Happy Friday! I’m extra, EXTRA excited for this weekend to begin because my best friend is on a plane as I type this – she’ll be in Austin real soon! We’ve got a fun weekend ahead basically tackling my ATX bucket list, including the bats (!), a solid hike, and Austin City Limits. Wahoooooo!
But, before the fun begins, there’s another type of fun to be had: another installment of Blanche’s Book Club! Our latest read is “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Here’s the description from Amazon:
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
I heard about this book on a podcast I love (“What Should I Read Next”), and I immediately knew this was going to strike a chord with me. Having volunteered with CASA for three years, I learned a lot about the foster care system and what it’s like for the children in it.
The character Victoria brings some spice to the situation and she’s determined to take a different path – even more different than the one she’s been on. She creates her own way, and she’s damn good at it. There’s even a little bit of a love story in there. A great read!
The next book we’re reading is “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Friday evening marked the start of spring and after this winter, I know a lot of people across the country have been celebrating the coming of warmer weather.
As I mentioned yesterday, spring-ish weather in Louisiana doesn’t last long. But it’s the mark of a fantastic season that means baseball, crawfish, and all kinds of festivals. It’s a fantastic time to be here!
Over the weekend, I joined my friends for the annual Zapp’s Beerfest, perhaps one of my favorite events of the year — 2.5 hours of unlimited drinking and all-you-can-eat Zapp’s chips. Not to mention the abundance of delicious home-brews (I had a banana split porter that was delicious).
It was a cool, overcast day, complete with a shower, but not to worry because I was stomping the grounds with my new rubber boots (pictured above). It’s amazing that I’ve lived in the South for more than ten years and just now got some boots worthy of puddle-stompin’. They kept my feet nice and dry.
I’ve mentioned before how I’m more likely to set goals for myself around my birthday (in July) than I am around the start of a new calendar year. This year, I’m feeling pretty excited about spring. It’s a season of renewal and fresh, new ideas.
With each day, I’m moving closer and closer to making my own business a reality. I’m getting new clients, drafting business proposals and plans, having meetings, listening to podcasts, doing research… It’s a lot of work, but it feels right.
There’s a lot (a TON) of learning in this process, and it’s not always easy. I had a meeting a few weeks ago with a fellow creative and he was telling me about how vulnerable we all are — every time we craft something and send it, we are being judged. Most of the time, I don’t think of it in that way, but there’s definitely some truth to it.
If you’re following me on Twitter, you definitely know that last week, I spent almost four days Tweeting my first book, “How I Fell: Love, Lies & Cocktails,” 140 characters at a time. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think it all the way through in that I had no idea it would take me so long.
I spent a majority of the week staying up, typing. Not only was I lacking sleep (and living off beer and takeout), reading and remembering about such a terrible part in my life was emotionally draining. So, why did I do it?
I never want to put myself into a box. I don’t want to strap myself into a 9-5 schedule. I don’t want to lose that creative edge. Some of the most successful things that have been done, were successful the first time they were done. I want to use all of the tools I have — my brain, my computer, and free marketing services like Twitter, to get my ideas out there.
The consequences? I thought a few people would be annoyed and unfollow me on Twitter, but instead, I gained quite a few followers (score!). But, I also got a text message from someone I’ve known for 11 years. He told me my Tweets were scary. He said my behavior was scaring him and it would be best if we never talked again.
I’ll elaborate more on this and who told me this in a later blog post, but the gist of it is: I may not always been understood. And some of the most successful people aren’t understood. As a writer, most of my work is done alone. I spend a lot of time at my desk, and a lot of my work is introspective.
As sad as I was to lose this “friend,” I know that I can only afford to surround myself with people who support me. That does not mean they agree with everything I say or do. It means they won’t drop off the face of the earth when I think of something out-of-the-box.
In the last month, I’ve spent a lot time wondering if this life, this career will stand in the way of me ever finding love. But, instead of worrying about it, I’m just going to roll with it. I can’t change my brain to please the world.
And so, cheers to spring — bring on the new beginnings. I sure could use some fresh ideas (and flowers) ’round these parts!