Friday, December 31, 2010

Working Together

A friend and I started a collaboration piece last night. We're not sure if it will turn into a novel, a short story or a series, but I can say it's one of the most fun and challenging writing experiences I've ever had.

We both have our own strengths that bring a lot to the story. Our ideas build off of each other until something great is formed. In order to keep the voice consistent, I'm pushed to write in a way I'm not entirely comfortable with but that is helping me grow. This will be a fun project, and I'm so excited to see where it goes. More updates to come!

2010 = wow

I want to write a recap of the year, but my goodness, so much has happened! We brought in 2010 with a trip to Chicago which was filled with emotion - from tears to immense joy. I knew on that trip that I would never love anyone the way I love Steve. A couple of weeks later, we were engaged and planning an elopement, then an elopement/wedding, then a wedding.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, I started a new job and said goodbye to the people who had helped me begin my career. It was a great move but by no means an easy one. Soon after that, I gave up Goldie (my trusty old Cavalier) and became a Volkswagen owner. For the first time in my life, I experienced power locks. :)

I did have some breakdowns. I won’t lie about that. Anxiety gets the best of me and with car crashes, financial worries and more, I broke down more than once this year. But, I’ve been lucky enough to have friends, family members, and a husband that are always there to bring me back to sanity.

The biggest and best part of this year: I GOT MARRIED. Sometimes that fact still hits me like a ton of bricks. I have devoted my life to one person and sometimes the magnitude of that makes my heart feel that it might explode. That 100 degree day in July was the very best day of my life, and I’ll never forget the moments (and mess ups) that made it what it was. I still am amazed at the way people came together to make sure that we had a great wedding, as well as giving me a great bridal shower and bachelorette party.

We honeymooned in Denver, and everyone laughed a little when we told them that we were spending our honeymoon white water rafting. But, I’d never change what we did. Pushing our limits together like that - all the excitement, nervousness, and awe - was the most romantic thing I’ve ever experienced. I will always remember that week as the first and only time I felt completely and incredibly happy. Not a worry in the world.

I’ve grown new friendships, re-cultivated others, and forgiven those who can’t take back things they’ve done. I’ve also had to forgive myself. I’ve made new friends - great ones. Ones that inspire me in ways I’ve never been inspired before.

I wrote a novel in a month. I wrote a short story. I wrote poems. In short, I wrote... and not for work. My hobbies and my interests are more important to me now than they ever were before, and I plan to keep it that way. A very smart and ambitious friend & I now have a business plan and, not only a dream for next year, but dreams for the rest of our lives. That’s a good feeling. I’ve made the conscious decision that the only way to dream is big.

We moved to Noblesville. We’re making ourselves at home our new environment (although, I still feel as though nothing will feel as much like home as Bloomington). We’re closer to some of our very best friends and work.

I saw Washington DC for the first time. We made many wonderful memories with the family I’ve gained, there and elsewhere this year. I’m lucky and honored to be a Hansell.

At the start of the new year, Steve will start a new and challenging job. I’ll continue to write and work, and we’ll keep considering settling down and growing a family.

I don’t know what 2011 holds for us. I doubt it could be as packed with events as 2010 was, but you never know...

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I've read lots of complaints about NaNoWriMo. The basic argument is that it encourages amateur, narcissistic writers to flood the market with crappy books. Let me start by saying that the Nano challenge has been a wonderful motivator for me so I have an issue with this argument.

First of all, the market is already flooded with crappy books. NaNoWriMo (a challenge that only a small percentage of people who start finish) isn't going to make a huge difference. But, most importantly, who is to say what's crappy? The world's flooded with what I think is crappy furniture, for instance, but someone else might love it. Now, I would never encourage anyone to throw an unedited first draft into someone else's hands unless that person is editing it, but if you truly work on your piece, it will be judged fairly.

Second of all, three of my four writing buddies are formally trained in writing. And, the one that isn't has a real natural talent. We're all aware of our shortcomings and intend to work through them before our books ever see the light of day (if they do). The people I'm working with know that they will not have a finished piece on November 30, and people who I've talked to who have finished have been working on their Nano novels for over a year now and haven't sent it to a literary agent. Chances are, their pieces are far from the draft they wrote during the November they participated in Nano.

Finally, if I do decide to send this book to literary agents in the distant future, I'm not forcing them to read it. In fact, I'd probably have my mind blown if they did considering they don't read most. So, don't read my book. Don't publish it. I write because I love to write and feel that I have a story to tell. I don't feel that my creative process hurts anyone.

