Wanderlusty Wednesday: A Series of Unfortunate Events (in Prague)

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I’ve been reading a lot of personal essays on blogs lately, so I thought I’d try my hand at it. First up: my true-life story about why Prague sucks.*

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Writers: On Your Day Job

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Confession: when I first started writing *for real*, I honestly believed I only had a year or two of left of having to work a day job. “I’ll just stick it out until I finish this book,” I thought confidently. “I can deal with this until my glamorous writing career starts.”

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How to Use Your Learning Style to Adjust Your Writing Style


What’s your learning style?

Figuring that out for yourself could help you figure out what your most successful approach to writing could be. Read on for more…

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If You Cannot Be Unafraid


This week I learned:

If you cannot be unafraid, be afraid and happy.

Quote taken from this beautiful book.

It’s so simple, and goes along with what I want for my life, which is to worry less, be in the moment more, and yet it’s something I’ve never seen articulated so well until now.

I’m afraid all the time. Of disease, of growing old, of losing someone I love, of terrorism, of screwing up, of never becoming successful, of what other people think of me or say about me, of missing opportunities, of choosing the wrong thing, of choosing the right thing and then somehow squandering it. Of writing the wrong thing, of choosing the wrong life, of being the wrong person.

I worry too much. I know this. I try and stop. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don’t.

But if I can’t not worry–and I can’t, not at all the time–I can worry and at the same time be happy about other things. Like a new blue chair in the corner of my living room, and the basil plant I just bought. How when watering it last night on my deck, I finally made friends with my neighbor, who is a delightfully sweet Russian girl who wants to become friends. How much I am really liking my work in progress at the moment. That there are bagels in the office today. Little things.

This week I am:

Reading This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. I’ve read her other two books, and they were both super sweet, well-written YA romances, and this is proving to be much of the same. The only complaint I would have is that these books aren’t really ones that stay with you; I end up forgetting the characters’ names and a lot of the plot the moment I finish the book.

Writing The Play Story. 55K words in and somewhere between the first and second turning points. It’s going to be too long, but then my first drafts always are.

Watching I am hooked on this ridiculous, implausible, unrealistic television show. It is the perfect thing to have on when you want to be distracted or entertained, which is all I’m really looking for from TV these days.

Listening to The Spotify top 100 Punk Songs playlist is top-notch.

Cooking We figured out how to use our communal grills in our apartment’s courtyard and have been grilling chicken (him) and polenta (me) with asparagus, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, and it is the perfect simple nutritious delicious summer dinner.

Have a great weekend and I hope you can be afraid and happy too.

Image found here

MK’s Book Reviews: The Raven King

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I finished this!

He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.

Here is what I thought.

There were a lot of beautiful things in this novel, as there were in the previous three. Beautiful prose, bizarre magic, insane imagery, these characters I have come to know and love.

And yet ….

I was a little let down.

And I know that that’s partly because my expectations were sky-high.

I can’t get into why without getting spoiler-y, so SPOILERS below the jump.


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Wanderlusty Wednesday: Where To Go?

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I haven’t written about traveling in a while, mostly because I haven’t traveled in a while…

I got a new job, and I now have half the vacation days I used to have. Which blows, for sure, but I now have a job I like, with coworkers I like, doing work I like to do (some of which involves writing!) and so it seemed to be a sacrifice worth making. (For now.)

But that means being choosy about where I decide to travel to. I really only have the days for one big trip (I used to go on two). In prior years, I would always pair a more ambitious, international trip (Greek Islands, Patagonia, the Loire Valley) with a more relaxed trip closer to home (St. John, Key West, the California Coast).

There are pros and cons to both. Big international trips generally take me to more foreign places, where I see more, learn more, expand my horizons further. They tend to happen with just my boyfriend and me, which is nice. They also generally require more money, more planning, and more stress. Smaller closer-to-home trips are generally more relaxing, cheaper, and require less planning. They also tend to happen with a group of people, be they friends or family, which is nice. But then I crave alone time with my boyfriend, plus I can only lie on a beach for about a day before I get bored and feel the need to do something.

But what does one do when forced to choose between the two? Can anyone recommend a good mix of near yet far, relaxing yet exciting, exotic yet not bank-breaking?

Image of Lake Tahoe from our California trip taken by me, October 2013