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Month: July 2017

Behind the Scenes: Where I Write

Today I’d like to talk about my desk.  It’s big and bold and messy.  We moved almost a year ago and we are still not set up (I know, I know…but life happens man) but my desk is sort of settled in to.  I have a new cork board and white board to go with my cool WRITER picture (thanks, Delia!) – they are just not on the actual wall yet but leaning against the wall.  I can still plan, dream, think, smile at, and gets ideas from everything so it’s fine….for now.  

My desk is in our bedroom.  Living in New York comes with many advantages (theatre, museums, restaurants, the public transportation) but space is not one of them when it comes to apartments.  Our place is pretty big, actually, but we only have two bedrooms so unless I want to force my cute 5-year-old to sleep on the floor of the living room (although he might secretly love this) for now my desk is in the bedroom.  This doesn’t actually cause problems since my son is at school and my husband is at work all day and I don’t usually work at night during family times.  The problem comes from my desk being a flat, relatively clean surface, things get dumped here – school paperwork, iPhones, my son’s art, junk mail – the list goes on, so I constantly have to clean it. 


What would solve this problem?  Having a dedicated space in the living room for the stuff mentioned above.  I’m actually working on this problem, and I think I’m almost done with the drop zone by the door.  Also, I need to reorganize the two book shelves that are in the bedroom to better utilize that space so less stuff has to live on my desk.  This is my next big apartment project.  We really do take forever to move into a place fully – but we adore our apartment overall, it has huge windows and lots of light and it’s in a great neighborhood close to my son’s elementary school.  And it’s quiet.  Like…eerily quiet.  If I have the windows open I can sometimes hear the Long Island Rail Road go by a few blocks away or trucks rumbling down Queens Boulevard, but otherwise – I don’t hear much during the day.  It’s really nice.

My desk is almost settled in, but once I get the book shelves reorganized then I can concentrate on the peripheral areas of my desk, like my cute little plastic bins that hold my washi tape, journal cards, extra index cards, extra pens, etc.  Right now they are a major hot mess and I can’t find anything without searching through at least three drawers.  Ugh!  This is a total time waster and the 2nd item on my apartment list to fix and work through.  I also want to put more cute stuff on my cork board and once I get everything hung up, I’ll see if I have room for other decorations around my desk.  I have accumulated quite a few inspirational pictures and sayings so I want a space dedicated to those, like a mini vision board or a motivator corner. 


The other place I like to write is in the living room sitting on our bright red couch!  This is the joy of owning a laptop – I can take it anywhere, but I usually don’t.  The living room is where I chill when I’m thinking or planning or daydreaming while writing but also have the TV on watching old reruns of Friends. I have tried writing out of the house, but for some odd reason, I felt very uncomfortable.  I think that’s just me because most writers I’ve met go to Starbucks or St. Louis Bread Company (Panera’s) and work sometimes….if I do this, I usually like to read or hand write in a journal because I feel odd whipping out my laptop and typing away.  Not sure why.  I think it’s because at home I can control my music, my beverage situation, my food situation, etc.  I think it’s because I’m a control freak.  There, I said, it. HA

So…where do you write or paint or sing?  Show me your work space and tell me a little about it…is it perfect, does it need some work?  Are you planning on fixing it up or adding things? I’d love to see pictures, so tag me over on Instagram.


Bad Poetry 2: Electric Boogaloo

It’s round two of Bad Poetry! The last time I did this (read that here) I got a few family and friends asking me, “These were great…they weren’t bad, why did you call it that?” Here’s the reason: I don’t know what I’m doing, really. I studied some poetry in High School and College – how to read it, how to act it out, how to think about it as a reader and performer, but never how to write it. I wasn’t an English major in college and then when I did start writing, it was always novels or articles – never poetry. But it’s fun to play around with words and types of poetry (like Haiku!) and imagery in a different way. This is why I label it Bad Poetry…not because they suck (although they might) but because I have no idea if they can even all be called poetry. I’m just having fun, so enjoy!

The System is Down, Yo

Internet is out
No Netflix, Hulu, YouTube
What to do for fun?