Yes, NaNoWriMo's tag line is "30 days of literary abandon" and anyone who knows me at all knows that literary abandon sickens me. Poor grammar and a lack of respect for the art of writing are my major pet peeves. BUT, putting perfection aside for 18 days so far has resulted in almost 100 pages of work for me. Some of which will be deleted but some that I'll develop and make better. Then, I'll make it even better and maybe (just maybe) send it to an agent. If this helps me be a more creative person and do what I love, why knock it? Amateur writer or experienced writer, having a goal to work toward (no matter how crazy) makes a difference. I haven't done my usual page deleting since October 31 and for me, that's progress.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Space. New Inspiration.

With NaNoWriMo quickly approaching and many writing projects in the works, my wonderful husband pushed me to find a writing desk that inspired me and to designate a portion of our apartment to be my workspace. I found this awesome desk that was just dark enough to inspire horror fiction, simplistic enough to remind me to cut out the unnecessary, and possessed enough character to remind me of the many writers I admire. I placed it by the window in our living room. Having a defined place to work has definitely helped my motivation. Last night, I ripped apart my short story at this desk and became passionate about the tale again. Although, it's hard to tell I like it at all with all my red pen marks on the pages.

I'm lucky to have such a love of words and hope I can perfect my style sooner than later.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Writing: The Tough Stuff

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.

I’ve been working on a short story in preparation for NaNoWriMo, and I’ve hit a dark spot that I’ve never encountered before. I’ve read that in the beginning stages of writing a story, you’re excited and love your characters, plot, setting, etc. But, unfortunately, that excitement dies down and so does your will to write. This isn’t something that has only happened to me. It’s something I think most writers encounter.

I’m at a point in my story writing where I hate my characters. I despise the landscape that I see every time I open the document to further the story. I’m finding holes in my plot that I don’t know how to fix, and my urge to delete the whole story grows every time I look at it.

I think this is what separates wannabe writers from real writers: the will to get over this hurdle.

This story was obviously exciting to me at one point and it can be again. I just have to reacquaint myself with the characters, fix those pesky plot holes, and tweak the setting so I can be happy envisioning it. And, that takes willpower. Sometimes, it feels more like homework than a craft I love, and it probably will feel that way until I get the story back on track. But, when I emerge with a completed piece, something tells me that I’ll be much happier than I would be if I highlighted the entire story and hit the delete button.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Move Motivation

I haven't written since our move to the north side of Indy. I can honestly say we love it. The apartment is beautiful, the dogs are adjusting well, and the lack of a commute to work is something that we cherish every morning. I'm even starting to learn my way around. It's so great to be close to many of our good friends, but we do miss having my family nearby. I suppose that will make our visits with them even more special.

One thing that has returned in full force since our move is my motivation. I spend a lot of time with people who inspire me in every way. In turn, I WANT to work on my writing projects as opposed to putting them off. I've joined NaNoWriMo and can't wait for it to start. 50,000 words in one month sounds ridiculous, but it will help me with the "vomit draft" that I struggle with so much. Between now and November 1 (when NaNoWriMo begins), I'm working on a short story. It's a horror fiction piece. I'll admit that I'm finding so many weaknesses in my writing, but I'm working very hard to correct them (with the help of my amazing husband). I struggle quite a bit with description. Much of my writing is very concise (the result of being a marketing copywriter for so long, I'm sure). Sometimes, more in-depth writing is needed. That's truly what I need to work on.

I've also discovered a new dream. I'd love to open a used bookstore. Me and my friend have looked into it and even started some lite networking/planning. We realize it's no way to make a fortune, and we won't be financially ready for the commitment for quite a while, but dreams are dreams... and they keep you going. I feel like the dream of the used bookstore will be a goal I'll hold near my heart for a long time. That is, until I can see it come to life.

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Greatest is Love

I’ve had some trouble dealing with the recent hatred that has surfaced toward Muslim Americans. I must admit, over the last few weeks, I’ve lost faith in my country, some of my friends and even some of my family members. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but some things are very black and white to me. Basic American principles (those spelled out for all of us in the Constitution) aren’t hard for me to understand. Constitution aside, the golden rule: “Treat others how you’d like to be treated,” seems to have been forgotten by some Americans.

