Filtering by Tag: audrey hepburn

Ten Months Sober

So, this is a writing blog. I rarely, if ever, get any sort of personal. Briefly, last September, I mentioned my life, and how much things had changed. Today, I want to talk more about that.

This time last year, things were wildly different. I was on the verge of quitting the job I'd been at for 8 years to take a brand new job, about to celebrate 7 years with someone I loved very much. Of course, there are no relationships without struggles, and a couple weeks after our anniversary, the struggles broke us.

And...well, I've been picking up the pieces ever since.

Little by little, I've been rebuilding my life. True, it's taking a lot longer than I wanted it to, but I've been told I'm too hard on myself.

I've been finding the good, though, amid the absolute devastation. I have found a group of friends who love and accept me just the way I am. They don't tell me I'm awesome and stroke my ego 24/7. If I need to hear something, even if I don't WANT to, they'll say it. Everyone should have friends like these people.

I've also been rediscovering myself. In a relationship, it's easy to lose yourself. It's easy to bend and twist and compromise yourself to be what you think the other person wants you to be, until at some point you look in the mirror and you're not sure you recognize the reflection. I'd spent so long trying to be this idealized version of myself that it was almost like I didn't exist.

Over the last ten months, I've gotten to know myself again. And you know what? I like me. I'm lighter and sillier than the woman I was within the walls of that relationship. I'm trying new things and going new places and learning to be independent. I've spent hours watching Supernatural and Friends and Gilmore Girls and Audrey Hepburn movies. I've had Ben & Jerry's for dinner one night, and then pizza for dinner the next twelve nights (all while losing over 40 lbs). I've hung out with my fabulous friends until the wee hours. I've spent entire days cuddling with my puppies and dancing to Taylor Swift. I have met new people, experienced new things, and I've found a confidence that had all but disappeared. I've started planning a life that is all mine. A life of love and laughter and travel and pizza and words and puppy cuddles and Dean Winchester (if only on my TV screen). I've learned that not only am I capable of being alone, I actually LIKE it.

And you know what else I've been doing? Writing. So much writing.

I went from rewriting the same novel for damn near 8 years, over and over and over, to finishing that novel and then whipping through an all new one. One that came so fast and easy to me, and that turned out so well that I'm astounded. I fell in love with writing again. I found my voice - did you know that's not just something people say? All those years I struggled with that one book? I have pinpointed why it wouldn't work. It was too serious. The follow-up book managed to be lighter, funnier, in spite of the heavy issues my characters are dealing with. I am confident that I can rework that first book and turn it into exactly what I've wanted it to be.

So, yeah. I got hurt. I got hurt in ways that left me shaken and doubtful of my worth as a human being. I felt crazy and confused and scared and stupid and alone. Some days, I thought I wouldn't survive the pain, thought I couldn't pick myself up and go on living. But here I am, almost a year later, still standing. And more than that, I'm stronger than before. Life is weird that way. Just when you think you can't make it, there are a million reasons why you can. One person can't - and shouldn't - be your everything. And it's okay to let go of the past and move on with your life.

As Taylor Swift sings in the song that has become my constant soundtrack, "The rain came pouring down, when I was drowning, that's when I could finally breathe."

And, I'm happy to report, that I am breathing just fine.





My Fancy Office

As mentioned in my previous post, I have a new, fancy-schmancy office that I'm slightly obsessed with. Today, I thought I'd share pictures with you:


The view from the doorway, complete with snoozing pup. Don't you just love the chandelier? It makes me feel so fancy!



To the left, to the left...


Inside wall, adorned with my muse, Ms. Audrey Hepburn. The center picture was a Christmas gift from Dana's mom, and the smaller two were from my lovely friend Christina. I love the quote on the left one: "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says 'I'm possible!'"

Below the pictures, an antique typewriter atop my old nightstand (which will be getting a fresh coat of paint and some new pulls soon).



Another view of one of my shelves. This one I assembled all on my own. I'm self-professed NOT handy, so I'm super proud of this! It is filled with assorted books and a smattering of trinkets, including a Sara Bareilles autograph (LOVE), a framed picture of Santorini, Greece, and my Plot Bunny.



The other shelf is occupied by my Audrey Hepburn collection (books, dolls, etc.), followed by a selection of books on writing. The next shelf down is stocked with my favorite romance authors (Jennifer Crusie, Kristan Higgins, Tawna Fenske, etc.) The cabinet is a favorite piece of mine. I found it at a flea market and fell in love. Nothing like storage that is also gorgeous to look at!



Ahh...I love these. Dana has recently discovered her artistic gene. The painting was her very first attempt at acrylic paints, and above it, a pencil drawing of Audrey.

