little.

I watched the comments on Facebook as friends spread the word that my book was for sale. Some people even bought it and started reading it on the same day.

I was elated, but in the back of my mind, something clicked: This novella, this story that sat idle on my computer for eight years, while I and I alone had access to the plot and the characters, could no longer be edited. I would no longer be able to make changes. If someone didn’t like it, I couldn’t make it better. It was published.

A little voice in the back of my brain, a voice I didn’t even know I had, started wailing “It’s not perfect. What if they hate it?”

I couldn’t believe my own reaction. I thought I’d been hardened by years of workshop, and it’s not like I hadn’t been cautioned about this. I’ve been hearing the Warning for as long as I’ve wanted to be a writer. If you’re an artist, you’ve probably heard it too.  It goes a little like this: “Once you put your work out there, you cease to have complete control over it. Other people have a stake in it. Other peoples develop opinions about it. You have to let it go.”

In other words, your work is no longer living in the safety of your head, and is no longer even in the relative safety of a writers’ workshop. It’s out in the big bad world, where some people will love it, some people will hate it and some people will remain indifferent to it.

Being published means accepting that, and I think, accepting your own fears about your work and yes, now I know that I have these fears. On the flip side, there is a thrill in knowing that the characters I invented are roaming around in the heads of other people.

I’m elated to know that other people are living in the same imaginary world I created 10 years ago, and I can’t wait to publish something else.

Congrats, A.J. on this incredible accomplishment. I hope many of you will go and purchase the novella. It’s cheaper than a cup of coffee, but will keep you happier for much longer. Also, even more exciting news. I interviewed A.J. after reading this guest blog, and will be posting the interview TOMORROW! So check back tomorrow morning!

On a side note, I’ve decided to start accepting submissions again for the Defining Moments Series. I’ll write more about it in a couple of days, but if you think you would like to contribute, get in touch with me.

january observations

So last week I mentioned how I always want to do an end of the year recap, but I never seem to make time for it in January. I’m going to try to work around that for 2012 and better prepare myself. I’ve decided to end each month by writing a post which recaps the highlights (and pitfalls) that happened during the month. That way, at the end of 2012, my year will already be summed up for me.

January Highlights:

  • Mr. O and I did the Polar Bear Plunge. It was my second time and his first.
  • I was chosen by my fellow classmates to be the graduation speaker in July!
  • Officially living with Mr. O
  • Finding out that Kim Dana Kupperman would be my thesis semester mentor!
  • Mr. O and I celebrated our anniversary
  • Finding out another super duper close friend is having a baby!

Stinky January Moments:

  • I got sick right after I came back from school. Which means that I needed to take more time off of work after just being away for ten days.
  • One of my very close friends who is pregnant fell at work and needed to be admitted to the hospital for a few days. Now she is on home rest for the rest of her pregnancy. But, things seem to be okay. She is still having a lot of issues, but the longer the baby stays inside, the better things will be. Stay in, baby. It is cold out here!
  • When we moved, it was the day after a huge snowstorm, and Mr. O’s old landlord didn’t shovel the walks or the driveways. Not fun.
  • Starting my thesis semester. Boo. Now, I could have mentioned this in the highlight section, as it is exciting to even be in my final semester of graduate school, but I chose to put it in the stinky section for a few reasons. 1)It means I’m going to have to work my ass off this semester. I’m lazy. 2) It means that I am going to graduate, and as cool as it will be to have MFA, I’m going to desperately miss my writing program.
  • A person I care about found out that both her husband and sibling are very sick. I need my blogging friends to rally their positive, healing thoughts together to send good energy their way.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My handsome nephew turned four years old.
  • His mother- my sister-in-law- also had a birthday.
  • My mentor from last semester celebrated another year of awesomeness as well. Happy bday PK!
  • I finished my final residency in graduate school. Yes, I still have a residency in July to attend, but it will be a bit different since it will be my graduation residency. In July I’ll have to teach a seminar, give a reading of my work and graduate! It was an interesting residency since the septic broke on the island where we stay. But they were kind enough to put us up in hotels off island, so I can’t complain.

I’m looking forward to____ in February:

  • LASIK eye surgery! I won’t lie; I’m quite nervous about this one.
  • Valentine’s Day. Last year Mr. O and I had a perfect VDay. This year Wolverine will be joining us, so I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely epic.
  • Kicking ass with the new writing I need to do this semester.
  • A baby shower for one of my close friends
  • A handful of birthdays for people I love a whole lot.

new around this neck of the woods?

