Friday, November 29, 2013

A Parade of Crock Pots

Ah, the end of  November.

I don't know about you - but I think I've eaten enough food to last me for a few days. As our family party of about 35 gathered together, we celebrated with tables of food and enough crock pots to feed an army.

It was wonderful.

Also, the reason why I haven't posted much this week. I've been way too busy eating, hanging out with my family, and wining NaNoWriMo.

Haven't I mentioned that part yet?

Yup. For the sixth year in a row I've written 50,000 words in 30 days. In fact,  I won on Tuesday. Which was always my goal. I knew that once I drove up North to see my family for Thanksgiving I wasn't going to get a single word written and I wanted to be done with NaNoWriMo before then.

I was so excited when I hit that 50k mark on Tuesday. While it's not the first time and I write all of the time, it's still an accomplishment. It's even something I'm somewhat proud of. For a first and incomplete draft that is.

There's still work to do. I have at least three chapters to write and a lot of gaps to fill in before I can say my draft is complete. But I still hit my goal which is awesome.

The number one question people ask now?

Can I read your novel?

My answer:


Which, I realize sounds unfair. I've only been talking about this novel for the last 30 days and preparing for it for even longer. I'm happy with what I've done and everyone has been really supportive. Everyone who has been supporting me should be allowed to read it, right?


Because it's still a rough draft. It's the FIRST rough draft out of several. There is no way this thing is seeing the light of day. At least not yet. Yes, I'm happy with what I've done, but there is still so much work to do before I feel like I can show it to anyone. Do you think JK Rowling let peering eyes see the first draft of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? Probably not. If anyone did, it was a very select few.

As for now... I'm relaxing. I'm taking a bit of a break from novel writing, at least for the next couple of days. I plan on picking up the pen (or keyboard in this case) probably sometime next week because I've been daydreaming about how the rest of the story will go.

Until then, I'm hanging out with my family and some friends on my little break before the crazy of Christmas and loading up my iPod with Christmas music.

How was everyone else's Thanksgiving? (If you celebrate it.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In Defense of Gift-Giving

'Tis the season of commercials, newspaper ads, coupons, giveaways, deals, and door-busters. While some people are planning their perfect Thanksgiving meal for Thursday - everyone else is planning their battle plan for Black Friday.

I think most of us can agree that Black Friday has gone out of hand. Example? My sister works at Victoria's Secret. The location where she works has it's own Pink store. (Yes, a separate Pink store. Her location is MASSIVE AND AWESOME.) A couple years ago on Black Friday when they opened their doors at midnight, hoards of girls stormed through to get their hands on the sales. A few moments later the store had to be evacuated because one of the workers was trampled.

She was eight months pregnant.

Yeah. A woman in her third trimester got trampled.

Now, I don't think this has happened at this location since and everyone has learned their lessons. At least at this store. So please no Victoria's Secret/Pink bashing, okay?

We can still agree- it's gotten out of hand. With all of the commercialism of getting the best gift and being sure everything is perfect for the holidays, it can make anyone want to give up all together. Which is sad, because Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) isn't about that.

Yet... I still like it.

Christmas, of course, but gift giving too. I genuinely like searching for presents for my friends and family. I enjoy thinking about what they want or need or what will make them smile. I don't have a ton of money (I work at a church... I have a decent paycheck and I'm grateful for it, but I also don't have wads of cash to throw around everywhere.) so I don't have a whole lot of opportunities to randomly buy things for people. Especially when there are so many other ways I can show people I care about them. I can do that through quality time, helping them out, babysitting their kids, going to a movie meeting them for coffee, sending a thoughtful note, etc.

But when I actually have the excuse to get something awesome for someone I care about - I like to take it.

Gifts can mean a lot. Sitting on my desk at work, there's a small crystal key-chain. It was a gift from a good friend of mine who spent a semester in Hungary and got me a little souvenir. It's nothing big, expensive, or special. However, I also know this friend HATES spending money. I mean - REALLY hates spending money. So the fact that they decided to spend money and got me something while they were away is special.

Also on my desk, is a booklet of Doctor Who sticky notes. (Thought Regenerators to be specific.) Nothing big. Nothing special. But it was a small gift from someone in my congregation who knows I love Doctor Who and when they saw it they thought of me. Because of that, it's special.

