Most of this was written before the news cycle became so intense (again). With little hope in me that it’ll settle anytime soon, I’m opting to share the page as it was, instead of waiting for any clarity or conclusiveness about what’s happening in our country. It feels a little weird to talk about some lighter things while so much is at stake, but probably not as weird as trying to process and post about it as it happens.
Anyway, PLEASE VOTE.
I have various writing projects in the works, and the one I want to mention today is the NOVEL I FINISHED LAST MONTH (confetti and air horns!)
Every writer has their own preferences and their own feelings about the different stages of the writing process, and I happen to be one that really, really likes to work with an already-completed draft. I wouldn’t go so far as saying that I don’t even like writing that first draft, but at times it is a slog. Now that I’ve done this a few times (“this” being, written novel-length manuscripts), I’ve seen that, for me, the magic happens once that first draft is over. Though, for the record, I use the term “magic” loosely. Currently, I’m now waist-deep in my first pass through the completed draft, and I’ll be spending the next couple weeks going through it, multiple times, before turning it over to a few trusted reader friends and then, after getting their thoughts and potentially applying feedback, finally sharing it with my agent.
It’s all very exciting and also very tedious and I’m sure I’ll have more to say next month after I’ve spent weeks on it, but for now, I’ll say this: I’m excited about it. The genre is book club/upmarket women’s fiction, and the story takes place at a resort and conference center in the middle of Palm Desert. It involves two estranged sisters, a pyramid scheme, a distracted BFF, and a ticking clock counting down to a very important family event. And there are very few male characters beyond the relatives of the two main sisters, however, there is one in particular that plays an important role, and he is Very Hot, so there’s that too.
On a separate note, I made what I *think* will be my last batch of paper for the year since now the weather is turning and I don’t have reliable sun to help me dry it. I was feeling a little ornery, and haven’t yet decided if I want to share what I ripped up to make it, hehe. But it turned out a lovely shade of blue so I’m feeling good about that.
culture + commentary
I am still trying to find that sweet spot of staying informed with what’s happening in the world but also not getting anxious to the point of nausea (lol, 2020). So, perhaps it’s no surprise that I’ve most enjoyed lately are of the family-friendly, bubblegum, musical variety–all of which happen to be directed by Kenny Ortega who we can also thank for the High School Musical Series (and if that’s not your jam, then maybe just skip ahead now?).
If you only have time for one show, then it absolutely MUST be Netflix’s Julie and the Phantoms. My husband brought it up to me before I’d ever heard it, and presented it by basically saying, “I found a show you’re going to love.” And he was right. Here’s why it’s everything we need right now:
- each episode has at least one legit musical number, some more (bops, as they say),
- the cast members are all super-talented
- there’s a boyband (although that’s a loose definition since they play their own instruments)
- the members of the boyband are–TWIST–actually ghosts!
- there is subtle yet soulful teen love
- they make what appears to be a sincere effort with representation, which was refreshing (although, disclaimer, I’m a white lady with more work to do in this area, so i’m not an authority here and other insights should surely be noted too)
Separately but related in the way that family-friendly musicals help me cope, this twitter thread also helped me cope with the seemingly endless feeling of this pandemic. And, if you’re going to Twitter anyway, you might also want to check out my new favorite account (hint: if you like the photo below, you will LOVE it).
comfort + coziness
I recommend weighted blankets to anyone who likes to feel like they’re in a temporary cocoon. I also did something unexpected this month and cleaned out a big portion of my closet. I’m mentioning it here because it made me feel way better than I expected it to. The question I asked myself as I considered each thing was, “would I choose to wear this out when the pandemic is over?” and if the answer was ‘no’ or ‘meh,’ then I boxed it up. Now, my closet is almost entirely comprised of my comfy/indoor/quarantine clothes, and only my favorite “outside” clothes that will feel good to put on when I finally have reasons to. No more clutter from the before times, or reminders of what once was. It feels up-to-date and gives me hope about the potential of later.
a [made-up] invitation I’d like to receive when this is all over