Writing

Try New Things, Go New Places

Last night Tiffany and I went to Uncle Julio’s. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen her so I was super duper excited for us to hang out! As always, we ordered a bunch of food and caught each other up on our lives. I’ve said this a gazillion times now, but I’ll always be thankful to Elmhurst College for introducing us. Friends like her are most definitely rare!

I have to definitely mention how delicious the food is here! We went with chicken nachos [that were to die for] for an appetizer, and let me tell ya, no regrets! And then we got tacos as our main meal. Someone [ME!!!] never says no to tacos because they’re SO yummy! We also decided to try Uncle Julio’s famous chocolate pinata. It was definitely interesting (see the aftermath below!)! You hit the pinata and then all these treats [churros, pineapple, blackberries, strawberries, and pineapple] fall out. TRY IT! If you’re asking if I recommend this place? Hell yeah! Go, go, go!

pinat

Uncle Julio’s famous chocolate pinata that everyone must try at least once 🙂

~ Say yes to new adventures ~

 

Writing

Your Story is Important

My current course, Finalizing Manuscripts, is teaching me so much on how to be a more concise and concrete writer. We’re reading Writer’s Diet by Helen Sword, which also has a website where you can go and test your writing. Check it out:

Writer’s Diet

It’ll tell you how many verbs, nouns, prepositions, etc. are in your story and give you a “diet diagnosis.” I highly recommend it! I’ve been testing so many of my writing pieces on there and love seeing how my writing has changed when I take out excess words.

L E T ‘ S  T A L K   A B O U T . . .

I have written my first three chapters of my memoir. Of course they need more revising, but I couldn’t be more ecstatic. It has definitely been challenging putting the chapters together, but also extremely worth it! I struggle with telling too much and making my writing more active, so that’s what I’m focusing now. Along with more scenes and making my characters stand out. It’s a process, but an exciting one for sure! I love editing, however, I’ll be honest, it’s hard! But that’s also one of the most interesting parts of it. When you’ve finally edited your piece and it’s come together how you want it — best feeling ever. Just keep at it and you’ll get to where you want to be!

The expert in anything was once a beginner.

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Writing

The Universe Loves a Believer

My class, Finding Markets, ended yesterday and it was seriously one of my favorite classes I’ve ever taken. It was a five-week class dedicated to ways of getting your work published and finding venues where to submit your work. I just learned so much that I’m not sure I would’ve picked up if it weren’t for this course. One of the texts we read in class was The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, and let me tell ya, it’s great! It has so much information on how to get your writing out there to the book publishing journey to finding an agent. I highly recommend it!

Throughout these five weeks, we were given certain assignments that were so interesting and beneficial. There’s two that I absolutely have to mention — writer’s referrals and engaging with an author. For the writer’s referral, we had to find venues to submit our writing for our classmates, and two really great venues that were recommended to me by Karli and Rachel were River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative and bioStories. Since my genre is nonfiction, these venues are wonderful.

If you’re interested, check them out:

River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative

bioStories

Also, while you’re there, read some of the published work because it’s extraordinary!

For the author engagement, we had to either interview and author or attend an author presentation at a bookstore. I attended Lisa Scottoline’s presentation. Scottoline writes legal thrillers. It was just great because I got to learn what the publishing journey is like and specific details when it comes to her books. I’d also highly recommend to engage with author because you find out so much that is beneficial and can help you in the future. Anderson’s Bookshop is great for author presentations if you’re looking for somewhere to attend.

Now on to the last five weeks of this grad school journey. Always believe & never give up!

Fitness · Writing

On Wednesdays We Run

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved running. I try to run outside a few times a week, but with how busy we are, sometimes that just isn’t possible, so now that it’s finally really nice out constantly, I’ve decided to make Wednesday my day I run outside. I’ve already committed to this (in my head) and I refuse to give up. This also guarantees me a run day every single week. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll be running in the morning, middle of the day, or in the late afternoon. I think I’ll switch it up and see which time I like best. As far as how long or how far I’ll be running – haven’t really decided that either. I’m just letting the journey take me where it takes me. I do, however, know where I’ll be running. I run in two different locations because I like the different feel of them – one is sand and one is concrete. I think that alternating between locations is beneficial because it limits your body to getting used to one thing and then it’s hard to adjust when you want to change it up. We’ll see how the journey goes!

 

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it.” – Oprah Winfrey

Writing

Keep Calm and Sparkle On

TEA

Anyone else a tea fanatic?! I mean don’t get me wrong, coffee is out of this world, but tea is pretty delicious! Along with this, I think my cup collection is coming along pretty nicely. I bought the one pictured above at francesca’s because, I mean look at it, I couldn’t resit. Such pretty words!

After working on my thesis today, I decided to do some retail therapy. Sometimes you just have to take time for yourself, relax, and do what you love. However, I must say, my little memoir is slowly coming along. I’m really liking the direction it’s going in and I’m always working towards perfecting it. I’ve finished drafts of the first two chapters, and honestly, sometimes you surprise yourself with how much you remember and how you can craft it into words. Or maybe that’s just me who feels that way!

Last night in class as we were discussing, Karli (HEY KARLI!) introduced us to The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, and I cannot wait to read it! We all know nonfiction is my favorite genre (it’s the ultimate!) and I love reading memoirs because I love seeing people’s stories  and seeing how I can  better my own writing. Send me your manuscripts because I’d love to read them!

On another note, it’s cliche, but life gets stressful. Take time to yourself. No matter what it is that releases some of that stress — do it! For me, some things include writing, running, shopping, getting my nails done, putting away my phone, [contemplating] taking a social media break, and spending time in nature [if that makes sense!] Cleanse. the. soul.

pampe