The desk serves as the centerpiece of the room and it's something I'm really quite proud of. All through the process of decorating, I had an idea of what sort of "look" I was going for, and I just couldn't find the desk I wanted anywhere. Finally, we stumbled upon this old, beat-up table at the same flea market the cabinet was purchased from. It needed work, but it had potential. So I bought it for a whopping $40. Another $10 on paint and $15 on knobs and the help of the fabulous Christina, and voila!


A sort of before & after shot. I used the red as an accent color when I distressed the desk.


Ahh, the knobs. I have always wanted an excuse to buy fancy knobs from Hobby Lobby, and I finally had one!



The final product, before I finished putting the rest of the room together.

Behind the door, I also have a huge closet -- big enough to put another bookshelf in! The room itself is rather small, but I've got so much storage! I also have plans to put a French door on eventually...I've always wanted a French door...

So, there we have it! I'm proud of this room. From conception to execution, this has been so much FUN to decorate! Now, if only I could get some writing done in there...



I is for Icon


No, not a writerly icon. My personal icon. And since I missed the opportunity with A and H to pay homage to this wonderful woman, I booted my original I post and made room.

I is for Icon.

Ms. Audrey Hepburn, as a matter of fact.



Audrey epitomizes beauty, grace and charm. If you've ever seen one of her movies, you know what I mean. Audrey in Sabrina? Ridiculously charming and adorable. Breakfast at Tiffany's? Priceless. Roman Holiday? Gah! So cute I can't stand it!

But aside from all that, she was a great person. In the later years of her life, she dedicated her time to charity work and became an ambassador for UNICEF. Above all else, this is what makes her so darn admirable.


Just look at that smile in the face of such devastation.

This is why Audrey Hepburn is my Icon. Aside from her beauty and grace, she had heart and compassion. And that's something I aspire to have each and every day.



Happiness is...

I woke up in a pretty good mood this morning. I'm not sure why. Yesterday wasn't the greatest of days. Maybe it was the wedding I went to on Sunday. My cousin got married in her backyard, and the moment she started down the "aisle" it started to rain. Regardless, she and the groom were so happy to be getting married they had smiles on their faces. They rushed the ceremony because they were the only ones under a tarp and the rest of us were getting soaked, but they were in such good spirits that my heart filled with happiness. I'm really happy for her. And it did my heart good to see that love like that can exist in this world and not just in books.

Anyway, I don't have much time -- or much patience, for that matter. I've got a cat attacking my fingers and chewing on my ring as I type. So this post is going to be quick. I just wanted to capture my good mood by listing a few things that make me happy.

1. A real, live copy of MY book!

2. Jewel (particularly at the moment, Ten by Jewel)

3. Friends reruns

4. Driving (turns out I really like to drive -- who would've guessed it?)
5. The feeling of a nice pen across a sheet of paper.
6. My dog

7. My cat

8. Audrey Hepburn movies

9. The beach. Or any body of water in general.

10. Flowers from Dana for finishing yet another draft of my book




Thanks, NaNoWriMo!

I've been basking in the glow of a completed revision for the last couple days. I know I'm not finished. There are still some things that need to be fixed. But I feel like a thousand pound weight has been lifted off my shoulders. And it feels GREAT!


(Okay, so this isn't me. But Audrey's smile is exactly how I feel, plus she's just so cute!)

I ordered my free proof copy from Createspace. The cover isn't exactly what I wanted and I rushed the blurb on the back and the About the Author section, but it'll still be pretty darn cool to hold that book in my hands.

I've decided to get back to work on a previous WiP and let this one simmer for a while. At least a couple weeks. If I read that book one more time, I think I'll explode. Either that or I'll do something drastic and delete the files. And that would be bad. Really bad.

One of the good things about this project is that it taught me a lot about my writing process. I always thought I was the type to write a chapter, revise it and go on to the next chapter. Turns out, I work much better just writing straight through and THEN revising. It's one hell of a task, turning off that inner editor. But totally worth it. Before, I would get so caught up in perfecting each scene in each chapter that I'd only make it about five chapters in before I gave up (now that I think about it, this may be why I have a few gray hairs...)

I really think I have NaNoWriMo to thank for this lesson. If I hadn't decided to take part in the craziness, who knows how long I would have struggled to finish a project? I'm excited to get back to work on my old WiP using my new process. I think it'll do wonders. So, thank you, NaNo!



I've been thinking a lot about the world of self-publishing. Do any of you do it? If so, how do you like it? Is it better to go the conventional route and query agents and all that jazz? Any thoughts would be much appreciated!