Good has come out of this personal struggle that has been both internal and external (when I can no longer keep my big mouth shut). I’ve encountered tolerant people, people with strong beliefs who are able to stand by those beliefs and still be empathetic. That gives me hope. I’ve seen friends put their neck on the line for a culture they don’t pretend to understand for no other reason than that we’re all human and we’re all deserving of love. No matter what religion you practice, I believe that’s the greatest demonstration of mirroring God’s love that I’ve ever seen.

So, keep it up, strong and understanding people out there! We need more like you. And for those opposed to how I feel on certain issues: I’m done fighting. I’m done debating. Because, unfortunately, I’ve learned that some people have walked down the path of ignorance for too long to turn back.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Books - A Precious Relationship

My mom taught me that it's practically a sin to throw a book away. Someone's words and someone's story is never trash. More importantly, throwing away a piece of literature is keeping someone else from enjoying and learning from it. Just today, I let a friend borrow one of my favorite books (The Stand). I felt slightly embarrassed by the fact that the book (one I've read so many times) no longer had a cover - then, I became proud that the book was used and enjoyed so thoroughly and thrilled that someone else was going to be (hopefully) touched by the words inside. That book has traveled across country with me, from home to home, and gotten me through lonely times (as sad as that may sound).

Then, tonight, I did some packing for our September move, and I got to the part I always dread - boxing up books. It's an easy process, but one of the things I love most about our apartment is the plethora of wonderful books we display. When I look at each, I remember what it taught me and how I felt when I read it for the first time. I packed away my favorites from childhood to adulthood, some that changed who I was fundamentally by the very power of the words inside. Then, I got to one that really fostered my love of horror fiction (The Gunslinger) and was horrified to find that our pug had ruined it. When I held the destroyed book in my hands, I remembered how it made me feel to turn each page, how I'd stayed up all night reading, and couldn't wait to move to the next book in series. I recited lines in my mind that I feel are so beautiful and powerful that anyone who reads them is lucky. I felt again the intense yearning to write something so deserving of readers. And, when I realized that the book would have to find it's resting place in the trash can, tears filled my eyes. Pathetic? Maybe.

For me, books are a vacation, a learning experience... but most importantly, they're friends. I form a unique relationship with each book I read and when we (the book and I) reach the end of our journey together, I'm forever different. My relationship with books is special and deep inside of me. My love for them is a truth that makes me who I am.

My mom was right to teach me to never throw a book in the trash, and I hope I don't have to do it again soon.

"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."

Monday, August 23, 2010

What's in a name?

I had a bit of an identity crisis with my name change. I thought I was looking forward to getting rid of a last name that could never be pronounced, but when the time came, I turned into a raging feminist, wanted to reject the expectations of society, and seriously considered keeping my maiden name. The name on my college degrees, etc. wouldn't be my name anymore, and I had a hard time accepting it.

Then, I thought of my future child and his or her identity, and the possibility of Steve never getting to have joy of his wife taking his name... and I "gave in."

But, what I never could have predicted is the immense joy I feel every time I see my married name on a document. I realize now that I didn't lose who I was; I added to it. This name is a symbol of the love we share and the commitment we made to each other. We're not just two people in love now; we're a family - our own family. And, I had to give up some symbolism of the family I came from to really make that a reality. *Please note that I'm not implying that women who choose to keep their maiden names haven't formed a family. This is simply what it meant for me.

Did anyone else struggle with their name change? Did your maiden name mean a lot to you?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Work and Passion

Conventional wisdom is that you should find a job that matches your passion. I think this is backwards. ~ Seth Godin

Seth Godin, a (in my opinion) marketing genius, suggests that it’s easier to bring passion to your work than it is to find work that matches your passion. Recently, I’ve realized that if you ask me what I’m truly passionate about, I have a hard time articulating it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m passionate about so many things that it’s hard for me to narrow it down to one true, can’t live without passion. For example, if you want to get me talking non-stop, you could ask me about any of the following things: my husband, my dogs, my family, writing, horror fiction, human rights, marketing… the list goes on.

What makes jobs easier for me is that I’m also passionate about working. I like contributing to a team. I like bringing home a paycheck. I like having somewhere that I’m needed every day. But, most importantly, I like to know that what I’m doing is making a difference somewhere for someone.

