I’m not saying that a painting of our cat as the pope is at all a sane thing to ask for. But we did ask for it, and we received.
A friend of E’s does paintings like this for fun — cats, dogs, whatever animal you have he can then turn them into a superhero, your favorite celebrity, or the pope, for example. So when E heard this, he asked for one of Fish.
At this point, we’re planning to make some dedicated wall space for paintings of Fish. Because we already have a beautiful likeness of her, painted by E’s mom (see below), and I don’t expect the paintings to stop anytime soon. Fish is quite the muse, after all.
I’ve been hiding the fact that I’ve been working on a book for a long time, because I was so terrified something might go wrong, but I’m ready to talk about it. (Stay with me here.)
So… I’M WRITING A BOOK! I’m sure anyone who gets a book deal will say this, but I’ve always wanted to write a book, and it’s so exciting that when I think about it my throat catches and I feel like I might scream. I’M SO EXCITED.
It’s a humor how-to guide called Womanskills, and it will likely hit bookshelves next October, or so my editor tells me. (My Editor, this is such a nice thing to say.)
I’ve quietly been writing the outline, which was approved. Then I wrote the first chapter, which has now been approved. And I’ll be working on the rest of the book over the next few months. It’ll all be done by January, and because I’ve been happily thrown into this, I feel like I now have some takeaways.
- Procrastination and writer’s block will happen. Like, you think that maybe turning on HGTV for “background noise” will help you get in the zone, and then an hour later you realize your new zone is just watching TV. Personally, I’ve tried to put a time limit on those things, so if I start procrastinating, I give myself an hour, then it’s back to writing and turning off the internet. See evidence of procrastination below:
- It’s OK to not talk about your book until you’re really ready to do so. I took a full month to tell people. I mean, I immediately told my cat, E, my parents, my closest friends, and sometimes would just mumble it to myself, but I didn’t start conversations with it. It’s totally fine to be nervous, and to keep exciting things close to you. And yes, people will be mad that you didn’t tell them, saying things like, “Why didn’t you tell me?!” but like, pat them on the back and reassure them that your crippling anxiety really needed this secrecy.
- However, at some point you should let yourself be excited and share the great news. (See this blog post, for example.)
- Find a spot that really makes you want to write. I used to think that spot was on my couch, until I kept trying to watch TV. Then I tried my bed, and I kept napping. But the library? Yes, I work quite well in a library. Libraries are quiet and there’s no TV, which for me was basically what I needed. #librariesforever
- And when you do something, like find your idea for a book, or finish an outline or a chapter or a whole book, celebrate by doing something you had to put off while writing. Like on Sunday I submitted my chapter, so I watched episodes of Hannibal and sat in my pajamas without typing. That was totally lovely.
I have been engaged for all of three months, but I’m already feeling like an expert on this wedding planning thing. Maybe it’s because I’m completely Type-A, and therefore all of my big wedding decisions were made within a month, or… Yeah, no, it’s because I’m Type-A.
In the process of booking a venue, finding a day-of coordinator, and making reservations at six bridal stores to find a dress, I feel like I now have some newfound knowledge. The problem with my knowledge is that after I get married it’ll be completely useless. So for anyone planning a wedding, or thinking about a wedding, or just wanting practical event planning tips, I have some sharing-is-caring tips for you:
- Take people’s advice, and ask for it early on. I actually wish I’d done this a bit sooner, because people have been through this circus before you, and they’re more than happy to impart this otherwise useless knowledge that they’ve absorbed. So ask, and you will receive a lot of gems. (FWIW, A Practical Wedding has been life changing for me.)
- Become friends with Google docs. I’ve heard and seen on Pinterest that lots of women make binders (binders FILLED with weddings!), but you’ll want the digital version of the binder. I have a wedding folder that has spreadsheets for our guest list, venue options, cake options, DJ options… so many goddamn options. And if you actually want a physical binder, just print out your Google docs. They come in handy when you get a random call from a vendor at 11 on a Tuesday and need to remember what you discussed previously.
- Weddings can be so expensive. All of the little details and things you must have for the day of… But basically, you can just say “eff it” to a lot of these. No one will hold it against you if you decide not to spend $500 on guest favors. No one loves Jordan almonds THAT much.
- When you feel stressed about planning, it’s time to take a “let’s celebrate!” break with your partner. People will tell you, “This is supposed to be fun! Relax!” and they have all the best intentions in the world when they say this, but it’s also ignoring the fact that planning a big event comes with stresses. So, take breaks. For us, this has meant a few things. Sometimes we’ll open a bottle of champagne that we were given as an engagement gift and have a Netflix date. And one night we went to the restaurant where we had our first date and told them we were getting married. (Which led to free appetizers, and a free bottle of champagne to take home.) Basically, relax and drink when you need to. And you will need to.
Any advice I missed, marrieds or people planning things? Please share in the comments!