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Writing Again

The month of November is unofficially known as National Novel Writing Month, when aspiring writers can commit to writing an entire novel, or 50,000 words, in 30 days.

It’s a daunting task, and I’ve participated on and off for the past 5 or 6 years. One year I even “won,” which really just means I managed to get 50,000 words down on paper in the span of 30 days. I’m not sure what even happened to that draft, or what that particular novel was about, but I’m sure it was crap.

I have files and files of half-written stories, or scenes that have come to me in a moment of inspiration, or more often just 10 or so pages of a story that quickly fizzled out. I’ll start writing, convince myself it’s actually crap, and then quit. Or I’ll start writing, hit a road block where I don’t know what happens next, and then quit. I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was a kid, but it turns out it just isn’t as easy as it seemed back then.

I’d kind of given up on the dream, figuring maybe being a published author wasn’t really for me. I’m not that great at grammar, if I’m being honest. Past participle? No idea what that is. “Sally and me” versus “Sally and I?” Your guess is as good as mine which one is correct. I have no idea if anything I’ve ever written is any good, because I don’t often share it. Obviously what I write here can be read by anyone that stumbles across this blog, but this is all carefully edited true stories. There’s nothing here that was born out of my own imagination. I did have a short story published online once. I was damn proud of it, too. I shared that link with everyone. After it was chosen and published. The fact that a stranger had read it and validated it made it okay to share with people I knew. I can’t imagine myself ever sharing something I’ve written with friends or family without first getting that outside validation. I don’t know why, it just feels like I would be exposing too much of myself.

I don’t even tell people when I am writing. The only one who knows I’m working on this novel right now is my husband. He keeps asking me how my novel is coming and I can’t tell if he’s being sarcastic or not. I think he’s being genuine, but I think he’s also making a point to show how supportive he is of my hobbies, whereas I constantly act like his hobbies cause me physical pain. (To be fair, his biggest hobby is snowboarding, which does indeed cause me physical pain when I do it.)

The idea for this novel, hand to God, came to me in a dream. How corny is that? Or at least, a scene did. I wrote that scene down. Then I worked it into another idea for a book I’d had rolling around in my brain for years. I scoured back through old drafts I had started and abandoned, picking up ideas to incorporate. I messed around with the characters a little bit, writing a few scenes for them just to see how they felt. It felt good, I thought I might actually have something this time.

I’ve been planning for this novel for a few months now. I don’t think I’ve ever done this much planning before. I read a ton of articles about how to plan a book, and plot structure. I did a bunch of character building exercises. I found some of it helpful, and some of it not so much. I’ll probably get into that in another post once all is said and done.

I’ve already blown my word goal for the week out of the water and it’s only day 3. Usually by this point I’m struggling hard and resort to just jumping ahead to a scene I think will be more fun to write and leaving out anything in between. This time, I’ve just been writing non-stop. Is all of it good? No, I’m sure it’s not. But I am so damn excited to write this thing. I have the same feeling about writing this book as I do when I’m reading a good book. I can’t wait to get back to it. I can’t wait to find out what happens next. And I already know what happens next! Having the bare bones figured out for a scene and then having it actually all come together right before your very eyes? Phew, what a rush. I’m very, very into this book and I hope the momentum keeps up. Pulling myself away from it has been hard. Forcing myself to do anything other than write has been hard. I dreamt about the damn book characters last night, that’s how deep I’ve gotten into this. I walk around in a daze because my brain is still in this novel, thinking about what’s going to happen next.

I don’t know, maybe this will turn into something great and maybe it won’t but I’m having a damn good time writing it so far and it feels really, really good to be back at it.

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Better Off Wed

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Hey guess what! I got married!

Finally, right? Besides the fact that I’ve been neglecting this blog for months and months, I really just didn’t want to talk about the wedding.  You know why?

Because I hated every single second of planning it.