A few years ago, my dad got my mom a necklace for Christmas. It wasn't outrageously expensive, but it did have a few small diamonds. My mom cried when she opened the box. She hadn't gotten a really nice piece of jewelry in a long time and the fact that my dad went out of his way to get it meant something. It was special.

There's something really awesome about being able to pick out something for someone you love and seeing their face when they receive it. Because it's an act of love.

It's when the gift-giving becomes stressful, an obligation, and a competition when it becomes a problem. We get caught up in wanting whatever we give to be the biggest and the best or the most expensive. (Or at least appear expensive because you actually got it a million percent off on Black Friday.) It's when we use presents as a way to show off and be all "See? I'm the best because I got you the best gift." That's a problem.

But using gifts as a way to express and share love with others because you genuinely care about them? I see nothing wrong with that.

I know not everyone feels the same way, and that's 100% okay. I've heard of people giving up giving presents all together. Or donating to good causes instead of buying presents. Or buying experiences vs. physical gifts. Those are all awesome things because they're each a unique expression of how people share their love this time of year.

So yes, I will probably go out on Black Friday. Not with all of the crazy people trampling each other at midnight or on Thanksgiving night as many stores are doing now. But later in the afternoon when things have calmed down, yeah, I'll probably be there. My sister and I have actually talked about researching some of the deals so we can go in on some gifts and shop together while I'm in town over Thanksgiving.

Because in a way - giving something to someone you care about is another form of giving thanks, and that's the whole point of the turkey on Thursday, right?

Glossy Blonde

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Results Are In!

Last week, I asked my readers to fill out a quick survey to get some feedback on this blog. With all of my life changes and a new blog design being worked on, I felt like it was a good time to do some blog evaluating.

First- THANK YOU to everyone who gave me feedback! I'm so glad you took the time to fill out the form and give me your thoughts. Some of you even wrote in some other things about where you are at and what's going on in your lives and your honest opinions, and I appreciate that so much.

If you want to fill out the survey - click here:

I was pretty pleased with the results. When I compared to how many people filled out the survey with how many hits I get for each post, I got a good percentage of responses. About half actually- which actually is very good!

Here is what I found out. I'll list the results with the most popular on top and then at the bottom of each list will be the least popular.

How You All Receive Updates:

1) Facebook
2) Bloglovin
3) Feedly
4) Twitter
5) Instagram & 20sb (tie)

Your Favorite Topics:

1) Daily Life
2) Faith & Friends (tied)
3) Books & Relationships & Geeky Things (tied)
4) Family & Awesome Female Role Models (tied)
5) Theatre
6) Writing
7) Product Reviews
Other: Comics & Manga (although I've never written about those... so I have no idea where that came from)

Your Favorite Ways to Communicate With Me and Other Bloggers:

1) Twitter
2) Blog Comments
3) Facebook & Email (tied)

What You Would Like to see More of:

1) Books
2) Faith
3) Advice & Other Blogs & Fiction (tied)
4) Product Reviews
5) Link-Ups
Other: My life & interests, only a few link-ups, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer

What You Would Like to see Less of:

1) Link Ups
2) Product Reviews
3) Other Blogs
4) Fiction & Books & Geek (tied)

It was interesting to go through and read what you all had to say. A lot of it made sense and didn't surprise me at all. Then there were times I would read something and be like "huh... that's interesting." Then other times the opinions would be very divided leaving me torn on what to do.

However, I do feel like I have a better idea of what some of my "niches" are and what you all like to read.

So, here are my thoughts on what I plan to do with all of this lovely information.

Sending Updates

I'll try to be more active on Facebook and being sure people know where to find me there. I will also work on promoting my blog via Bloglovin and other readers more. While on the other hand, Pinterest, Instagram, and other media are good for updates, they aren't the best. So I'll have my posts up on those - but they won't be my main focus.


I feel like I'm doing a decent job of this. (If I'm not - let me know!) I do try to respond toe very comment that is up on this blog either by email or replying in the post. Also, I love to connect to other bloggers via Twitter as well - so that seems to be working!

Blog Content

Daily Life: It amazes me how popular this is. Personally... I feel like my life is boring. However - I guess everyone feels that way. But I'll try to keep everyone updated on what's going on with me more and just what's going on in my head.

Faith: I know lately, I haven't been talking about faith quite as much as I have in the past. It's always been there, but not my main focus. I feel like a lot of that is because so much of my faith and thoughts about God have been tied in with my job situation. Until now, I haven't been able to talk about my job situation because we needed to tell the congregation first. I'm hoping now I'll be able to share more of where I'm at with faith and what I've been thinking about lately.