Bonjour!

Have you recently found your way over here from Erin or Ashley’s blogs? If so, welcome! Make yourself at home. I bet you’re wondering, “Who is this Erin character?” Now, that is a good question. The easiest way to get a brief overview of who I am is to check out the “About the Girl” tab at the top of this page (which really does need to be updated, sigh). However, I’ve provided a short list below because I like to make things nice and simple for you.

  • I’m afraid of bees. However, alligators are my favorite animals.
  • I am a graduate student studying creative nonfiction and I do a lot of whining about how I procrastinate too much. (I also don’t have good grammar on this blog, beware!)
  • Besides my day job, I have a part-time gig as a relief worker for adults with mental illnesses, and I also coordinate and plan events such as weddings and concerts. (I’m available for hire! Wink Wink)
  • If I told you that I was a great cook then I’d be lying to you, and I really am an honest person. I can however tell you that I want to be a good cook one day. My boyfriend makes fantastic meals; he’s teaching me what he knows, and the rest we plan on learning together. I’ve been updating this blog with all the cooking I’ve been doing. I cook every single week. Occasionally I’ve been recooking some previously attempted meals, but I like to try new things best.
  • I think everyone really should have a lucky number and a favorite color.
  • I also really want to know people’s middle names. I try to imagine what the middle names might be if people don’t tell me.
  • If it wasn’t for 20 Something Bloggers, I don’t know if I would have continued to blog since I first started in 2008. I also owe a lot of my blogging gratitude to my 101 in 1001 goals list and NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo and Grace in Small Things as well.
  • I love everything about home improvement. However, I still do not own my own home. Still, I fantasize about home design projects and knocking down walls and painting and everything that could have to do with houses. Mr. O and I are trying to buy a house right now,  but the process isn’t as glamorous as it may seem.
  • I love to travel. Anywhere.

And here are some of the key players on this blog:

  • Mr. O: The most wonderful man in the world (at least in my eyes). As corny as it may sound, Mr. O is my boyfriend and my best friend. I tend to profess my love for him on here.  I’m apologizing for that ahead of time.
  • Wolverine: The most wonderful boy in the world. Wolverine is Mr. O’s son, and he truly makes every single one of my days better by just being in it. I try not to write too much about him on the blog, but I occasionally profess my love for him as well.
  • Fairfield University MFA Program: I write a LOT about my grad school experiences, and on top of that, you have the chance to get to know some of my classmates, like Phil and AJ and Reuben (who was a guest blogger twice!) and Brooke and Ioanna.
  • Fenway: My Chihuahua/Terrier mix. She’s a rescue dog I adopted while living in Virginia. She definitely keeps me on my toes.

Oh…and these things happen often around these parts.

  • The Defining Moments Guest Series: So far Amanda, AJ, Phil, Brooke, Reuben, Heidi ,Kat, Micaela, Justin, Michaela (with an ‘H’), Holly and Ioanna have all posted about moments of reinvention or inspiration. This series has been a big hit for my readers, and I am always looking for more people to write a guest blog on this topic. You don’t have to be a regular blogger to do this. Kat wasn’t a blogger when she first wrote her post for me… now she has a Tumblr. Micaela still isn’t a blogger, but enjoyed the experience.
  • My Lessons- The Thoughts on Love Series: Now, I’m not an expert, but I’ve been thinking a lot about love this year…what it takes to be in a relationship, choices people make, how other people can affect your relationships, etc. I started this series to share my observations, thoughts and feelings.

So… That’s all folks! I’d love it if you introduced yourself, because I love to check out new blogs. Have an amazing day!

blogging to do list

There is a lot I would like to do here on this ol’ blog. Like, for example post more often… I can’t fault myself though. I successfully completed NaBloPoMo in December of 2011, and I can understand that after posting every single day for the month, there is only so much I can write about afterward.

It seems like I always want to do a year-end recap, but never get around to it on here. I’m going to have to work on that. Who knows, maybe in February I’ll share my highlights of 2011! I always get to things late, but you know, I’m okay with that. There are no rules on the blog. If I want to post a recap of 2008 on here, I don’t see why I can’t do that either.

