Monthly Archives: April 2013

Mortification Monday

The Justin saga continues as I make the mistake of introducing him to my “friend” Tiffany and she decides she likes him.

 

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Rejection Playlist Volume 2, Track 11: “I Love It (I Don’t Care)”

I don’t remember where I heard “I Don’t Care (I Love It)” by Swedish Duo Icona Pop, but it just might be my new rejection anthem. It’s perfect for those days when you just need to dance it out. 

I don’t care, I love it. I don’t care.

You’re on a different road, I’m in the milky way
You want me down on earth, but I am up in space
You’re so damn hard to please, we gotta kill this switch
You’re from the 70’s, but I’m a 90’s bitch

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Bad Poetry Friday

Only If… (c. 1994)

Only if love was meant to last

it wold linger long after a night

Only if we were meant to live in the past

our memories would dance in candlelight

Only if the sun wasn’t meant to glow

we’d not be cozy or warm

Or if only the wind was meant to blow

there’d forever be a storm

Or if only we were meant to live a lifetime

we could dance among the fields

and only if war was sweet and divine

we wouldn’t have human shields

Notes: This poem. I. just. can’t.

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Fact: Writing a Book is Not Like Running A Marathon

I’m just gonna come straight out and say it: writing is hard.

You know what else is hard? Running a marathon.

There are similarities to both pursuits. They both take time and energy and stamina. They both are mostly solo activities, at least during “training.” They both come with bragging rights. Both endeavors will bleed your body and wallet dry.

I ran a marathon once, the Boston Marathon in 2008. It was terrible and awesome and something I’ll never do again. I’ll save you the time from Googling how “fast” I ran it and just tell you it took 5 hours and 35 long minutes.

As of this week, I’ve finished six manuscripts (one romance, five YA). I’ve been working on “Secret Heart,” a coming-of-age/coming out/ rom-com centered around an Unprom (Think Dawson’s Creek meets a teenage version of Kissing Jessica Stein), off and on since November. It was my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel and after letting it sit on my hard drive for two months, I saved the beginning and end chapters and chucked the rest out the window. It felt good to do that. I had zero expectations for it, especially since it’s unlike anything I’ve done. But I had a hell of a time writing it.

You know what I didn’t have hell of a time doing? Running a marathon.

Let’s face it. I’m a slow runner and a fast writer. I’m okay with that. Besides, I’ve earned a hell of a lot more money writing then I ever earned by not winning a race.

Anyone can train and run a marathon (except Boston. You have to qualify for that or run for charity like I did). Not everyone can write a book. Yeah, there’s talk around the cheese table at parties where someone says, “I could write a novel. It’s not that hard.”

Newsflash: Writing a novel is F-ing hard. Getting it published is even harder. Getting people to actually buy and read your book is hardest.

But damn if it isn’t rewarding.

The high I get from finishing a draft of a novel lasts longer than a runner’s high ever did. Also, writing doesn’t give me blisters or make it hard to walk up a flight of stairs.

Training for a marathon takes a few months, maybe more if you’re out of shape. Writing takes YEARS. There is no “training program” for writers like there are for marathoners. It doesn’t take fancy shoes and jelly beans with electrolytes. It takes sitting your ass in the chair and writing draft after draft until it stops being shitty and starts getting real.

The sad truth is, you don’t get a medal when you finish a book. There’s no silver blanket, no bagel and no banana. You don’t even get to wear a t-shirt that says “I did it.”

But writers aren’t like runners. We’re not in it for the glory. We’re in it to maybe change people’s lives. I’m okay with that.

I will never win a marathon, but every time I finish a manuscript, I WIN.

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Mortification Monday

If there was ever any question about how much of a dork I was at 13, these two entries are the proof.

 

 

 

Saturday, August 20th, 1994

Dear Diary,

I am so sunburned I look like a tomato. Adventure Island was fun though I got ditched. I really think Jason likes Sarah. They flirt a lot. We visited Mr. Pizza Head’s grave and gave him a flower. I cleaned my room but I don’t think it would stay nice for long.

Love, 

Danielle

 

Sunday, August 1st, 1994

Dear Diary

I was so embarrassed! I was doing fine acolyting when I went to take the offering I found out that my sister was bringing it down. I bit my lip to keep from laughing. I was also sent to my bed for an hour. I read (I wasn’t supposed to) and got in trouble because my sister was spying on me. Now I have to go to bed early. I don’t care though.