Friends/Relationships/Family: These are more topics I feel like I'll have some new content on soon. With my whole life change - I'm going to be moving and meeting new people and spending time with my family. I have a feeling there will be a lot of fun stories and thoughts about this in the future. Which is really exciting!

Awesome Female Role Models: This one surprised me. It was popular, but not quite as popular as I thought it was. Which is totally fine, just interesting. This series will keep going, but I don't think I'll post it every single week. Maybe just a couple of times a month when I see a character I really want to feature.

Other Blogs and Link-Ups: This was one that confused me. Some people seemed to not want ANY featuring of other blogs and link ups, but other people seemed to want more. I try to not do too many link-ups other than ones where it doesn't matter what you write. (Examples: Mingle Monday and Totally Posted Tuesday.) To be honest, I'm not cutting these topics out. While they aren't my favorite and I won't do a ton - there will be some on occasion. It's a reality of the blog world where they are great ways to support each other and promote your own blog to other bloggers.

Writing: Those of you who are into NaNoWriMo and such I know appreciate my writing blogs. While those of you who don't do NaNoWriMo... don't like them. This makes sense. I'll cut back on these, especially once November is over.

Books: I'm glad you all like it when I talk about books. Because... well.... I kind of have a love affair with them. So yes, I'll keep writing about books.

Geeky Stuff: Other than a few exceptions, you all seem to like this. So you'll get a sprinkling of my geeky fan-girlyness.

Theatre: This I feel like will fall in my daily life and geek posts. Because a lot of my life ends up revolving around play and musical rehearsals and I tend to geek out over musicals. So expect to see some.

Product Reviews: I'll try not to do these. Which is really nice. These are some of my least favorites to write and to read. You will only see product reviews and recommendations on this blog from here on out that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE! (Or they're paying me to write my honest opinion.Cause you know... a girls got to eat.)

Whew. That was a long blog post for a Friday, yo. However, I did want to share with you my thoughts and the results of the survey.

If you would like to give me feedback and haven't yet, or want to share your thoughts on the results, feel free to check out the survey, comment below, or shoot me an email with your thoughts. I'd love to hear from you!

And what are you up to this weekend? Anyone seeing Catching Fire? I'm hoping to see it and get some good writing time in.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Morning Ramblings

While catching up on my favorite YouTubers this morning, I got inspired and decided to make a video today instead of writing. Enjoy! (And I apologize for the poor video quality - I was just using my iPad and the lighting in my apartment is awful.)

If you are reading this via email or another format where you can't see the video embedded in this post, click here, to go to my YouTube channel.

And here is the link to the John Green video I mentioned as I rambled on:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christian Stuff I Don't Understand

Wednesdays are busy days here at my church. Especially this week. We are the main packing site in our area for Operation Christmas Child (sending shoeboxes of stuff to kids around the world for Christmas) and on Wednesdays we also are the hosts for an inner-denominational Bible study group for women. Which means when I go to the bathroom on Wednesdays, I need to time myself correctly or else I'll run into a busy girls bathroom.

Today, I didn't time myself well.

When I walked in there were some women chatting and all I heard was "Yes, pray. It's a fast and pray kind of situation."

Which made me think. I really don't understand the whole concept of fasting.

It's mentioned in the Bible a few times and on occasion I'll hear people mention it.

I'm a Lutheran - and we really don't talk about fasting much. The closest we get is giving up something for Lent and even that's optional.

I think I had a friend in high school who fasted once.

I tried in college one year for Ash Wednesday. I think it was because I wanted to be "super holy" or something. Instead of eating, I prayed and read my Bible during meal times that day. I don't really remember what came of it other than being really hungry and it made me even more emotional than usual. Which, being an ENFP... that's not really a good thing. I don't think I even had coffee that day.

Crazy. I know.

Let's just say I was really excited for communion that evening at chapel. Bread and wine - GIVE IT TO ME NOW.

Then, during my internship year, my senior pastor fasted during Advent. By February he was in the hospital.

That same year I hosted a 30 Day Famine with the youth at my church. This I understood. They didn't eat for 30 hours, raised money to help hungry kids around the world, and by being hungry they could gain a better understanding of what other people went through. That made sense. But it's still not necessarily the fasting I'm talking about.