I’m lucky to live near one of my friends from my MFA program (who happens to be in the same semester as I am!), so we try to meet weekly to help each other with the semester. I wish we did this during our first two semesters, because I can’t stress how helpful it is to meet with her. Last night I was worried about what I was going to discuss. I have so much to write this semester (it’s my thesis semester), but I didn’t have any ideas really before she came over. When we meet, we talk about our ideas and we help flesh them out. Anyway, when she left last night, I had three super fleshed out essay ideas. How amazing is that?!? I can’t stress how helpful it was to have her help last semester, and this one is the big one, so I’m even more grateful for her now.

Hmm, what else is on my to-do list for the blog? Well, I’d like to do another giveaway. That was fun. My first giveaway was this past December, so I think next month I’ll have giveaway #2! Keep your eyes posted.

I’m also inspired by the marvelous Kate at Suburban Sweetheart to start posting more “reviews” here on the blog. There are a lot of products, and also customer service, that I think are both good and bad, and I’d like to share my thoughts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried out products from fellow blogger’s suggestions, so I think I should step it up and share my favorite (and not so favorite) products.

I desperately need to update my 101 challenge. I recently registered my own domain for it (I’m on my second 101 list), but I haven’t updated that- or the original blog- since mid 2011!!!! My new list started on 10/2/2011! I don’t even have any of the new stuff posted yet. Yikes! I need it to be posted to hold myself accountable, and I can’t do that if it isn’t updated.

Oh, I’ve got quite a few recipes to post as well! Don’t you worry… I’m still cooking weekly. The only time I didn’t cook was when I was away at school for 10 days, and I’m totally okay with that. When I was home on my day off I think I made cookies with Mr. O, and I’ve already repeated recipes, so I’m totally covered on that goal.

a look back, a look forward

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Happy New Year Y’all!

I hope you had a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. The lovely Angela Noelle was kind enough to share these 1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Polar Bear Plunge on 1/1/11. Broke my foot. Traveled to PA and VT. Ate pho. Got my first real grown up tree. This list could go on an on and on.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t really make NY resolutions. I followed a Cuban tradition of eating 12 red grapes and making 12 goals or intentions as I like to call them. I think I did really great with my intentions. I did the same tradition again this year with Mr. O. Thank you Daisy for bring that into my life.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, actually, I don’t think so. But I do have two nieces who turned one this year, and now I have three close friends to me pregnant, and another real good friend too!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My sister-in-law’s grandfather. He was close to our family, and I do miss him when we have family gatherings. Plus, I didn’t like to see her hurt.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just the United States in 2011!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn’t have in 2011?
I have everything I need. But one thing I will get in 2012 (well, unless something goes drastically wrong) is a DIPLOMA!! I’ll have my MFA 🙂

7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
The day I first saw Mr. O, and then every day between that and the first time he told me he loved me. It was the perfect beginning to a relationship.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
My 3rd semester project. I also felt very proud when I was elected by my peers to be our graduation speaker. Losing a little weight (to a # I hadn’t seen on the scale in a decade) although, I haven’t checked my weight in the past few weeks, and god knows I’ve gained a few pounds.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Failure? Hmm. Nothing. If there was any time that I “failed” I definitely learned from those moments, and I can’t consider learning moments failures.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I broke my foot on 1/4/11.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Vacations? I like the iPhone, although I wish I didn’t drop my Droid in the ocean.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mr. O. He is kind and loving.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Ha. I get appalled by people who are disrespectful. I sometimes feel sad FOR people when they act pathetically, but I’ve learned to not give any emotional response to people who don’t deserve it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The house fund. Or: school, vacations, Christmas and birthdays

15. What did you get really excited about?
Being in a happy, healthy relationship. Surprise presents from my guy. Our vacations, especially when Wolverine came with us. Learning how to cook.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
A song I love from John Legend

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier
b) thinner or fatter? 
Thinner
c) richer or poorer? 
Richer. House money safely in the bank and no credit card debt (well, after I get paid this week to finish paying the damn Christmas gifts)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Write more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Care about other people’s actions/thoughts. I only want to care about my own actions, and those of the people who are vital in my life.

20. How will you spend Christmas?
I spent it with Mr. O, Wolverine and both our families.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Oh, yes, yes I did. And if you couldn’t tell that from reading this blog, please get your vision checked.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I don’t like television that much, but surprisingly, I loved New Girl and XFactor.