An Ode to Staples

Notebooks and pens and highlighters galore.
Colored pencils, markers, crayons and more.
Aisles and aisles of envelopes, binders, paper, and ink.
Music above, rain outside, lights that glow an odd shade of pink.
I make my choices, carefully picking supplies.
And ring them all up and head out with my prize. 


My mind never stops, the words are swirling and the voices are drowning out my own thoughts. Happiness is always just a bit out of reach. I stretch, I strain, but I can’t seem to grab it for very long. I brush it with my fingertips, linger in the warm sunny delight of it, but then just as quick it’s gone again. Slammed into darkness, surrounded by ugly horrible images. Pictures that I don’t want to see. Things I don’t want to think about. Facts that I don’t even believe anymore. I am better than this. I try again. Stretch further, strain more, try to grab it one last time. Maybe this time it will stay.

I fall on my face. Splat! Straight down in murky water, dirt, and debris. I sit up and look around. I start feeling sorry for myself. I decide to just sit here and live, in this ditch or hole that I’ve somehow created for myself. It feels comfy…until it doesn’t. Until I start to get antsy and angry. Mad at myself, mad at the world. Mad at everyone that looks happy.

I try smiling. I try singing. But nothing works for long. I finally try talking. I talk and talk and talk and cry and scream and somehow the clouds part and the sun appears, and I see it. Happiness floating toward me. I hold out my hands and it lands softly. I throw it around me like a blanket. I feel warm and light. It won’t always be this easy, but for now…right now. It is.

Growing Up

Going to school and riding the bus, you seem so big.

Helping me pack your snack and getting dressed, you seem so big.
Homework and reading, you seem so big.

But then, at night, before bed when you crawl into my lap and put your head in the space between my soft body and warm arms, you look up at me and all I see is my baby. My little 8 lb 3 oz newborn who would look up me while feeding and I smile. 

You might be growing up, but you’re still little to me. 

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Coffee Break

Hello, my loyal readers…grab a cup of coffee (iced if it’s as hot and muggy as it is here in NY) and let’s catch up.

So, about 2 months ago I finished the second round of revisions on my debut novel, The Art of Lying, and sent it to a professional editor. I took a little time off – about a week – and then jumped into working on a novella that I’m hoping to give away for free when I start up my newsletter. But my amazing editor (shout out to Sarah Fox over at The Bookish Fox!) sent me her notes already. Amazing! So far, her notes seem fair and balanced – she tells me when she loves a line or section of dialogue and then she also tells me when I should show and not tell, when I should blend some of the info dumps into the scenes more naturally, and that my love interest seems a bit cartoonish (she’s right actually, I just couldn’t see that). If you are writing a novel, seriously – get a professional to look at it, I’m so incredibly happy with the results and I know that by working with Sarah, making the needed changes, and sending it back to her for copyediting my book will be simply the best it can be and me a better writer in the process. Who could ask for more?

Now, of course, that leaves me with a tiny dilemma – do I start working on my baby (the big novel) or finish outlining and drafting the novella? I mean, I could possibly work on both these next two months, but it is summer and my son’s summer Extended School Year program is a tiny bit shorter than the normal school day, and there’s still the day job. I don’t want to burn out, confuse stories in my head, or just start hating both projects. I’m going to take a few days, work on a reverse outline for my Editorial Skype call with Sarah, and see what my next few weeks actually look like in terms of work, shopping, and other activities.

The plan was still to have my novel ready to self-publish this Fall/Winter but I have a feeling to make it the best book possible, give me time to write and edit the novella, set up the newsletter, and have family time (and a Disneyland vacation!!!!) I might need to push the timeline back to January/February 2018, and you know what? That’s okay. I know I’m going to learn and grow so much with this book and this whole self-publishing process that I will be better equipped to write, edit, revise, and publish the next few books.  And, once the novella is ready and in my eNewsletter system that will pretty much be “set it and forget it”.

What fun stuff are you doing this summer? Vacation plans? Netflix and chill? Summer school or camp? I want to know what you’re up to and if you’re creative and writing, singing, dancing, etc then let me know that too! Keep cool, read something funny, and catch up on your favorite series.