Luckily for me, at work, I’ve been put in charge of customer testimonials. This gives me the opportunity to really bring one of my passions (making a difference) to work every day. Talking to happy customers constantly reinforces the work I’m doing. I talk to customers who say their life is greatly improved by our services, and I go home feeling wonderful. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s a customer who isn’t as happy as they could be for various reasons that have nothing to do with any of my work. When that happens, I take it very hard.

What I’ve realized is no matter whether your work is your passion or you bring your passion to work, mixing work and passion has the potential to be hurtful. But, everything worth having comes with risk so I’d rather hear a hundred happy customers’ stories and a few unhappy customers’ complaints than work without passion.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Real Meaning

Today, I've been stressed. I still haven't gotten around to legally changing my name. We still need to get our bank accounts in order and get insurance the way it should be. I'm worried about every little thing that could go wrong. I've been nothing but nerves lately.

Then, tonight, we took our dogs on a walk. And, as I watched our two furry children walking with the man I married, I realized that those moments are what it's all about. Many many people will come and go in my life, but Steve will be a constant. He'll be my source of strength and my best friend for many years. It's not about the legal paperwork or anything like that. It's about the promise we made and the fact that we'll hopefully have many nights like tonight. When I recognize that love is the important part (and we have lots of it), everything else seems so petty. So, here's to wonderful moments and being Jessie Hansell, even though it's not official yet!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Writing without Limits

“Sometimes you've got to let everything go - purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”

A friend of mine went to a creativity workshop in Europe (something I would die to do). When he returned, he told me all about his experience and what it taught him. What I got from all the activities that he told me about is that creativity can only blossom when all worry and doubt leaves your mind. The projects he worked on didn't have an outline or a purpose; they were just meant to set his thoughts free and see what wonderful art was hidden inside his brain. He told me about an activity where he just free wrote with his eyes closed. He wrote about whatever came to mind: sounds he heard, feelings he felt, etc. After that, he was instructed to circle the phrases or words that stood out to him and build a cohesive piece of work from there. An excellent exercise, if you ask me.

I haven't had a lot of time to focus on writing for fun (other than my blog) lately, but I do write all day, every day at work. I think there's room (and need) for creativity in marketing copy as much as there is in fiction writing. So, when I write a piece at work these days, I don't think about the outcome or purpose when I'm writing my first draft. After I've done an interview with a client or research on a topic, I just let whatever comes to mind spill onto the page. After that, I clean it up and polish and make the message come to life. Sometimes, there's a gem hiding in the writing that might not be right for the piece I'm working on at that moment but is worth filing away for another article. This exercise has helped me escape the boring outline that had started to hold me back after four months of writing similar projects. It's great to see art and creativity in my everyday work. I hope my co-workers and our clients appreciate it as I appreciate the process.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hold on or let go?

Tonight, I sold my car... and cried. This experience made me realize I have a hard time letting go. When I watched my old car drive away, I felt like I was watching a lot of things leave: memories with college friends, the hard work that it took to get the car, the pride I felt when I took it to my apartment.

I have an even harder time saying goodbye to people. Even when I know someone is bad for my well-being, I still keep them in my life because I can't let go of the good things (even if the good took place years ago). When people repeatedly let me down, I allow them to because letting go of them would be letting go of the feelings that I once had when I was around them and the memories that I share with that person.

What I have a hard time recognizing is that feelings and memories aren't tied to things and people. They're within me. Sometimes, there's a lesson to be learned, a feeling to be felt, and a memory to make and that's the end. Holding on any longer to the person or the thing can become harmful, whether it's bad for my emotional health or simply takes up space.

A lot has changed for me in the last few years and, as I embark on a marriage (a new life with someone), I have to realize that my fear of letting go of physical representations of feelings/memories will hurt more than just me. Therefore, my new goal is to remember that every phase of my life will have elements that I have to part with eventually.

No memories left with my car. The feelings I felt can't be taken away because a possession is no longer mine, just as memories with friends won't be gone simply because the person changes. Life is about moving forward and the best way to do that is to stop holding on and let go.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

We're not all bad...

I read a blog article today titled "Why People Hate Marketers" and what it boiled down to is that marketers often don't see our community as a community; they see it as a group of prospects waiting to be converted and that we (marketers) often take advantage of emotions to sell things. In a way, that's true. Everyone's a potential customer and with the right marketing, we can make them one. But, if a prospect shouldn't be a customer, I (personally) would rather not see them converted.