Every single one. Except perhaps for the tastings of the food and the cake, that was okay. everything else was just A LOT. It felt worse than it probably was because I so stubbornly just did. not. want. to. do. it. Planning a wedding has never really excited me as much as the notion of being married, which to me feels like the right way of looking at it. I don’t want to point fingers at Pinterest or the wedding industry for making having a big fancy wedding such a big deal, but I just could not wrap my head around it. All that planning and money spent for one day? One day? It still boggles my mind and it’s stressing me out just writing about it now. I absolutely 100% did this for my mother. She knows that, and bless her heart she funded most of it, so I can’t be too hard on her. But if I did it all over again? Backyard wedding, all the way. Courthouse wedding, even. Small, casual, cheap.

Despite my feelings about planning it and deep down inside wanting something completely different, it was the best wedding ever. I might be biased, but everyone else says so too, so there. Seriously, everyone had a blast. The food was awesome. Literally no one ate the cake except for the two bites we took when we cut it, which I knew would happen. Don’t bother with a cake, brides. Trust me on this. We danced, we drank, we ate. I wish I could have eaten more but I physically could not fit anymore food into my dress. The food was just that good.

Now that the wedding is over, life has returned to normal. I am free to use all that mental energy on something else. Lately it’s been work (found out I was getting a promotion just before the wedding, what a treat!) and the house. I love being married, but it feels real good not having to deal with wedding planning anymore.

Photo by the amazing Abby Lorenz.

 

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Unemployment Article

Hey! I wrote a little article on how I really feel about being unemployed for The Financial Diet. Check it out here!

If you found your way here from The Financial Diet – welcome! This space will be growing in the coming weeks, and I plan on writing lots more about being unemployed and how I’m handling it, so make sure to check back or follow!

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Couches in the Winter

This past winter was no joke here in the Northeast. It’s nearly Memorial Day and I am just now reaching a place where I even feel comfortable discussing it.

We got a lot of snow. Like, a lot, a lot. The MBTA shut down. We flat out ran out of places to put the snow, especially in the city. It was cold. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad winter.

Naturally, we bought a house just in time for said horrible winter.

 

electric snowblower, snowblower

it’s like vacuuming the driveway

 
Despite the horror, we managed to make it through mostly unscathed. We had some roof leakage in our breezeway, and a small ice dam that caused a ceiling stain in my office, but nothing too major. Our two car driveway was reduced to a one car driveway once we realized the snowbanks on either side were too tall for both our physical abilities to lift and throw shovels full of snow over our heads and our tiny snow blower (which is electric, by the way. It needs to be plugged in. WHO INVENTED THIS? It’s the worst. However, it was also free.)

 

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back door, which clearly we had no intention of using

  
Just before all the snow started, we bought new couches. It was a Sunday. “We’ll deliver them on Wednesday” they told us. Great. Can’t wait. We’re so excited.

Huge blizzard on Tuesday. Delivery delayed. Not a problem, we can wait.

Huge blizzards continue. We dig out the driveway and the side door that we always use to get in and out of the house, ignoring the front door because we don’t ever use it. Then, once there was a good three feet of snow on the ground, we realized the new couches wouldn’t fit through the side door, into the breezeway, around the kitchen island, and through the doorway into the living room. They would have to come in through the front door. The front door currently blocked by three feet of snow. We call and push back the couch delivery as long as they’d let us, figuring the snow will surely melt enough by March.

Oh, how naive we were.

  
We found ourselves spending a solid week digging a big enough path from the front door to the street so the guys from the furniture store could deliver the couches. Do you know what it’s like to try to dig through a snowbank composed entirely of snow that plows have been condensing on the side of the road for months? Not super fun. But we did it! And it turns out shoveling burns a ton of calories! And the couches look great! And finally, finally, the snow did melt.

  

  

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Looking Back: February

I almost forgot to do this! Not much to report for Februaries throughout the years. It is a short month, after all. It is the month I started blogging though, so this recap goes back to 2010. Not that 2010 was thrilling in the least, apparently. I have a lot of fun looking back though. So glad I have even this small record to remind me of the little things and how far I’ve come.

2010

My first blog post! I would say 2010 was probably the year when it occurred to me that life is fricken hard. Every other post from this month was short and stupid.

