Thursday, September 26, 2013


On Tuesday of this week, I crossed off the number one item on my bucket list. That was to see soprano superstar, Sarah Brightman, live. She was fabulous, even better in person than she is on video or CD, which is almost unbelievable. Now I have a new addition to my bucket list--meet her.

Day 50: My delicious strawberry birthday cake that my adopted family  made for me.

Day 51: Speaking to student government to drum up excitement for TRCC's food pantry.

Day 52: Coffee with Kyle. Look, he OD'ed!

Day 53: Enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate in my Tinkerbell mug now that it's getting colder out.

Day 54: I want my rice to always arrive like this.

Day 55: Enjoying mac'n'cheese casserole. Tastes like home...

Day 56: SARAH BRIGHTMAN LIVE AT THE BUSHNELL! LIFE GOAL ACHIEVED! I would marry this woman in a half-second.

Day 57: Okay, I have a new addiction. Orange Is the New Black.

That's this week's Project 365 update. 

As for the reading front, I'm about halfway through WATERSHIP DOWN, which isn't going how I expected at all (I love that.), and I can't think of rodents the same way ever, ever, ever again. 

Orange Is the New Black is THE show of the season, if you ask me. And thanks to a date's suggestion, I've been listening to more Grateful Dead, with a different ear. 

What's going on in your life? 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Project 365 Serves the Hungry

I'm settling nicely into life in Connecticut. I got to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean at midnight on a date, went to Mass for the Eastern States Exposition, and I simply can't spend enough time at the shore, no matter the weather.

But enough talk. Let me show you last week through pictures.

Day 42: Ice cream social at work! I don't really like ice cream, but I do like the goodies I piled on top.

Day 43: Farmer's Market! Not only did I get fresh pears and a cucumber, but a produce donor for my food pantry. The day couldn't have been better.

Day 44: Eating clam chowder at Fred's Shanty, an institution in New London.

Day 45: Hot wings at Hot Rods before going to the Schooner Festival.

Day 46: At the Big E, seeing the huge state houses. Connecticut's was the best.

Day 47: My obsession with hot drinks...

Day 48: Packaging food for needy families in Norwich.

Day 49: It's my birthday, and my co-workers are so sweet!

On other fronts, I enjoyed THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS more than I thought I was. It was almost like reading a soap opera, which wasn't at all what I was expecting. I'm hoping the members of my book club will be interested in reading more books off the Modern Library's List.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the agent, regarding my manuscript. But I've been busy thinking about where I'll go to grad school after this year, how to improve the food pantry at work, and which friend's manuscript I'll get to read next, so it's not TOO stressful to wait. 

I had lots of fun of my birthday, but I'm most excited for the present I bought myself. I'm going to see Sarah Brightman in concert this next week! She's my favorite musician ever, so I can hardly wait to see her live.

I've got my Enigma station playing on Pandora right now, but in my spare time, I've been playing SolForge. Do you play? Because I'm obsessed and would like to try my decks out against more people. 

Until next week!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Project 365 Gets a REAL Job

Last week, I officially started work as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Three Rivers Community College. Since last Monday was Labor Day, this week will be my first full week on the job. And I have an actual task list and meetings to attend! It's Exciting!

But let me catch you up on everything that's happened in the meantime...

 Day 35: I've been decorating my cubicle! I need a plant (or 5).

 Day 36: Spending time with my penguin buddy (and a human buddy) after working out. Gotta get in the spirit for the Penguin Run this October! :)

Day 37: Starting the prototypes for our food pantry posters. And nomming gluten free cookies that my adopted mommy gave me.

Day 38: Waterfront Music Festival! Plus, I found bubbles, so it couldn't have been a better evening.

Day 39: I found the comic book store...However, no one had heard of SolForge, and they had no Pokemon merch, so I was a little disappointed.

Day 40: I officially have a name badge on the front of my office. VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) Volunteer is a little redundant, but it's the thought that counts.

Day 41: The sun didn't come out till late in the day, which meant I felt a powerful urge to spend time outside after work. Here's where I went.

And so Project 365 and I head into the middle of our second month. Next up, my birthday (September 17th)!

I finished AS I LAY DYING and marveled at Faulkner's ability to give each one of his characters such a distinct voice. Cash and Jewel were my favorite characters--and what opposites they were. How about yours? 

My book club is reading THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS next, which is number 100 on the Modern Library's list of best books, so that's checking off two classics on the list in a month. Not bad.

Another agent has requested my young adult manuscript, DEAD DOLL, so I've sent that to him and am waiting anxiously for feedback. I got in a poetical mood over the weekend and spent several hours writing by a combo of sun and candlelight. If you haven't done that recently, I highly recommend it. 

I've been writing/working/dancing/cleaning/etc. to everything Lana Del Ray and Celtic Women. YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify all have great selections on these artists if you're living at the poverty line like me and can't afford fresh produce, let alone .99 cent songs. 

But life's good. It's better than good. And I'll see you next Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Project 365--The Chocolate-Covered Onion

I had a great time in Philly, the city of Brotherly Love. The training session and swearing in ceremony couldn't have been any better than they were. I met so many like-minded, service-oriented people from all over the North East region, met up with a friend, and, of course, ate the fabled chocolate-covered onion. But more on that later.

Now that I'm back home, I'm finally starting my year of AmeriCorps service. I am both thrilled and daunted by the challenges that lay in front of me. So please wish me luck, and enjoy this Project 365 update!

Day 28: I went to Reading Terminal Market and ate a chocolate-covered red onion with the skin still on. Was it good? NO! I think it's the worst thing I've ever tasted. Still, I recommend the experience.

Day 29: Me with my friend, James, and his beyond awesome daughter, Paige. 

Day 30: I'm officially sworn in as an AmeriCorps VISTA. The ceremony both honored and humbled us all. I wish all my fellow VISTAs a wonderful year of service. I know many challenges and many opportunities lie ahead of us.

Day 31: Back at home, I ran 1.5 miles, and after going hard all day and all night for a week, it was really hard work. But my abs are shaping up!

Day 32: I attended church at First Congregational Presbyterian this Sunday and had the privilege of hearing a master harpist. Her playing was absolutely out of this world. 

Day 33: It's Labor Day, and Goodwill had a great sale. I stocked up on clothes for this year. All this for under $25. This is why I only shop at thrift stores for outerwear.

Day 34: My first day in the office as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I'm serving this year at Three Rivers Community College where I'll be working to bring educational and economic opportunities to Norwich, CT.

And that's my Project 365 update. 

As for the other aspects of my life, I started reading AS I LAY DYING and have fallen in love with Faulker's voice. This year, I'm hoping to knock off several novels from the Modern Library's list of the 100 best, and this one's at the top. 

I continue to write and submit weekly, but my writing philosophy has changed. Somewhere in the last couple of years, writing honestly stopped being fun. It was work to put my butt in the chair and plug away for three hours. Writing has always been so much more than just a craft to me, and in trying to turn it into a "job," I lost the hobby I loved most. 

So I'm re-evaluating what I want from my writing, and, do you know what? The words are coming so much easier now. 

I'm also obsessed with the music group Visions of Trees (listening to them as I type this). If you haven't checked them out, I recommend starting with Science of Hate. 

Until next week!