So, I'm writing a novel...

October 23, 2014

Not to brag, but in eighth grade I won the superlative for "Best Writer." I know, I know, you're super jealous ;) What does Best Writer mean in middle school anyway? I just wrote my 5-paragraph essays for English like everyone else. I wasn't even in the newspaper club or anything. I don't even know if my middle school had a newspaper club.

Anyway, I guess my eighth grade award was right about one thing - I have always loved writing. I used to think that someday, in the vague future, I might write a book, if I ever came up with a good idea. When I envisioned that vague someday, it was about 30 years in the future, when my children were all grown up, and I'd write while sitting on the porch of the Italian villa I owned.

Well, 30 years and my Italian villa will have to wait (let's be honest, I'll probably be waiting my whole life for the villa). I'm going to write it now, when my kid is not even close to grown up, sitting right here at my kitchen table.


Last week, when I was in Saint George on vacation, I woke up in my hotel room at 4am and thought "I have a good idea for a book!" so I grabbed the Best Western pad of paper and started writing. When both sides of those papers were used up, I wrote notes on my phone. And then, at 8am, which I deemed a more socially acceptable time to ask for more paper, I went down to the lobby to pick up a few more sheets. It made for one tired adventurer that day, but I was really excited about my idea.

Since then, my excitement has definitely waned, and has been replaced by the realities of writing a novel. You guys. It's hard (and I haven't even really started yet!). Anyone can crank out a 500-word blog post, but a novel with 50,000-100,000 words?? That's crazy. Not to mention, this is on top of everything else I do (I'm still not sure where my novel-writing hours are going to come from).

To be honest, I'm terrified.

But I'm doing it anyway.

I'm going to participate in National Novel Writing Month (abbreviated to the weirdly catchy NaNoWriMo, or sometimes just NaNo). It's where 300,000 people across the country write an entire novel in one month.

I'm not writing my novel for the intent of publication. In fact, I'm almost 100% sure I'll never even let anyone read this novel. But I want to prove to myself that I can do it, and it could eventually lead to a good novel (you know, 30 years down the road in my Italian villa ;). This week, I've been reading, researching, outlining, interviewing people and googling random things to prepare for November 1, and even this stage in the process has been really engaging and fun for me.

Anyway, now that I've declared my goal publicly this blog, I have thousands of people to hold me accountable! Don't let me quit. Ask me how it's going. Tell me to get off my blog and work on my book ;)



Has anyone else ever done NaNoWriMo?
Or written a book?
Or maybe just have a super motivational quote for me?
I need all the help I can get!

Hiking the Narrows

October 21, 2014



^^Officially obsessed with these red rocks.
^^Fall in the canyon is gorgeous.

 ^^So, this kept happening. 
It was partly hilarious, and partly weird/ disturbing (they didn't even ask first!).

^^You know how if there's an elk on the side of the road in Yellowstone, a million people gather round trying to take a picture? It was like that in the Narrows, but for every tiny squirrel in sight...
^^It was fairly crowded at the base of the river, but we hardly saw anyone once we started hiking up the river. We didn't get as far as we planned, but it was so fun nonetheless!









 This picture is actually from a different hike, but how could I not include it? Our little adventurer.

Bucket list item: CHECKED OFF. And it was awesome.

from the rainy northwest to the driest deserts

October 20, 2014

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I always heard that deserts were dry, dead, monotonous places. When I first moved to Utah, which is classified as a desert, I thought - yup, everyone was right. Compared to Oregon, it is very dry here. Compared to Oregon, it is substantially less green.

But you know what? The desert is growing on me. Last weekend, we went for a quick weekend getaway to Saint George. Let me tell you, Saint George is a magical place. Seriously. It's made up of beautiful sandstone red cliffs, gorgeous creosote that are almost neon in their yellow, bright blue skies, and cacti. The deserts are anything but dead: they're vibrant and alive and call me crazy, but I swear you can almost feel an energy washing over you in the desert, something in the heat and the wind that feels so alive.

I spent a good week trying to convince Jason to come with us, but in the end, he opted to spend the weekend visiting some of his brothers. So it was just me, Sam, and baby girl. I was a little worried about doing all the hiking and adventuring with a three-month-old, but she was a total champ. If she needed to nap, she napped, even if it was in the middle of a hike. If she needed to eat, she ate, even if it was on a shuttle bus filled with smelly hikers. She got a little tired of being pulled along everywhere on our last afternoon, but we just went back to our hotel and gave her a good long nap, and then she was good to go again!

Here are a few snapshots of our time in Saint George. A few more posts will be coming soon (mostly filled with these red rocks with which I'm obsessed).





Now, we're back and unpacking (I feel like I had to pack up baby's whole room for our trip! Portable crib, crib sheets, diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, pacifiers, baby carriers, clothes. Sheesh. Babies these days!). What are the chances that my daughter will be on anything that resembles a normal schedule still? I'm betting slim to none :)

Which would you pick if you had the chance:
the rainy, moderate climate or a dry desert?

Things I just can't get behind

October 17, 2014

There are some trends and habits that I totally get. Everyone's burning love for the fall season, girl scout cookies, and Pinterest, for example. But there are some things that are super popular that I just DON'T GET. We all have our weird things, and these are mine! My friend Danica recently did a post about things she hates (see it here), and I knew I just had to make a list of my own. Buckle up for a crazy lady venting about weird things!






This picture has nothing to do with the post, except to illustrate the fact that clearly,
I don't get things that normal people get ;)

Dogs elevated to human status.  I realize I'm mortally offending at least four of my closest friends by saying this, but dogs are not humans. (Please, friends, still love me?) If the statement "dogs are man's best friend" applies to you, don't you think you need more friends? I actually really like dogs, and I think they can be great companions, but I guess I've never had a relationship with a dog that comes close to a relationship with a best friend. Also, I don't get why dogs need clothes, because they have centuries of evolutionary adaptations, aka fur, to keep them warm. Maybe if I grew up with a dog I'd get why people sometimes say they're parents, only to reveal that what they mean is they're dog owners? One of my dog-loving readers, help me understand this!

Halloween.  I don't know why, but I've never really liked this holiday. I mean, I guess it's fun to dress up and get candy and such? I can't ever get into the Halloween spirit very much, but I wish I could! Dry ice cauldrons and making a cool costume would be super fun, but I'm just not into it. It's not you, Halloween, it's me.

Chevron.  I once owned a chevron patterned lanyard for work, but that's where my chevron career starts and stops. I feel like I'm majorly underperforming in this category, since everyone's laptop wallpapers and Christmas decorations and leggings and living rooms and firstborn sons are chevron patterned these days. And have you seen GroopDealz lately? Every third item is chevron! Do you think this is a passing trend or something that's here to stay?

Sandwiches.  I know, this one is so weird. I'm the type of person who would rather eat turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and bread separately than combined on a sandwich. Subway? Never once craved it. I'll eat a sandwich if someone makes one for me, but I'm never in the mood for one.

Abbreviating words. Totes cray cray adorbs, obvs. HAS NO ONE READ 1984?? Remember how our communication, and then the world, will come crashing down around us if we stop using actual language to express ourselves??? Yes, I am paranoid about this. Yes, I realize it's not healthy. Also, hours spent explaining to students that "2" and "u" are not real words has gotten to me.


So there you have it: weird things I just can't get behind. Now it's your turn! Are you with me on anything on my list? What's on your list?


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