Love, Danielle

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Rejection Playlist Volume 2, Track 10 “Forget You”

I don’t know why I didn’t think of Cee-Lo Green before. “Forget You” (edited or unedited) is a perfect song on those dark days when you just need to dance it out. It works equally well for break-ups as it does for rejection letters.

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Bad Poetry Friday

Untitled (c. 1994)

She was my angel

my one and only girl

and if I could

I’d give her the world

But my baby grew too fast

her childhood is now

just a thing of the past

she’s out on her own

How many tears have I cried?

How many times to myself I have lied

thinking that she’ll come back

Notes: This starts what I’ll call my “angel” period.

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Boston on my Mind

The bombings at the Boston Marathon yesterday broke my heart.

That was my home.

That was my job.

That was my race.

I wasn’t there yesterday, but my author friend Carrie Jones was. I couldn’t watch the news last night, the videos were too much. I went mostly silent on social media. I made mashed potatoes with truffle oil and snickerdoodle cookies. I contacted my friends back in Boston to make sure that they were okay.

I tried to process what happened. I cried on the phone with my mom.

It really hit home for me. And as terrible and selfish as it might sound, all I could think was It could have been me.

I lived in Boston  from 2003-2008 before I packed up a rental car to move west and get married. I worked at the Boston Public Library downtown in the teen room for several years. The view from my windows was the Boston Marathon finish line. It was my goal to run it.

Boston2

The Boston Marathon is the hardest marathon to run. Not just because you run downhill for 20 miles and then have to run up Heartbreak Hill, but because unlike most marathons you have to be wicked fast  for it. You have to qualify in a another marathon, and it’s not even guaranteed you’ll run Boston if you do. I am not wicked fast. I’m wicked slow. I was also a half-marathon type of girl, never having run farther than 13.1 miles.

That changed in 2008 when on a whim, I joined up with Massachusetts Eye and Ear and ran for charity. I raised a lot of money in a short time. I over-trained and got injured. Still, I ran it. And it was the best and worst thing to ever happen to me.

I won’t tell the actual marathon story here, because it’s not relevant. What is relevant is that I crossed the finish line in 5 hours and 35 minutes.

Boston3

Almost at the finish line.

The thing that hits home with the explosions and timeline of it all is that at the time the two bombs went off, those weren’t your wicked fast runners finishing. Those were the charity runners finishing between the 4 hour to 4:40 mark. Those were runners Like Me. The people at the finish line were spectators like my mom.

After the marathon. Tired and proud and slightly delirious.

After the marathon. Tired and proud and slightly delirious.

Watching the news and Facebook and Twitter updates made me feel so helpless. What could I do 2,484 miles away in Seattle?

I’m certain that Boston will bounce back from this. Chances are, I will too. There’s nothing my adopted hometown is but resilient. We reversed the Curse of the Bambino in  2004 and 2007. We go out and spend an entire day cheering for runners we don’t know, until the last stragglers cross the finish line. We help each other out.

The Wellesley girls offer love to the runners

The Wellesley girls offer love to the runners

 

I know Marathon Monday won’t be the same after this. What was once a giant party will be marred by those two explosions. But marathoners are badass. We run injured. We run sick. We finish regardless of the cost. No one will be able to take those miles away from us.  This is our marathon.

And if you’re still feeling helpless, like me, and wondering what you can do to help, please donate to the Red Cross.

 

Boston, I love you. I’ve got your back.

 

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Mortification Monday

The Justin drama returns, as does my portrayal of a cold-hearted bitch. I don’t understand why Justin is into me. I don’t even like the 13 year -old version of me.

 

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Rejection Playlist Volume 2, Track 9 “There There”

Radiohead’s “There There” is one of the most haunting songs I’ve ever heard. It’s moody which makes it perfect for this playlist.

In pitch dark I go walking in your landscape
Broken branches trip me as I speak
Just cause you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there
Just cause you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there
There’s always a siren singing you to shipwreck (don’t reach out, don’t reach out)
Steer away from these rocks we’d be a walking disaster (don’t reach out, don’t reach out)
Just cause you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say for me, the “siren singing you to a shipwreck” is self-doubt feeding into anxiety feeding into self-doubt. Just cause I feel it doesn’t mean it’s there. More than likely I’m beating myself up more than I should.

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