convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #46

i’m talking to strangers?! what?! why?! here, read this.

i gave my address and name to the first poll worker (pw#1). he directed me to the second, as that guy (pw #2) had the list containing all residents of my street who were registered to vote. once i was cleared, he directed me to the curtained cubicles where i’d go to fill in my ballot. i filled in the bubbles carefully, so each one counted. then i headed to the next set of tables.

pw #3: oh, we’ve got a surprise for you.

me: okay…?

pw #3: just a minute. first, what’s your address, honey?

me: *gives address*

pw #3: oh, she’ll take care of you. *points to adjacent poll worker*

pw #4: what’s your name?

me: *spells it for her*

pw #4: *searches for name*

pw #3: that’s a beautiful necklace.

me: oh, thank you!

another voter finished and walked over to the table where pw #3 marked her off the list.

me: *wonders what’s taking so long* *notices pw #4 is looking under the wrong street address* *points out mistake*

meanwhile, pw #3 cleared the other voter and she went to the machine (right next to me) to turn in her ballot. as her ballot was sucked into the machine, pw #5 declared: you’re the 1000th voter!

me: *thinks to self: aww, man. that was supposed to be MY surprise.*

pw#3 finally found my name and i stepped over to the machine to submit my ballot.

me: does it matter what way?

pw #5: nope. just stick it in.

me: *giggles to self*

pw #5: you’re the 1001st voter. you were too slow to be 1000.

me: oh, but, *refrains from pointing out pw#4’s slow movements* yes, well, 1001 is still cool. do i get a sticker?

pw #5: we ran out of those three voters ago. sorry.

no, 1000st voter award. no “i voted” sticker, but i still left the place grinning. for me, there was (and always is) something so grand about the physical act of voting. i felt equal, powerful, important.

i took my 1001 and left grateful to have the opportunity to exercise my constitutional right to “boat” (as my niece baby mac calls it).

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writing retreat

i’d heard of these things where a bunch of writers travel to a specific locale and do nothing* but write. i’m not entirely sure how i got (a) the label “writer” and (b) an invite to rockport, MA, but i did and i was and i accepted both.

after a weekend of words, i find myself only left with these:


and here are these:

rockport, MA
a little brainstorming. a little handwriting, a little afternoon sunshine.
walking for inspiration
my shadow is going places. hopefully the rest of me will too.
leaving my mark.
alternate views
game night
back to work
one last trip to the beach. note, it’s a little difficult to form your own ideas when another author’s words run on repeat in your head: “the sky and the sand and the sea and Corr.”

the end.

*nothing but eat, drink, listen to music, talk, play games, cook, brainstorm, sleep and write.

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convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #6

even though my mom taught me not to, here’s why i’m talking with strangers.

i pulled into the grocery store parking lot and got out. unfortunately, my finger didn’t move as fast as the rest of me and as a result, got smashed in the car door.

a few seconds later, i could breathe through the pain, but looked at my finger and there was blood everywhere. i couldn’t exactly go into a store like that, so i plunked my purse onto the trunk of my car and got out tissue. i noticed someone out of the corner of my eye and it’s the guy putting away the shopping carts. he was making his way over to me (i parked next to the cart holding area), so i’m not exactly sure if he was just doing his job, coming over to comment on my stupidity, or was maybe going to offer some concern? when it was clear he had something to say, i looked away from my damaged finger and over to him.

him: i was just trying to read your jersey.

me: oh. um, well, it says devils lacrosse club.

him: are you a good player?

me: i was. this is from high school.

him: where was that?

me: new jersey.

him: oh, yes like the [new jersey devils] hockey team. are you going to play in the Olympics?

me: i wish. it’s not an Olympic sport yet.

him: it’s not? too bad.

i couldn’t agree more, and it has been a lifelong (unattainable) dream of mine to be in the olympics, but come on, look at me in this moment. i couldn’t be less of an Olympian. i just shut my own finger in the car door. clearly, i’m going to need some more time.

perhaps i’ll be ready for the 2016 summer Olympics.

and, for the time being, at least the guy took my mind off the incredible pain of my stupidity.


it starts off small…

with a comment like THIS.

and a reply like THIS.

and before i know it, i’m having a conversation with an agent of awesomesauce and an editor from a big name publisher. both who work with kids books. which is what i happen to write.

sure, the conversation is lighthearted and about things unrelated to books, but this is the thing (all you Twitter naysayers out there): it’s all about networking. and no, that’s not the sole reason i’m on Twitter. i’m on there with the intention of education and sure, for a bit of procrastination. networking just happens to be a happy side effect since the publishing community is so active on Twitter.

and maybe now when my query comes in with the masses of other query letters, it won’t get smushed at the bottom of the electronic pile. maybe it’ll get moved to the top because, hmm, my name is familiar. and maybe when i’m agented and my MSS is being submitted, it too will go to the head of the class instead of being ignored because, hey, i “know” that girl from twitter and i liked what i saw.

let’s take a moment to savor that dream.

you know what though? even if this is just a big game of what if and none of it comes to fruition, for this tiny moment today, i feel important. people (of influence) were talking about me without any original input from me. that’s plain lovely.

score one more for Twitter.