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Posts from the ‘Everyday Life’ Category

Two Love Poems and Some Chocolate

February 14 approaches. And since I probably won’t post before that day, I decided to post one of the most romantic poems I’ve ever read. I found this poem about 18 years ago in the library. I was bored and picked up a large poetry book, a large all-inclusive volume, to occupy myself. I read this poem by Sara Teasdale that floored me and I immediately copied it for my records. To this day, I think this is on my top five list of favorite poems (and made me a fan of Sara Teasdale). Enjoy!

When I am Not With You

When I am not with you

I am alone,

For there is no one else

And there is nothing

That comforts me but you.

When you are gone

Suddenly I am sick,

Blackness is round me,

There is nothing left.

I have tried many things,

Music and cities,

Stars in their constellations

And the sea,

But there is nothing

That comforts me but you;

And my poor pride bows down

Like grass in a rain-storm

Drenched with my longing.

The night is unbearable,

Oh let me go to you

For there is no one,

There is nothing

To comfort me but you.

— Sara Teasdale

Tasted really good too!

Tasted really good too!

Also, I bought a candy bar at Whole Foods this weekend and, SURPRISE!, it came with a love poem inside by Pushkin. Who knew Russians could be so romantic!

A Magic Moment I Remember

A magic moment I remember:

I raised my eyes and you were there,

A fleeting vision, the quintessence

Of all that’s beautiful and rare

I pray to mute despair and anguish,

To vain the pursuits world esteems,

Long did I hear your soothing accents,

Long did your features haunt my dreams.

Time passed. A rebel storm-blast scattered

The reveries that once were mine

And I forgot your soothing accents,

Your features gracefully divine.

In dark days of enforced retirement

I gazed upon grey skies above

With no ideals to inspire me

No one to cry for, live for, love.

Then came a moment of reinessance,

I looked up – you again are there

A fleeting vision, the quintessence

Of all that’s beautiful and rare.

Alexander Pushkin

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Four Years with the Unlucky and Lucky Girl

In some ways, I am a very lucky girl.   I have great family, great friends, a cool home, a job, and my health.  The basics are covered and I know that I’m not struggling like a lot of folks out there.  But sometimes I find myself bummed that I can’t have everything that I want.  Those wants sneak up on me and, suddenly, all I want is what I want.

When those moments hit me, I have to take a breath and count what is good in my life.

I’ve been feeling bummed, because ever since I found that Margaret Atwood book last fall, I haven’t found another great book when I go searching.  I know.  I know.  It was such a high to find it and I’ve been chasing that high ever since.  Now I realize I may never get it back.  So instead, I am going to chase the other high I get.

Writing more stories.

This is a bit of a secret, but I actually feel good when I finish writing a piece.  I can’t sit still.  I get giddy…yes I used the word “giddy”!  I feel so proud that I finished what I started.  I just can’t wait to finish something else.

This year I had a goal to get published.  But I also want to get stuff done.  I have so many half-finished pieces.  Things that need a rewrite that sit on my desk.  I stare at it and wonder why I am not chasing this high.  In the long run it is better for me (and my wallet).

I started this blog about four years ago, because I wanted to put my work up for my family and friends.  So far I haven’t put anything up.  I know.  I flaked.  But I want to do better.  Last post alluded to some secret projects that I am working on.  They are still not done, but hopefully by March 1, I can make some announcements.  There, I have given myself a deadline.  Let’s see if I hold to it.

I also want to thank everyone who takes the time to read this blog.  I actually have people who aren’t related to me, or that I don’t know reading my thoughts.  Thanks for sticking with me.

I may have hit upon an unlucky streak with books, but I can feel my luck changing with my writing.

I really am a very lucky girl.

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year!

The last few weeks have been busy.  I finished up my semester and then jumped right into moving into my new apartment.  I offically signed the lease on December 19, but I didn’t move until the 26th.  It was exhausting.  I don’t want to move again for a long time.  Plus, did I mention it was snowing/sleeting/raining on that day?  If you can avoid it, don’t move during the snow/sleet/rain.  It is just nerve wracking!

My holiday was good.  My brother came in from Los Angeles just before Christmas and he flew out today.  It was good to see him.  We talk a lot over the phone, but don’t get to see each other that often.  It a hazard of living across the country.

So now it is the new year.  Usually I make the same resolutions year after year, but this year I have one new goal.

I want to be published.

It doesn’t have to be a big venue, but I would like someone I have never met to say, “Yes, I want this story!”  So I have to get off my butt and start mailing stories out.  With any luck, by June I will have good news.  A few years ago, I tried to sell my novel.  After two years of rejections, I finally gave up.  In a way, I am glad it wasn’t accepted.  When I read it now, I cringe.  I think I am a better writer now.  Will I go back and rewrite it agian? Maybe.  I have so many other ideas for other novels and short stories.  Who knows?  I have it saved, so it is there if I need it.

For now, I will work on the new stuff.  My new semester doesn’t start until the end of the month, so I have a little more free time.  I didn’t start Infinite Jest, because I packed it and I haven’t opened the box yet.  My Christmas present to myself was this (for my collection), so I am reading the bonus book right now.

Best wishes to everyone for 2013!

The Enchanted Garden and Other News

Is it December already?

It seems as if this year has been going so fast.  Now we’re at the end of it.  2013 is quickly approaching, so we will see what comes next.