23. What was the best book you read?
Oh goodness. I read so much for school, I honestly do not know. I think my favorite thing I read was an essay at school in a workshop. I’ll remember the name and edit the blog when I do.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
SAde and John Legend together in concert. YES!

25. What did you want and get?
Two fantastic guys: Mr. O and Wolverine.

26. What did you want and not get?
In 2011 I received more than I could possibly ask for.

27. What was your favorite film of 2011?
Tough one. Well, we went to the theaters to see Transformers and Hangover. Those were good.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26 and went out with a bunch of great friends. Mr. O, my bestie and I went to lunch and the batting cages on my actual bday.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Buying a house is not as fun as it seems 😉

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011?
Stop trying to look “pretty” and feel “pretty” in what you already own. I guess I’m learning to dress in my own style, and not feeling like I have to wear the same thing as everybody else? Does that make sense?

31. What kept you sane?
Having great people- especially Mr. O and Wolverine- around me.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Osama Bin Ladin getting killed. After you have a friend die overseas, it is tough to understand the “War” as well as you thought you once did. Then to have the #1 Most Wanted person killed, it’s kind of like…What Now? Does his death justify my friend’s? And I personally can’t celebrate easily in another person being killed, so I had mixed emotions about that in general.

33. Who did you miss?
I missed Mr. O while I was away at school. And Wolverine, especially him this time around. People talk about the quirky things their kids say and do and it really makes me wonder what he is doing, and how school is and what books he is reading at night etc. I miss Poppa (my SIL’s grandfather) around the holidays and family parties. I miss Robert a bunch. I miss my dog Khiva here and there even though it has been 4 whole years since she has passed away.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Every single thing is a choice. Everything.

35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
In this life, we all know
Friends may come, and they may go
Through the years I know
I will stay

This is going by super duper fast

9 more days until 2012!

We are officially in the single digits folks. In just nine more days, the year will no longer be 2011.  Shoot, in just two more days it will be Christmas! Where does the time go?

I think I’ve narrowed it down to the problem with my blog being something between the WordPress for iPhone app (which I’ve never had a problem with) and my regular ol’ wordpress. I don’t get it, but every post published or edited with the iPhone app says “-Standard” near the posts name (when you look at it on the computer). Those posts are the ones that are messing things up. You can’t comment on them… you can’t click the title or any other links. I don’t know how to fix this! Help!

Well I got a bunch of stuff done yesterday. I wrapped the rest of my presents. Wolverine and I finished making Mr. O’s Christmas present (from Wolverine). I read another two workshop submissions for my upcoming residency, and I started packing for it (honestly, all I did was move my suitcase into a different room and throw a few pairs of socks in it. Don’t let me fool you).

I’d like to move the entire holiday season (after Thanksgiving) to the end of January. It would give us all so much more time to enjoy it and relax. I just never have time to enjoy it and no matter how hard I try, I feel like it always comes and goes, and then shortly after New Year’s I’m ready for it all. I’m also sooooo sad to have to ever get rid of my Christmas Tree. I wish I could keep it forEVER!

fixing this will be a christmas miracle

Days Until 2012: viaWordPress and I are in a fight. Yup, I said it. FIGHT.

  • My most lovely friend from Her New Deal was kind enough to let me know my comments weren’t working (via twitter). Still don’t know how to fix that one, but I’m thinking an update/reinstall will help. I’ll save that for later tonight.
  • The connection between my WordPress for iPhone and the WordPress computer version is flukey, which is so irritating! I don’t get it either, because I have never ever had a problem with it until maybe about 3 or 4 days ago. It started posting pictures, but not the content I wrote to go with the pictures. And then yesterday, I had no pictures in my post, but I had typed up a decent sized post on my phone and it didn’t publish any of the words! (Thank goodness I recognized that during the day, so I could shoot out a quick post on my computer and I didn’t mess up my NaBloPoMo).
  • If you have a chance, swing by the blog and check it out (I’m assuming many of you read through some type of RSS reader. I’ve updated the posts for the past couple days with the missing content.

Enough whining. Let’s chat. Happy holidays folks. I hope you are all fully enjoying this season of holidays. I love that there are so many different types of celebrations depending on beliefs at this time. I love to learn about different religions or different customs. I’m a forever student. I want to constantly be learning.