I'm sure there are Lutherans who do fast. They just don't talk about it. (Which is good, because even Jesus tells people that when you do, you should pretend you aren't so you don't draw attention to yourself.) However - this doesn't help in my dilemma.

I understand the whole giving up something for Lent thing - which is a form of fasting you could say. You "fast" from a certain food or bad habit or something. It's supposed to help you grow. You learn to sacrifice as Jesus sacrificed. I get it. It's like the 40 days in the wilderness when Jesus fasted and the Devil tempted him.

So... is that it? We starve ourselves because Jesus did that one time?

Do our prayers magically become louder? Maybe the groans of our stomachs are actually just really loud prayers.

I don't mean to be sacrilegious or anything. I just.... I just don't understand.

Can someone PLEASE explain this to me!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dear Glee

Dear Glee,

It all started back in 2009. I was talking to my friend Laura and our conversation went something like this:

"Have you watched that show Glee yet?"

"No, I've thought about it, but I haven't yet."

"You really should. This show is basically you."

Of course, she was right. You were a TV show that I instantly understood and fell in love with. If someone were to watch you and think I would hate it, they probably haven't met me. A perky group of misfits, dramatic love stories, overcoming obstacles, random humor and ridiculous one-liners, AND it's a musical TV show?

Clearly, you really are the definition of me.

I know it's not cool to like you anymore. Especially since I'm 27 years old. I hear the criticisms people have of you and I understand. Heck, they are valid and people bring up good points. But I don't care. I still love you. Here are 10 reasons why.

1) I love how you make fun of yourself. You understand how completely ridiculous you are and use it. I love how Sue always takes what everyone is thinking about the show and makes it into some hilarious one-liner. I love when the characters take their crazy habits and make them into jokes.

2) I love how you give me things that I never knew I wanted. Like a kid in a wheelchair swinging on a vine while singing Katy Perry. I never knew I wanted that image in my life - but now I'm so glad it is.

Or Sam dressed as a shirtless bug.

Or Santana doing advertisements about yeast infections.

3) You introduced Darren Criss to the world - and then put him in a superhero costume.

I already knew who he was and fell in love at least a year before he was on the Glee cast. However, now everyone knows about how great he is and I can now watch him every single Thursday.

4) In less than a minute, you can take characters I really don't care anything about and suddenly I have all of the feels for their situations.

I'm looking at you Unique and that darn rendition of "If I Was A Boy" you sang on Thursday.

I'm also looking at you Marley and Jake. You were always cute, but I didn't realize that I really wanted you together until Jake messed it up this season.

Really Jake? Really? Why did you have to cheat on her? I mean... come on!

5) Some people like certain songs, and once they're on Glee they suddenly hate them. Not so with me. (Usually.) There are times when I have no idea what song the cast is singing and I'm all "this is kinda good" and then I realize it's a Miley Cyrus song. Now.... I really want to listen to it. I have what should be an embarrassing amount of Glee covers on my iPod that I am not embarrassed about at all.

6) I love how Twitter explodes when Kurt takes off his shirt for the first time in five seasons. 

Especially when he started out like this:

How our little Porcelain has grown up.

7) I still think Rachel Berry is the actual best. I know she's annoying and obnoxious and awful. But I love her.

8) While some of the musical numbers aren't what they used to be, I love how every once in awhile you do surprise me with what you do with the songs. Even when they are repeated from previous seasons.

Teenage Dream acoustic from season 4 anyone?

Side note: does anyone else randomly find themselves jealous of a gay couple? Cause... this show does that to me sometimes. Sorry, not sorry.

9) Sue Sylvester. Enough said.

10) How I feel everything all of the time while watching. It's where I can unload my emotions, sing songs, and completely buy into cheesy plot lines. I don't even always agree with the direction the episodes go or how they tackle certain issues, but I always have some sort of reaction and feeling. 

Side note: The Finn episode was perfect timing. I was having a crazy emotional week and I was able to channel all of my feels into watching that one. 

Finn... I miss you. SO MUCH.

So yes, Glee. I know you only have a season and a half left (which, I applaud you for making that decision because it's good to know when to end and how to end well). I know most people probably judge me for loving you so much. But there it is.

Sorry, not sorry everyone else.

And... here's another Darren Criss photo just for good measure.

