Reading: A lot. Spry is in publication mode for issue #4, so I had to catch up on reading before we closed the submissions manager. Then I needed to read and reread and reread again the accepted work to either send to an editor or edit myself. Besides Spry, I’ve been reading all the awesome journals and books I picked up at AWP. That’s been fun. Listening: to Spotify. I’m trying to work on my wedding music lists. I really thought it would be awesome to walk up the aisle (after the ceremony) to “Another One Bites the Dust,” but it is a little too low energy for me. Bummer. I want something with a lot of energy at that point. If any of you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them. Excited: That my wedding is in three months. There is so much that needs to happen from now until then, but I’m really just trying to live in the moment and embrace it all. Watching: Just finished Catching Fire. I really liked that movie and I was totally bummed when it was over. Where is Peta and why didn’t they save him too? Wearing: Right this second I am wearing sparkly silver shoes that I originally bought on clearance (for six dollars) for my wedding, but now that I think of it, I’m getting married in June, and I’m going to want to wear sandals, not slippers. So, while I doubt they will make an appearance at the wedding, I’m still going to rock the look. Wishing: things were a bit calmer in certain areas. I need more creativity in my life. I need to figure out to make a little more time for that. Drinking: Lindeman’s Framboise. Though, I saw someone post a picture of La Chouffe on Facebook this week and it made me want one. I’m also in a bit of a Moscato phase right now. Loving: My veil. It came in while I was in Seattle, and I just think its perfect. I need to get it steamed, and I want to try it on with my dress to make sure they look good together, but Loathing: The winter (did I mention that last time as well?). Spring officially starts in five days, but just a couple days ago it snowed all day here in Massachusetts. Admiring: Seattle- I really enjoyed my time there. I know I’ve been home for about two weeks, but I really did have such a great experience in the city. The food and drinks were fabulous. Check out: January, February
Currently in February
Welcome to the mostÂ boring post in the world. I’ve literally spent the first half of this month in bed. I got the flu on 1/31/14 and that turned into pneumonia. I’ve left my house a total of 3 times. Twice I attempted to go to work and once I went to the doctor’s office. When I was at home, I spent 85% of the time sleeping and the rest of the time watching Netflix half asleep.
Reading: I read a few pages of This Is How by Augusten Burroughs when I was at the doctor’s office. I bought it (and got it signed by Augusten himself!) right when it came out, and read about 80% that first day, but I haven’t buckled down to read the last 20% yet.
Listening: I’ve listened to almost no music since I’ve been sick. My mom however has discovered Pharrell’s “Happy” and she has been dancing away to it.
Excited: I’m starting to feel better and that is so exciting. Plus, I had my first two-meal day yesterday. Granted I am only manage to eat about 1/3 the amount I used to, but after only eating an apple sauce a day for almost two weeks, two tiny meals seems like a miracle. Plus, AWP is coming soon, and I can’t wait to go to Seattle.
Watching: I’ve finished seasons 5 and 6 of Private Practice and season 1 of The Walking Dead on Netflix. I thought Walking Dead would be much less entertaining, but the writing is pretty good, so I think I will keep watching.
Wearing: Pajamas only. I had to dress myself for work yesterday morning, and I didn’t quite know what to do.
Wishing: That when I do go to Seattle for AWP I’m a lot healthier. I really want to enjoy my trip.
Drinking: A lot of water. I’m also pretty thankful for Gaterade and tea for adding a little flavor to my life.
Loving: My bed, even though I really don’t want to spend any more time than necessary in it. I also love my humidifier, my cough syrup, my antibiotics, my fiance for taking such good care of the house and of Wolverine while I was checked out, my mom for being my own personal nurse, and the wonderful people at work who really stepped up and did a few things while I was out. Oh, also big news! My wedding dress came in this week! I’ve been too sick to go try it on yet, but I love that it is in the same city as me!
Loathing: Being sick. That’s an easy one. Oh, the snow too. I’ve never been a snow fan, and with the amount we’ve gotten this year, I am definitely not a fan right now. I want nice weather.
Admiring: the Olympic participants. they are all so great.
Check out: January
So, as I mentioned in my previous post, I plan on walking 150 miles and writing 150 new very short essays/poems/stories.
I’m currently in one of my busiest seasons for work, so I knew I wouldn’t get too much accomplished with these goals until at least the middle of the month. Since we are at that point right now, I need to hustle.