Last night my Masshole Writers Group met to critique each others writing and do a holiday book swap. I’m super pumped to have been given a novel to read. With all these deadlines and requirements happening for school, I don’t read very often, but since I was given the book as a gift, you better believe I will read it!

I’m so fortunate to have such great friends. My Masshole friends, my blog friends, my school friends, my “real life” friends, etc.

the old and the new

source

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12 Days Until 2012!

This is what I originally intended to appear on the blog on 12/20: I am one wild and crazy critiquing machine. Besides the 12 essays and 7 poems I need to read and critique (not including any of the seminars) for this upcoming residency, well there are three more submissions I need to prepare for tonight! I’m not complaining though, I love this. Tonight the Masshole Writers will be coming over for a buffet of Chinese food and an evening of writing discussion. It’s always a good time with these guys. We get off topic about every 5 to 6 seconds (something my brain is quite used to). It is a night I really cherish having every month. Two of the writers will be graduating the MFA program in a week or two (I can’t keep my dates straight) so I hope they continue meeting with us. We’re doing a book swap tonight, and I keep forgetting to wrap my book. Sigh.

This is what did originally post: Is anyone else having trouble with WordPress on their Iphones? For the past three days, I’ve been having trouble when I upload/change things on my phone….Today the whole post didn’t show up, but it posted a blank post…. What the heck?

thoughts, but mostly questions…

Days Until 2012: viaSo there have been a bunch of food, pictures and Christmas trees on the blog in the past two weeks. It’s time for some words.

  • I think I completed my goal this year in regards to buying all my presents before my brother’s birthday (12/13). I’ve got 6 important birthdays and Christmas all within one month. It is not easy financially. I’ve got to be organized when it comes to shopping.
  • I think I mentioned that I finished my 3rd Semester Project: The Story Behind the Status. I was so excited for it to be complete, but I felt so strange the next day. Like, “What now? What do I do now that is complete?” Well, I have quite a bit that I can do now, so I’m not concerned, but it is sad to see the project completed. I know I can do more with it in the future, I just need to buckle down and finish my thesis now.
  • Thesis? Ugh. What shall I write about in my thesis? Here are a bunch of possible ideas that I have: 1) I could have written a memoir if I didn’t spend my time doing ________. 2)The process of buying a house 3)The important of integrating grapefruit, yogurt and cookies and cream chocolate into your diet. I could really use suggestions. What would you guys like to see me write about?
  • There are a lot of blog related things I need to do, like redesign this blog, or launch my new self hosted 101 in 1001 goals blog. Who wants to help me?
  • Also, does anyone have any suggestions of things I can try cooking for dinner? How about a chicken or pork recipe? I haven’t cooked with those much, so send them my way!
  • Anyone have freelance writing opportunities they want to share with me? I need to beef up my income a little, so point me in the right direction guys.
  • My anniversary with Mr. O is next month. What should I get/do for that dreamboat?
  • I love the tv show The New Girl.
  • I miss me some Gray’s Anatomy. I haven’t watched it once this season.

and so begins the birthday season…

via

First- I’d like to say Happy Birthday to my boss! Her birthday officially begins what I  consider “Birthday Season,” which happens to be the rash of birthdays from the beginning of December to the middle of January.

Second- I would like to let you folks know that you are definitely 100% going to want to come check the blog out first thing tomorrow morning (okay, fine… after you eat breakfast is good too). I’m hosting my first ever giveaway on Reinventing Erin. I did a couple giveaways/reviews on my previous blog and really enjoyed it. I’m going to be all suspenseful and not share any more details until tomorrow, but I think it will be a fancy-shmancy-fun time.

Third-Can I just take a second to say how grateful I am for Porochista Khakpour? She has been the most ultimate kick-ass mentor I could have even dreamed up. Like seriously…. my imagination isn’t cool enough to produce a better teacher. She has been super supportive and encouraging. She is totally easy going if I want to change things around or if I need another day to finish my drafts. It has been a pleasure. I looked forward to all of our phone calls and also all her responses to my work. I will truly miss working with her next semester.

Fourth- Well, there is no fourth… Today I am going to spend some good, relaxed quality time with Mr. O and Wolverine. It is time to start my Saturday the best way possible- making breakfast for my two favorite guys.