<3 p="">

Another side note to my readers:  I apologize for all of the fan-girling over Darren Criss lately. (But only slightly sorry.) I'm kinda basing my main male character for NaNoWriMo on him so I've had a ton of photos of him up on my laptop this month. I'm sure by December I'll calm down. (Maybe. Hopefully.)

Glossy Blonde

Monday, November 18, 2013

Calm Before the Storm

Weather- wise, I think nearly everyone in the country can agree that it was wacky this weekend. 

At least for the mid-west. In the 70s and tornadoes in mid-November? That's crazy talk, yo.

However, before it got too crazy, Saturday morning was wonderful. The calm before the storm if you will. 

There's something beautiful about a melancholy autumn day. There was a bleak wetness in the air and gray clouds covered the sky signaling that rain was coming soon. All of the colors were muted. The bright reds and purples and oranges the leaves had only a few days ago were gone and had fallen to the ground. 

The trees now have hardly any leaves on them. Some are hanging on for dear life, avoiding falling to the ground at all costs. 

Yet, it's oddly beautiful in it's quiet, sad, and muted way. It's that odd transition time between fall and winter. The time between the crazy of Halloween and the crazy of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's the perfect time to catch your breath, read a book, (or write one in my case), and take in the last few moments before the storm hits.

 Maybe I like it so much because it fits the mood of my NaNoWriMo project so well and it feeds into the feel I want for my story. Maybe I like it because it's the signs of change coming and we all know my life is in for some huge changes the next few weeks. Maybe because it's calm and I can catch a breath. Maybe I just read too many books and find romance in weird things.

Maybe it's all of the above.

But it won't last. Eventually all of the leaves will fall to the ground and the branches will be covered with snow. The winds will howl and people will hide in the basement and wait for the weather man to tell them it's okay to come out again. Crunch time for NaNoWriMo will arrive before we know it and writers everywhere will lose sleep trying to get their word counts in. Thanksgiving will be here complete with traffic, family, and food. Then right behind it we'll be at Christmas and  before you know it none of us will know where the weeks went.

Change is coming. But for now, enjoy the beautiful and melancholy calm.

Mingle 240

Friday, November 15, 2013

WHOA! We're Half-Way There!

It's November 15 and we are officially at the half-way point of NaNoWriMo.

If you're participating - give yourself a round of applause!

Whether you have hit the 25k mark, have exceeded it by leaps and bounds, or you're way behind. Getting to November 15 is still an accomplishment. It's the part of Kristina Horner's NaNoWriMo song where you're "at 20,000 words and I'm feeling awesome. Maybe I should make writing my career! My characters have chemistry my setting is believable. I think I'm gonna win this year."

A lot of times week two gets a bad rap from NaNoWriMo. The adrenaline is down, the excitement of week one is over, and things are starting to generally slow down. For me... this usually hits in week three which is what's coming up next.

It's because it's the middle. The dreaded middle. Even in some of the best books, the middle can be dead boring. Yes, I've hit the 25k mark and I"m moving forward. The first act (out of three) in my novel is done and I'm getting more into the meat of the story. But let's be honest - the middle is hard.

At least I think it is.

The beginning is so much fun because you're meeting the characters for the first time, learning about the world they live in, and everything is fun. Then something HUGE happens in your story and you land in the middle. The exciting beginning is done but you aren't quite ready to jump into the climax of the novel. That in-between time is rough.

My suggestions for the dreaded middle of NaNoWriMo and your novel?

Have a major plotting session with another writer.
Earlier this week I was feeling a bit stuck in my plot. I had the basic outline and I knew what was going to happen, but I knew it still needed something extra. I needed help putting pieces together. Tuesday night I went over to a friends house who had no idea what my story was and I presented my concept to him to get a fresh perspective.

This was exactly what I needed! I was excited for my project before, but now, I'm ecstatic. I can't stop thinking about my story and the characters and how I'm going to write different scenes. My plot holes aren't quite as deep as they were before and this novel can be epic.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Having other writers helping you along the way is priceless. They can give you ideas and perspectives you've never thought of before and give new life to your novel.

Skip Around
If you aren't really sure what's going to happen right this moment, but you know exactly how another scene later is going to go, write it now! I remember I used to be strongly against skipping around. I claimed it threw off my flow. It didn't feel right. Then, one year I did it when I was stuck, and I've never looked back.

Generally, I still try to write in order. However, there are times I just need to skip around a bit and write what inspires me.