I didn’t finish my book for NaNoWriMo.  I was doing well, but a few things came up and time just got away from me.  Mostly, it was class.  Grad school requires so much reading.  Every other week, we were discussing a new book.  I had my presentation on Kate Vaiden on Dec. 6, so I decided that was the most important priority.  I wanted to really read and study the book, not just rush through it.  I am sorry I didn’t finish (my novel), but I think I will have some time this month.

I also made a big decision last month to move.  I found a beautiful apartment building and tried in vain for two weeks to get in to see a unit.  Wouldn’t you know, the leasing office called in early November.  So between reading, work, and writing the book, I had to carve out time to see apartments (They had more than one unit available.) and fill out all the paperwork that comes with it.  It has been a while since I rented an apartment, apparently now they want everything but a blood sample.

I know I said earlier that I wasn’t ready to move.  Money has been a big concern for me this year, and I thought I would be staying at my parent’s place longer.  For the past four years I have been living at my parent’s house because my mom got a contract job out of the area.  With 2008 home prices like they were, she didn’t want to sell.  I offered to stay, take care of the place, and pay her.  It worked out well.  But now they are back… and this house is suddenly very small.

Truthfully, I miss my privacy.  I love my parents, but I miss having my own space.  I thought I could suck it up for a year and then start looking, but I only made it six months. (LOL)  I decided that even though my salary is lower, I should still look for a place.  Better if I find a place now that I can afford.  I found a great place in Silver Spring, MD called National Park Seminary (Henceforth to be known as the Enchanted Garden, because it is so pretty!).  It used to be a women’s seminary, but was renovated a few years ago to a mix of townhouses, condos, and apartments.  It’s a historical landmark, in a quiet area, and so friggin’ unique, I can’t wait to move in.  It is not in the most trendy of areas like Bethesda, Dupont Circle, or Capitol Hill.  I don’t need a neighborhood like that.  I need space to write.

And a place to hold my books.  I got lots of those…

So if you want to see a picture, here is the nonprofit organization that takes care of care of the historical aspects of the grounds.  If you live in the DC area, you should come on the tour.  I’ve taken it and it is really cool.

I’m about to take a massive break from work.  Between the 13th of December and 2nd of January, I will be off from work.  So once I move in, and get settled, I’m going to have plenty of space and quiet to work.  Hopefully I will get farther along in my novel.

Also, I want to spruce up the blog a bit too.  There will be some new stuff coming soon.  Gradually over the month, I would like to add more, like a better bio and some of my fiction (and pictures!).  So much to do!

Hope everyone enjoys the coming weeks!

Reasons to Write

This is just a quick note.  November is flying by.  I have started my novel for National Novel Writing Month, but I am seriously far behind.  I’m just happy I started, but this weekend will be a serious work push.  Not only am I writing this novel, but I have a few  short pieces to write and a book to read for class too.  We are reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (the author of Seabiscuit).  I need to write up an analysis for it as soon as I finish.

Class is going well, but I feel a bit overwhelmed.  Yesterday we spent a lot of time talking about why someone chooses to write.  Why write when you could do something else creative like paint, or music?  Why is someone a writer instead of an actor?  Every answer I had just seems too superficial.  It may not be a question that I will ever answer.  I may spend the rest of my life asking myself this.  Can you imagine that? Some in the class said that they didn’t want to go too deeply into their answer.  I get that.  Over analyzation of oneself can sometimes crush creativity.  You don’t have to look a every single motive all the time.  Human being are irrational and do things that make no sense all the time.

But it bugs me that I never really thought about why I write. I don’t always enjoy it.  I don’t always have a burning passion for it.  But it is the one thing that I have stuck with my whole life.  I read a great column a few days ago, and basically the writer said that you shouldn’t do what you love.  You should love the work you have chosen.  I think that is a big part of why I write.  I am in love with writing.  Why else would I do it?  No money.  No fame.  It’s hard on realationships. People will think you are nuts for choosing something with (seemingly) little reward. It’s damn hard work and can drive you crazy…

*Sigh* I am in love.  There is no other explanation.

I will probably write more about this later.  For class, I have to write a vision statement about myself as a writer.  It is supposed to be something I revise for the rest of my life.  So a draft will make it onto this blog eventually.

Happy novel writing!  I need to get back to work.


October So Far


Beauty of Fall in MD.

This month has flown by.  I can’t believe it is almost November, especially since someone decided to turn the calendar back to May.  It was so warm today, I swore it was spring, not fall.  But all you have to do is look at the trees and you remember what time of year it is.  Spring and fall are the best times of the year in the mid-atlantic.

Class is going well so far.  I have to give an oral presentation at the end of the semester, which I am not crazy about.  The positive side is that I get to read an author I have been meaning to explore for a while now. It’s Reynolds Price. I first read an essay he wrote for Book World (Remember that on Sunday?) in The Washington Post.  I was so blown away by it, that a short time later I went out and bought Kate Vaiden.

And it sat on my bookshelf ever since.  You know how that goes…

So now I am finally getting around to reading it.  Yay!  I almost picked a few other books (The person should-be an American and a book of note, but exceptions were made for others.), but I have been sitting on this book long enough.

I also realized I’ve been watching way too many episodes of How I Met Your Mother.  I used the phrase “suiting up” in my last post.  LOL! I didn’t even realized until a week after I posted.  I also find myself humming “Let’s Go to the Mall” every now and then.  Thank you FX.  It’s a great show and my subconscious is giving you a high-five.

Interested in reading the essay?  Find it here.  It’s a great collection, and well worth the money.