I haven't been a marketer very long. Only about two years, in fact. Most of that time, I've spent as a marketing copywriter. And, in my marketing copy, I always do my best to be honest about who needs what I'm selling, honest about how to use what I'm selling, and I never ever lie to make more people interested. Marketing is (partially) about playing on emotions to get prospects to buy what you have to offer, but I would never want to do that dishonestly and never will. I always aim to convert prospects into happy customers, not into disappointed and financially-injured customers.

Recently, I've been working on selling my car (and actually did so today). I had a lot of people turn away from buying because I was honest about the car's downfalls, honest about what had happened to it in the past, and never tried to conceal something that might make the buyer unhappy. Did it take me longer than I wanted it to to sell the car? Yes. But, now, I have sold it to someone who is 100% happy with the purchase, feels completely informed and even said "I'm so glad I met you."

As a marketer, I do want to play on emotions to get people to buy my products. But, if their final emotion won't be satisfied, I'd rather them remain prospects. So, don't hate all marketers. Some of us really just want to see happy customers.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

gender and the never-ending struggle

In my 24 years of being a female, I've learned that in certain situations, I'm going to get less respect than my male counterparts. For example, if I pay at dinner, the check gets returned to Steve to sign (almost always). I can deal with that. I may tip less than normal, but I can laugh it off. But, something happened yesterday that got my blood boiling.

As many of you know, I recently bought a new car. I saved for the car, I made the down payment, and my name is the only name on the paperwork. Yet, when the thank you note came from our salesman, it was addressed to Steve, thanking him for his business. Yes, he was there asking questions and did a lot of the corresponding with the dealership, but it shouldn't be assumed that when we went back to talk to finance that he was the one paying. Afterall, I was there too, and I wasn't playing the dumb fiancée role.

I imagine this will only get worse with the marriage, as I've seen many organizations call my parents' house, ask for my dad, only have him tell them that his wife handles the finances and hand the phone back to her. Even when we bought our wedding rings, the jeweler smirked when I said we were splitting the cost.

Steve and I are a couple who try to divide all obligations evenly. Housework, finances, etc. are both of our responsibilities. We're a team, a couple, and equals. Of course, sometimes he can afford to put more time or money toward things than I can and sometimes it's the other way around. I believe that's what the partnership of marriage is all about.

I know this is probably a fight I won't win, especially since I've decided to enter into a marriage - an institution that is built on traditional gender roles (unfortunately). But, I'll continue to fight it and am thrilled that I've found a man who respects my independence and pride.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Untraditional: A Matter of Perspective?

For those looking for expensive centerpieces, a huge cake, and the same vows they've heard at every wedding before, you won't find that at our wedding. Steve and I have known from the beginning that we wanted our wedding to be untraditional.

What's remained important to us all along is that we want the day to be about the promises we're making to each other and pure happiness; not an overpriced show. We wanted to take the wedding focus back to what we feel it should be: the life we're starting. So, don't wear a suit and tie because you'll be dressed more formally than the groom. This day is about family, love, and fun. And perhaps a little tradition because it's a tradition in my family to have a damn good time. :)

I'm not meaning to put down people who have chosen to do everything by the book with their weddings or implying that their days weren't filled with love and family support. I'm simply stating what's important to us in ours.

Some things that may be a little different at our wedding than what you're used to seeing:
  • Steve won't be wearing a tux and I won't be wearing a veil.
  • We don't have wedding parties.
  • We wrote our own vows.
  • Our guests will stand to make the moment more intimate (don't worry, the ceremony's very short).
  • We're having a cupcake cake!
  • No garter or bouquet toss will take place.
  • There might be some yard games involved.
We hope our guests will have a good time at our untraditional wedding. Perhaps, we'll start some traditions of our own!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Family - The Reason I'm Here

The wedding and life in general lately has made me think a lot about what family means. My family has always been my NUMBER ONE priority, and I'm truly blessed to have what I feel is the most loving and supportive family on the face of the earth. If I ever have a problem, no matter how big or small, I know they'll drop whatever they're doing to solve it for me the best they can. This is something that I've taken for granted at times. But, lately, seeing other families, I realize that a family like mine is a rarity.

When I wake up and go to work in the morning, it's not for me; it's for my family and all of those I care about. When I save money, it's to protect all of us; not just me and Steve. When a family member is sad, I can't rest until they feel better. I know that members of my family feel and do the same. My dad, for example, has given up everything he's ever earned to give me and my brother lives that we can be proud of and lives that we want. My mom supports my over-the-top liberal ideas even when she disagrees and has always trusted and encouraged me to march to the beat of my own drum (something I feel has made me the person I am today). And, my extended family travels miles to show their support for graduations and now, the wedding.