You can fill in the gaps later. It's okay. You have permission.

Don't Give Up
Especially to those of you who feel like your word count is way behind and you'll never catch up.

Stop stressing and keep going.

The words you have on the page are wonderful! Those are words that weren't there before. That alone is something to be proud of. Also, you can always catch up. Last year, I didn't write for at least a week and a half.

Seriously. That's 10 days of ZERO words. Then, I somehow snapped out of it and wrote like a maniac for the remainder of November and still got my 50k.

Just keep going.

So, how about the rest of you? How did your week 2 go? What part of your novel are you the most excited about? What troubles have you run into this week? How can I help?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bandit's Story

So... this is a direct contradiction to the results of my survey. (Which can be found by clicking here.) Many of you have been saying that you don't want link-ups. Which makes sense. Too many link ups with other blogs are annoying and I do try to keep them to a minimum.


This one I couldn't resist.

Karly Kim

A link-up to talk about your dog???? Um.... YES PLEASE!

But seriously guys, if you had a dog like this one you would want any excuse to talk about him too.

Just look at that face. How could you look at that face and not fall in love? Seriously.

My long-time readers know that I love my dog Bandit. He's the best dog a girl can have. However, I haven't shared his story with all of you..

A few years ago I had moved into a pet-friendly duplex. I was so excited about this because for the past year I hadn't had a pet and I missed having one. I grew up with the sweetest bichon frise and I missed having a dog. My sister who was living with me at the time had a cat, but it just wasn't the same.

Then, at the end of January, my sister found a small dog on

His name was Bandit and was at a shelter in a town about an hour away. A few weeks prior, the owner of the shelter had been contacted by a woman in the town asking her to come save her dog. It was sick and needed help. So the shelter owner went to the woman's house. She couldn't believe what she found. There were two small dogs living in cardboard boxes in this woman's backyard. There was snow on the ground, they had fleas all over their bodies, and were severely malnourished. Miraculously, beyond needing to get de-wormed, fed, and the fleas taken care of, the dogs didn't need anything else. Bandit was the one in the worst shape. He even had bare spots in his fur and tail from the fleas. The house was also a meth lab. 

She went back to the home and tried to help the poor dogs. After a few weeks of convincing, she had finally been able to get the dog owner to let her take Bandit to her shelter. There, she was able to get him even better food. He even was able to get his vaccinations.

She described Bandit as being a happy, brave, and friendly dog. He loved to play with the others and needed a good home.

I knew I had to take him home with me.

Immediately I contacted the shelter and told her I was interested in the dog. After she checked up on my references, we set up a day and time for me to come by and check him out.

Bandit was amazing. He ran around with the other big dogs at the shelter like he was just as big as they were. (He couldn't have been more than 5lbs at the time and played with big black labs!) When my sister and I petted and held him he didn't shy away and ate it up. He was happy and healthy. All he needed was love, a good home, and just a bit more nourishment and care for his fur coat. 

It was love at first sight my friends. 

What's awesome though is that nearly everyone who has met Bandit has loved him. Seriously. There has been maybe one person who has told me they didn't like him - and they aren't animal fans in the first place so it doesn't count. All he ever wants is to be held, petted, and loved. 

In all honesty, I'm pretty sure he's more popular and well known in my small town than I am. My neighbors are always saying how adorable he is and how they can't help but smile when I take him for walks. 

It's been about four years since then and I've never looked back.

What about your animals? Any cool stories?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Life Updates

I'm not going to lie. It was kind of nice taking the day off from the blog yesterday.

I guess that makes me a bad blogger. Oh well.

As much as I love blogging and I want to keep this site updated regularly, I'm also a believer in that you need quality over quantity. I can write blog posts 7 days a week, but if they aren't filled with good content that people actually want to read, then who cares? I didn't have anything I wanted to blog about yesterday, so I didn't write. Sue me.

Speaking of content. I have been loving reading the information you all have been giving me via the survey I posted on Monday. With my life changing and my new blog design coming up soon, I felt like it was a good time to re-evaluate what content gets put up on my blog. While I want to write about what I enjoy - I also want to write about what you enjoy. You're the ones who have to read it!

If you haven't filled out the survey yet, please do! You can find it by clicking here. It's 100% anonymous and only takes a few minutes. It's been so much fun reading what you all have to say! I'm planning to share the results next week.