I figured out the other day that in order to meet my goals for the year, I will need to walk 12.5 miles a month and write 12.5 essays/poems/stories a month. At this point, I have walked 1.5 miles and wrote one tiny essay. So I have 11 more miles to walk and 11.5 essays/poems/stories to let loose. I’m not too worried about this. I’ve tried to walk multiple times at home, but there are a bunch of boxes temporarily stacked on my treadmill. Those boxes are all getting moved this weekend, and with two weeks left in the month, I’m sure I can easily walk an additional 11 miles. I do need to prioritize my writing. I don’t have a steady output right now, as I haven’t really written in a while. Because of that, it isn’t so easy to just jump right back into things. I’m really going to need to try to get something written every night to keep up with this goal for the year. As apprehensive as I am about this, I’m also hopeful. Writing regularly usually gets me in the correct mind-frame, so I’m hoping that if I work hard at this now, it will just keep me going in the right direction next month.
One Last Look at 2013
Iâ€™m using the questions Janet completed which were revised by RA.
1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 this year on my birthday, and I think I spent it at Wolverine’s football practice, which was quite welcomed as the past maybe 5 years were filled with monsoon rain or hurricanes on my birthday. My guys made me awesome homemade cards–can I request this every year?–and besides some great gifts, my favorite essay was accepted by Revolution House. You can read it here.
2. What are your strongest memories from this year, and why?
My strongest memories are the blizzard in February which cancelled our ski trip, going to AWP in Boston, surprising Wolverine all year with trips (to the Red Sox, PawSox, and my favorite of all, a trip to Florida at 3am), getting a panel accepted for the 2014 AWP Conference, Mr. O’s proposal!, and our holiday season.
3. What did you do this year that youâ€™d never done before?
I got my first essay accepted, and then went on to publish a total of five great essays in 2013.
4. What did you want and get?
Well, I wanted Mr. O, Wolverine and I to enjoy our Florida vacation, and we loved it. I also wanted to get published and have my panel chosen to AWP, so those were great additions.
5. What did you want and not get?
A house. I’ve been looking for a great house for two years now, and though there have been some official offers none have panned out.
6. What would you like to have next year that you didnâ€™t have this year?
A wedding! A trip out of the country! I was so fortunate to get engaged to the love of my life in 2013, and in 2014, I’m even more grateful to marry that man and spend some time in a paradise somewhere (no honeymoon planned yet!) Also, I’d like to buy a house, and get pregnant in 2014 (after the wedding pretty please!). Those are four big things I really want.
7. Did you keep your new yearâ€™s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2013 my goals were: to cross something off my goal list every month. That didn’t happen. I should have set specific guidelines at the beginning of the year, but I’m happy with all the things I did accomplish throughout the year.
My 2014 goals/resolutions are: 1) Be a Better Erin 2) Walk 150 miles 3) Write 150 new super-short things.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
Who has time for failure? I don’t think I’ve failed per say at anything. There are lots of situations, especially in the busy job I have that some tasks don’t get completed in a manner as timely as I would have liked, or people were kept waiting longer than they would have liked, but as I said, I have a very busy job, and I do the best I can. Same thing goes for other projects I’m involved in or tasks I could have completed more quickly, etc. There are lots of tiny things I could have improved, but I’m doing the best I can right now.
10. What did you rely on when you were overwhelmed?
Sleep, to-do lists, cuddles from Mr. O. My co-editor Linsey’s consistent Google Chat and Drive assistance.
11. What are your strongest recommendations for entertainment from this year? (books, television, movies, music, etc)
Breaking Bad, Dexter (but the last episode SUCKS), Tosh.0, New Girl, a lot of good movies.
12.Â What song will remind you of this year?
“All of Me” by John Legend which will be my wedding song!
13. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (not necessarily from the song that reminds you of the year).
“Because we are
We are shining stars
We are invincible
We are who we are
On our darkest day,
When we’re miles away,
So we will come
We will find our way home
If you’re lost and alone
Or you’re sinking like a stone,
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground and
Carry on oh on on on oh ohh oh oh oh oh oh
oh ohh oh oh oh oh oh”
14. What was your most enjoyable purchase?
My wedding gown and my wedding band and my iPhone 5s.
15. Did you travel? If so, where?
To Florida for a nice trip with Mr. O and Wolverine to Universal Studios and Disney World (and other fun places like Gatorland and Wonder Works.)
16. What do you wish youâ€™d done more of?
Exercise! 2013 was the year I brought wellness back into my life in a big way, and while I did begin to really integrate some exercise into my routine, I really want it to become more of a daily habit than what it was this past year.
17. What do you wish youâ€™d done less of?
I wish I spent less time aimlessly browsing social media. I like connecting, but I find myself filling voids of time looking at things or people I’m not even interested in. I hate the drama in social media, so why bother aimlessly searching through it?
18. Compared to this time last year, how are you different?
I’m pretty excited for my year ahead. Not that I wasn’t last year; I was, but I was just more excited to be done with 2012 and more hopeful 2013 would be better. This year I know that so many wonderful and amazing things are going to take place this year. I’m so pumped and ready for it all.