2011

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I did a 30 for 30 challenge! This was fun and I considered doing one again, but I already feel like I don’t wear all the clothes I own nearly enough. Been toying around with the idea of attempting to wear every item in my closet to see if I actually like any of this stuff. We’ll see. Anyway, for my first outfit I wore a shirt with a stain on it. I just don’t know sometimes.

I had my first (and so far only) story published! This was so exciting for me.

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N and I went away for valentine’s Day and stayed at this lovely hotel in Maine that is one of my all-time favorite places to stay.

2012

I wrote up a little post on how to pack for plane trips with only a carry on. Honestly you guys, there are very few instances where I feel you need to check a bag. If I’m going away, the last thing I want to do is spend any time hanging out at a baggage carrousel. And when you look deep down inside yourself, don’t you usually only wear half of what you packed for vacation, anyway?

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I went snowshoeing while N was snowboarding and got minorly lost in the woods. The woods filled with signs warning me of moose. And bears.

2013

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Nemo happened. I’d take Nemo over the winter we’ve had this year any day.

I did a January recap and apparently lost 5lbs last January. Good for me! This year isn’t going quite as well.

Apparently February has been a historically taxing month in my life. Good thing it’s so short.

Apparently I won’t have anything to look back on from February of this year because I didn’t post. It was a pretty good month other than the bitter cold and snow! I’d like that to go on record.

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Merry Christmas

may your day be merry & bright

xx, Katrina

Family History

When my mom was growing up (and even when I was little) my grandparents lived in a house in a city outside of Boston. Behind their single family house was a triple-decker apartment building. My grandparents yard was fenced, but the triple-decker loomed over the backyard.

The people in the triple-decker were always throwing trash and debris into my grandparent’s yard (which my aunt would then eat off the ground, but don’t tell her I told you that). It made my grandparent’s pretty peeved, as you can imagine.

My grandfather was telling us about it and said one day he was out there and a shoe came flying into the yard. So he went over there and checked every apartment until he figured out who threw it.

“I went to every apartment! Ran up three floors! But I found the guy. Third floor.”

“What happened when you found him?”

“Well, let’s just say he got his shoe back.”

Friday Night Likes | 05

This week I have a little round-up of links I enjoyed this week:

Haunted Doll – a little pre-Halloween fun. Don’t worry, this isn’t scary.

Where in the US Do You Belong? – you’ve probably seen this already, but just in case. I belong in Oregon! What about you?

40 Financial Things You Should Know by 40 – excellent, I still have 13 years to get this ish down.

Nest Thermostat – this thing just seems so cool. And warm. (Get it? Because it’s a thermostat? Heh heh.)

 

Also,  I have GRAND PLANS of blogging something other than Friday Night Likes in the coming weeks, I promise. Life has just been getting away from me lately, woof.

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Friday Night Likes | 4

 

butter toast USB handwarmers

butter toast USB handwarmers

Okay, these might be a little crazy, but I love them. They’re little happy toasts! That keep your hands warm! They plug into your computer and heat up and keep your fingers toasty while you work.

My office is really cold, you guys. I might need these. What do you think? Is this insane? Will they set my cubicle on fire?

Butta USB Handwarmer – Sosie

Tales from Funemployment: Conclusion

My brief yet stressful stint as an unemployed woman is over! Though I suppose I was never technically unemployed in the first place. This whole short series was a complete lie right from the start.

Anyway, I’m officially employed now so it doesn’t even matter anymore. I’m still at the same company, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I am a creature of habit and this place is familiar to me now. On the other hand, I now have a sour taste in my mouth due to this place and I don’t exactly feel as secure here as I once did.  i do really like my new job so far, though. I’m doing copy editing and I’m really excited to begin building my skills in this area. I think this will help make me better suited for more opportunities in the future and will hopefully help me on my way to my dream job.

The work is so completely different from everything I was doing before. It’s so relaxing! I don’t dread coming in to work anymore. I don’t have to worry about meetings and putting fires out and playing goalie with my inbox. I just get to come in, quietly do my work, and go home. It’s fabulous. It’s providing me with a much needed mental break.

I’m just happy I can get my life back on track. Though I think the track may look a bit different from here on out. Stay tuned. I think it’s going to be good.

 

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