i had some mind blowing experiences this week. and now that i’ve scraped the brains off the walls, i’m here to tell the tale.

experience #1. i had dinner with a grad school friend. her husband calls these dinners our “secret meetings” which makes us feel all kinds of sneaky and spy like, but in all reality, we’re just eating, drinking, giggling, gossiping, and talking writing. i don’t have many writerly friends that i can see IN PERSON on a regular basis and there’s something to be said about sharing a beer while lamenting the lack of character voices in our heads. (and that’s why we’re NOT spies. sometimes, we hear voices. it gets distracting when you’re trying to do recon.)

but the really amazing thing was that she handed over my MS. the one i’ve been working on since before, through, and after grad school. my first love. and also the one i was taking a break from. she’d had it since july, but to be fair, was going through some crazy times and life got in the way. i get it. my writing is not a priority of hers, but in this time when i still haven’t figured out the whole “how to get critique partners” thing, she’s all i’ve got. and it may have taken 4 months, but man, did she deliver. and we talked about my manuscript in-depth 3 different times over the course of the meal! i even got my pen out and started taking notes. i can’t tell you how refreshing that felt. she laid out the weakness and pumped up the strong points and suggested some ideas that got my brain aswirling. i left dinner on a writerly high i haven’t felt since grad school ended. and i left excited about my first love MS all over again. i felt like a real writer (for probably the third time in my life). i left there with attainable goals of what to fix and how to fix it. that was the most delicious part.

experience #2. i played squash again. of course i lost every single match, but my serve is consistently in and i am hitting some hot shots and most importantly, i am getting on the scoreboard. sure, i keep forgetting the ball doesn’t bounce and so i wind up in a tennis motion only to swing and hit air. (yeah, it’s as embarrassing as it sounds). but for only having played the game twice, for a total of 2 hours, my improvement is pretty rapid, i must say. so much so that i’m thinking about getting my own gear. (Santa, you listening?) this game is addicting. it’s refreshing. it’s exhilarating. it’s FAST. and it gives me an attainable goal. beat my coworker. that is the most delicious part.

but the thing i learned that splattered my brains across the walls?

i realized that i can’t do this alone.

you can’t play squash by yourself and you can’t write all by yourself. sure, i’m in charge of my own production (whether it’s returning a shot or writing a novel), but you need a teammate there to return the volley or spin you around and point you down the path towards THE END.

i’ve had teammates all my life, in the form of soccer and lacrosse and basketball and tennis teams and siblings and friends and cousins. why is it so shocking that i still need them?

probably because i’m a perfectionist and when i set my mind to do something, i know (read: i think) that the best way to get it done is to do it my way. but that isn’t always right and frankly, it gets lonely. i’m tired of that. i’m ready to accept any and all forms of help. whether it’s in the shape of a squash racket, manuscript critiques, or a RAH RAH YOU CAN DO IT from the sidelines.


epiphanies are exhausting.

(or maybe it’s just all that running around the squash court.)


getting to know you. or just me.

i’ve heard that in order to really know someone, you should travel with them. and considering i’m leaving for italy in 12 days, i guess i’m about to get to know myself really well.

here’s what i know pre-solo-international trip:

i have blonde hair.

i have played, currently play, and will continue to play sports for the rest of my life. and when i get too old to play, i’ll continue to watch and support the local teams.

i am severely directionally challenged. it’s annoying. and almost unbelievable. and it appears to rub off on people when i’m with them.

i love wine. and beer. i know a lot more about beer than people originally suspect, so much so that the majority of my male coworkers ask me what they should get. at lunch. (yes, we occasionally get treated to a beverage at lunch).

i read YA books. all the time. i used to say it was for research purposes (since that’s what i write), but i can now admit that i just plain like that genre better than adult books (no, not THAT kind of adult book).

i got a new phone (droid incredible) and activated it this past weekend. i have officially joined the 21st century. it’s amazing and confusing all at once. sometimes i feel like i’m the only one of my generation who has a hard time with technology and as such, i’m learning how to use it through trial and error. mostly error and mostly, by accident. but by accident or on purpose, i feel powerful with this mini computer in my hand. and less alone. because now i can contact anyone on phone, email, text, skype, or on TWITTER. yes, folks. i can now access TWITTER on my phone. my life is complete. (wow, that’s strangely sad.)

i worry a lot. about everything. about anything. i realize it’s a waste of time. but i can’t stop. especially when it comes to this upcoming trip to italy. and as a result of all this anxious energy, i’m planning out every inch of my trip. but that can be bad because things will get knocked off schedule and i have to remember to remain flexible. (what’s italian for “go with the flow?”)

i love pizza. especially this kind.

i adore ice cream. and i’m obsessed with this cookies and cream ice cream cake from JP licks. it’s an ice cream shop local to massachusetts and honestly, one that isn’t my favorite. i’d rather go to christina’s in inman square or berryline in cambridge. but my roommate got this cake as a thank you for taking a last minute babysitting job. and let me tell you, this cake is better than dollars. (i feel like we’re in that trident commercial where the dad comes home, opens his wallet to find it empty, and asks the babysitter if he can pay her in trident layers gum. she squeals with excitement. but this cake is WAY better than gum, even trident layers). i find it weird that i like this cake so much because 95% of the cake is ice cream from JP licks, which i’ve already established isn’t my first choice. there must be some other ingredients they toss in there to make it so extraordinary. and you better believe that for every birthday party i attend from here on out, i’m bringing one of these. you know you want to invite me now, don’t you?

i write handwritten thank you notes after christmas. and my birthday. and random other times i deem thank you note worthy. my mom trained me right and, well, who doesn’t love getting a handwritten note in the mail? i know i do.

even though i crave it, i haven’t had a cup of coffee in approximately 9 months since it makes me feel sick. here’s hoping the italians put something different in their espresso because i’m about to drink it. not right this second, but you know, in approximately 12 days.

i’m the 3rd of 4 kids. and i’m the shortest. by 8 inches.

i ask a lot of questions, especially during movies. i find movies hard to follow because it’s not like a book where i can just go back and re-read. so i ask questions. to the annoyance of everyone around me. perhaps that’s why i don’t watch many movies. i don’t like being annoying, but i find it very hard to keep quiet. which is weird because it’s easy for me to be quiet at all other times of the day. except when i’m playing sports.

here’s hoping that when you add all of those ingredients together, i’m like that JP licks cake. irresistible, surprisingly so.

now you know all these fun, random, potentially boring facts about me, which means it’s your turn to tell me something about yourself, so i can get to know YOU and YOU and YOU, my dear readers.