19. Compared to this time last year, how are you the same?
I’m very content with who I am. I think I started to feel comfortable in my own shoes around 2011, with 2012 getting more sure and 2013 being significantly more comfortable with who I am and where I belong. I think 2014 is going to shake up my identity (I’m changing last names and becoming a wife!), but will continue my confidence and happiness with who I am and where I am.
20. Whatâ€™s a life lesson you learned this year?
Trust in the process. Truly. That used to be my MFA motto, but it really is a life motto. Also, in regard to wedding planning- be true to your vision and your budget. Period. It’s one day. As long as you end up married at the end of the day, who cares if the pale blue really is periwinkle or cloud blue–just get married.
Currently in January
Borrowing this idea from my lovely friend, Katelin.
Reading: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction and flash submissions over at Spry Literary Journal. We are still in our reading period, so if you are a writer and are interested in submitting, send your stuff our way.
Listening: To a new radio station (96.9 in MA) which plays some new music, but mostly music from my childhood. In 24 hours I heard three different Tupac songs. How great is that?
Excited: For PaintNite tonight with one of my bridesmaids.
Watching: Thanks to Netflix: Greys Anatomy Season 9 and The Following.
Wearing: Scarves, mittens, lots of layers, and a warm jacket when I leave the house.
Wishing: Wolverine starts to feel better. Poor kid is sick.
Drinking: Lot’s of healthy drinks, such as green smoothies, water, soy protein shakes and apple cider vinegar tea.
Loving: My friends and family and my new iPhone 5s and so far I’m loving Virgin Wireless which is my new carrier.
Loathing: The cold. It is so cold here in Massachusetts.
Admiring: All of the new year’s goals I’m seeing in my blog reader.
- Spry Literary Journal publishedÂ issue #1! This was such an exciting moment for myself, Linsey and the contributors who took a chance on Spry and were published in this issue.
- Logan has been the badass elf that he is. He has folded our laundry for us, swept the floor, took a bath, played games with our superheros. He brought us our Christmas tree (and got tangled in the lights) and painted Wolverine’s nose red like Rudolph when he slept.
- We are alive. December 21, 2012Â came and went and the world didn’t end. Phew.
- Iâ€™m doing a great job keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 332. Nuts. I definitely need to update the blog with photos though.
Stinky December Moments:
- Saying goodbye to Logan the elf is always difficult. Not just for Wolverine, but for me too. He is such a fun part of our holiday season and I can’t wait to see him again in 2013.
- Mr. O’s grandfather passed away. We really missed him this Christmas and willÂ for a time to come.
Other Mentionable Moments:
- Baby Knox was born! Today is also my sister-in-law’s due date, so we shall see if the baby girl comes today, or if she is a 2013 baby!
- It was so wonderful to make the drive down to Ender’s Island for my MFA program’s Alumni Day. Next time, I hope to plan it better so that I can spend more time (or actually see!) with some of my friends. It felt great to be in class again, especially with Sonya Huber, who I wasn’t lucky enough to study under while attending FUMFA, as this was her first semester teaching in the low-residency program. The class was great, and I’m so glad I could attend.
Iâ€™m looking forward to____ in January (and in 2013!): A new year. As exciting and full of changes that 2012 was, it was also a very difficult year. A lot of people I care about experienced some very difficult, sad things this year. For me, 2012 was tough withÂ work, school, a new business, moving, everything happened at once. I am so thankful for the blessings and experiences from this year. It isn’t like 2012 was a bad year by any means, it was just a trying year. I have high hopes for 2013. I really do.Â I’m so excited about starting afresh and seeing what this new chapter in my life has in store for me. As for the little things–I’m excited to start a brand new 2013 Project Life binder. I’m excited to make new goals. I’m excited for issue #2 of Spry. I’m excited to spend more time with my loved ones.
Overall Thoughts: December was a really nice month. Between the holidays, my family birthdays, publishing Spry, work and other stuff, it was a very busy, full month. That being said, I think I did a pretty good job of being present this month. Every year I complain about being too busy and too rushed, and I think I did pretty good. December will always be a busy month in my life, and I need to learn to embrace that instead of fight against it. I had a nice month, a nice year, and now… I’m just looking forward to 2013.
Happy New Year’s Eve, y’all. I hope you have a safe, fun and memorable evening. I wish you a year filled with incredible experiences.
Want to know more about my experiences in 2012? Check out the previous months: January and February and March and April and May and June and July and August and September and October and November
- Wolverine’s football season ended on a high note. Not only did he score a touchdown during his last practice, but his team won during their championship game.
- Wolverine also got his first report card of first grade, and I’m happy to announce he got really good grades. To celebrate, I gave him new erasers 😉
- President Obama was reelected! I didn’t get an “I Voted!” sticker, but I’m quite pleased with the results.