I'm also marrying into a family that is amazing. Despite many trials in the last couple years, my in-laws have not only remained strong, they've remained true to their love for each other. And, in that time, they were able to accept me and love me as one of their own. That's special and something that will never be forgotten.

Also, I'd like to point out that my family isn't limited to those blood related. I have friends who have gone out of their way when I am having a rough time or when big events in my life occur in ways that many blood relatives I've seen would not. This isn't lost on me.

I'm a lucky girl. I hope my families know that I appreciate their support and love more than they can imagine and that I will ALWAYS be here for them through every struggle they encounter. Families like ours are rarities these days and mine is something I cherish.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

My mom has always been my best friend, the person I tell everything to, and the woman I can count on to be there with me through anything. I'm lucky to have a mom like I do and never take it for granted. I only hope that I give her a fraction of the happiness and security that she gives me every day. I love you, Mom and will never forget the many situations that you helped me through.

In my life, I've also been blessed to know many other extraordinary mothers that I could count on through anything. From friends' moms to my amazing aunt, I'm thrilled to know that I have so many strong women on my side. I'm also thrilled to be gaining an strong and inspirational mother-in-law who has become one of my closest friends and family members.

To all the mothers that have touched me, thank you for your selflessness and unwavering love.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Writer's Block

Two weeks until the writing contest deadline and I have yet to write more than an outline. Sure, I've been incredibly busy lately with work and the wedding, but I know deep down that's not the only reason I'm not writing. I'm terrified of bringing my ideas to life because I don't know if I can do a good job. Everything sounds wonderful in my head but when I try to write it, I feel like I'm ruining something great. And, even if I was lucky enough to finally get it on paper, the idea of letting someone read my creation is extremely frightening to me.

I have to find a way to get over my fear of fiction writing and let my stories find life on paper.

Friday, April 16, 2010

AP Style Nerd...

SO excited about this news:

A little sad that I ordered my 2009 AP Stylebook so late though. I'll have to buy a new one right away. Oh well.


"The trend in tech terminology is ALWAYS toward lowercase and no spaces or hyphens. 'E-mail' is rapidly giving way to 'email.' 'Inter-office memo' became 'interoffice memo.' (Actually, that's the trend in all English: 'extra-marital' becomes 'extramarital,' 'pigeon-hole' became 'pigeonhole,' etc.)," New York Times technology columnist David Pogue said via e-mail. "On the other hand, if enough publications all start using the lower case and the no-hyphen (sorry, 'nohyphen') term exclusively, then eventually, the public will stop tripping over them, and we can all move ahead in sync!"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our Engagement Photo Session

Our engagement photo session was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I know it sounds silly, but it was amazing to be able to slowly become comfortable opening up the intimate side of who we are. We were very nervous going into it but quickly found that if we were just us, that's all it took. We don't get to see ourselves together from an outsider's view. These photos capture who we are.

Anyone needing photography should contact Brie & Steph at Milestone Photography. Amazing work that we will surely cherish forever.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Tomorrow, my puppy reaches his one year birthday. It's been a heck of a year with lots of trials but more happiness than I ever imagined the little guy could bring into my life.

He's my baby. HAPPY ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY, TURCO. We all love you more than you know.

Some of Turco's favorite things include:
  • sleeping under the covers
  • taking long walks
  • playing fetch
  • visiting grandma and grandpa
  • Wonka


I'm understanding why people run to Vegas to elope. When did a wedding stop being about the two people pledging their lives to each other and start being about everyone else? We had a clear vision for what we wanted, but we're quickly understanding that won't happen.

Regardless of how this day ends up going, I am going to remember one thing: The reason that we're doing all of this is that we're starting a life together. And at the end of the day, it will be me and him and our future.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Writing Inspiration

I've stumbled across two horror fiction writing contests that I'm desperate to enter. The problem is, I'm having trouble finding the motivation to write. When I get home from a day of writing for pay, it's hard to put on my creative hat and develop a short story (much less parts of a novel). I have so many ideas floating around in my head that I need to harness and bring to life. Luckily, Steve is holding me to some goals that I've set for myself.

I find a lot of my inspiration from Stephen King. If you're a writer (fiction or not) and haven't read his book On Writing, I highly recommend that you do.