But for today, here is a bit of what's been going on in my life lately:

NaNoWriMo: I am so excited for my novel this year. It's going to be epic! Monday night I had a long brainstorming session with my friend Michael and he helped me think of some amazing ideas to pull plot points together in my story. Then yesterday I wrote over 5k words and I'm now at a total of 22,607 words. This is also part of why I didn't write on the blog. Too much noveling! I even wrote this crazy intense and important scene last night. My heart was still pounding by the time I got to bed last night.

The Job Search: Ugh. This is the low point in my life right now. I'm not going to lie- it's been rough. I feel as though I apply for jobs like it's my job- and I hardly hear back from anyone. Even when I do hear back from someone, it's a polite rejection. I have eyes and ears all over the place helping me look too, but but so far no doors have opened. So if any of you are Chicago/NYC/Bloomington, IN people and know of someone who is hiring - let me know and give them my name.

My Current Job: Things are going well on that end. I have my last two confirmation classes this week and next week, our Christmas service project and party are underway, people are signing up for serving meals during Advent, and the youth board is putting together plans for when I leave. I'm so grateful for everyone at this church. They have been so supportive and while I'll miss them, I know the youth will be left in good hands come Christmas when I move.

The Move: I have mixed emotions about this. At the moment it's looking like I'll be back up in Chicago. (Unless I get a job offer somewhere else in the next five weeks) Which is awesome. I love my city and I miss it so much. However, I also need to prepare myself for going back. I haven't lived there for five years, and it's been even longer since I've lived in my parents house for a long period of time. I know it'll be fine, and honestly, being there for a bit will probably be good for me. I can help my sister plan her wedding and I can connect with people again. I've also been trying to decide how I want to say goodbye to the people here in Missouri. I'm thinking of doing an open house the first weekend of December at my apartment so I can see everyone. But I'm starting to realize that saying goodbye to some of my friends is going to be crazy hard and sad.

Being Inspired and Meeting Big-Shots: Okay... I haven't actually met any big shots. However, I have been able to see three of them speak in the last few weeks. Remember when I went to a Q&A with a casting director for a movie being filmed here and I learned I'm an awful stalker? Well, not long after that, I was given a ticket for a night with the director of the movie. DAVID FINCHER. You know - the guy who directed Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and a million other things? Yeah. THAT David Fincher. I didn't get to meet him, but oh my goodness. That was outrageously awesome to hear him speak and answer questions. Then last night my friend Kelli and I found out that Blake Mycowski, the founder of TOMS shoes, was speaking at the university. Naturally, we had to go. This time I was even able to sit in the front row. I'm probably going to dedicate a whole blog post to his talk later this week. It was fantastic. I had heard him talk a few years ago at a simulcast, but he was on a screen. This time he was right there in front of me. Just... it was awesome. But between the three people I've been able to hear speak, it's just really inspired me. It encourages me to keep dreaming, keep creating, and to help people. So through all of the discouragement of not knowing where my life is heading, it's been good inspiration.

Learning My Expectations About Life:  For those of you who don't know, Blake Mycowski is one of my man crushes who can be seen at the end of this ancient blog post. (In case you couldn't tell by my fangirl moment above.) When I heard last night he was married - I'm not going to lie- I was a little sad for myself. Then when I was talking with a friend this morning, I realized my train of thought. I think part of why I think he's awesome. (Outside of the whole giving shoes to children around the world and helping make the world a better place and living on a boat thing.) He kind of looks like Darren Criss because at one point he had crazy hair.

His hair is pretty tame here.
And in case you are unfamiliar with Darren Criss pre-Glee... he had pretty crazy hair in A Very Potter Musical.

And let's be honest... I think part of my love of Darren Criss is because I associate him with Harry Potter. So therefore... my conclusion is...

I just need to marry Harry Potter.

So yeah. I have super realistic expectations for my life. Clearly.

And no, this does not apply to Daniel Radcliffe because part of me still sees him like this:

That rule does not apply to Tom Felton. Don't ask me why it doesn't... it just doesn't. Please do not attempt to understand my logic. I don't understand it half of the time.

So... where I was going with this, I have no idea.

Now its your turn. How's life? What's been going on with you lately?

Note for confused people ::cough:: Nate St. Pierre :: cough:: Tom Felton was Draco in Harry Potter. The Daniel Radcliffe rule does not apply to him for some reason.