- The reading period forÂ Spry Literary Journal closed on a high note on November 15th. At this point, we have accepted or rejected all submissions and are working on the final edits and website prep. In just two weeks the inaugural issue of Spry should be live on our website. Also, have you checked out the insanely cool graphic Cisco made for issue #1?
- Iâ€™m doing a great job keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 301. which means there are only 64 days left. That seems so weird to me.
- Mr. O and I are super close to being finished with our holiday shopping! BEFORE DECEMBER! We only have a few random small things to pick up, so it looks like I’ll meet one of my 101 in 1001 goals!
- Logan the Elf has returned! Trying to explain my level of excitement would be pretty impossible at this time.
Stinky November Moments:
- Rejecting work (and receiving rejections) is never easy. There were a lot of strong submission that we were seriously considering, and unfortunately, we can’t accept them all. So we rejected a lot. We tried to send personal rejections if we could, but we had hundreds of submissions, so we did the best we could. There are a few pieces in particular that stand out in my mind that I still wish we could have accepted. That being said, this is going to be a great issue, and I am really happy with what we will publish.
Other Mentionable Moments:
- Thanksgiving with my family and Mr. O’s was a really nice holiday.
- November 1st made five whole years since I quit smoking, and I am quite pleased with my success.
- Baby Knox was born!
- I shared some recipes with you for desserts: apple pie and cake batter rice krispies.
- My best friend (aka Cinderella) and Mr. O’s dad celebratedÂ their birthdays.
- My friends threw a post-thanksgiving dinner for their friends and that was a blast.
Iâ€™m looking forward to____ in December: Publishing the first issue of Spry. I cannot believe that in about two weeks the first issue of my literary journal will be published. This is really exciting. Oh, and everything about the holidays; I’m not really a fan of the winter, but I am a fan of the holidays, so I try to enjoy it as much as possible. Our apartment is going to be overly decorated. I’m most excited about the tree. I love fresh Christmas trees.
Overall Thoughts: November was a nice month. I’m pleased with my NablopomoÂ effort-Â writing a blog post a day isn’t easy, no matter how well you plan.Â Mr. O and I had a lot of fun with the boys (Wolverine and my nephew) this month. We went to a few movies, the park, played football, games, a few sleepovers. We tried a few new desserts, made a few favorites. I finally caught up on Project life. I’m happy with this month. I’m looking forward to December and relaxing and enjoying the holidays.
Want to know more about my experiences in 2012? Check out the previous months: January and February and March and April and May and June and July and August and SeptemberÂ and October
- Mr. O and I took a mini-vacation by ourselves to Plymouth, Ma. It was a quick vacation, but so nice to just get away from our normal routine. We stopped by some touristy sites briefly, ate some incredible food, went to a few antique shops, took a haunted tour and cuddled quite a bit.
- Not only did Spry Literary JournalÂ keepÂ receiving great submissionsÂ all month, but we hired our first two interns! We also added a new reader to our group.Â Our reading period ends on November 15, 2012, so if you plan on submitting your writing, make sure to do so soon!
- Iâ€™m doing a great job keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 271. Nuts.
Stinky October Moments:
- Work has been a bit overwhelming. I cannot seem to stay organized or get projects completed. There is a bunch of change happening at my organization, so besides working on my normal responsibilities, I’m trying to figure out/take on more. I’m not complaining about work, and I know I very rarely discuss it on the blog. I’m just indicating that it has been a tough month at work. I am still so grateful for my job.
Other Mentionable Moments:
- Wolverine has been trying harder in football. This past Sunday was actually the last game of the season and they tied 0-0. He does have a “championship bowl” on Saturday, but since the kids are so tiny, they’re doing it for fun, not to keep score.
- After a brief hiatus, my girlfriends and I actually managed to make it out two months in a row for our monthly girls’ night.
- We carved our pumpkins which was fun. Wolverine actually carved his first pumpkin on his own (well, with minimal help). I’ll post pictures soon.
- Hurricane Sandy. I was fortunate to be relatively untouched by the hurricane, but it still effected my work days and the electricity at home too.
Iâ€™m looking forward to____ in November:Â Thanksgiving: I’m a huge fan of the holiday.Â Also, I’m even more excited about Logan coming back to our house (Logan is our Elf on the Shelf!). I cannot wait to see all the mischief this little guy gets into. There is a chance that I like Logan even more than Wolverine does, but who cares.Â I’m hoping to continue getting quality submissions for Spry, especially in creative nonfiction (my favorite) because our submissions manager is low on CNF.
Overall Thoughts: October was a nice month, but there really isn’t too much to report. I feel like I am working my butt off and can’t keep up, but that happens from time to time. It was a great month for Spry and the journal got a lot of exposure. I’m looking forward to November and the start of holiday season.
Happy Halloween everyone!
Want to know more about my experiences in 2012? Check out the previous months: January and February and March and April and May and June and July and AugustÂ and September