Category Archives: Writing

A Bit of Nostalgia

Driving down 95 south just now my head was full of scattered thoughts.

“What’s that smell? Is that my car? I really need to get an oil change. What am I going to eat for lunch? What should I write my thesis on? I really need to get started on that. What am I going to write my 5-page paper on? Did I take Lil out this morning? I hope she hasn’t been barking all day.  I need to get that paper out of the way so I can enjoy the afternoon. Such a beautiful day… such a horrible song!”

I jumped out of my scattered brain for a moment and reached down to the seek button that is cleverly placed right next to my rad tape player in my 2003 door wedge, I mean, Dodge Intrepid. The station jumped and an old familiar song was playing. I giggled. Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply.”

This was the song that led to my crazy Backstreet Boy obsession back in the day.

Continue reading

Character: Casting Shadows #3

First and foremost, I must apologize for not writing much this past week or so. I took a final trip home to wrap up the summer and bring my puppy {who isn’t a puppy anymore at almost 8-years-old} back with me to my apartment. My father has been dog-sitting for the past four years. Once I got back, I started school and work and blah blah blah still no excuse for not keeping up with everything. But here I am & ready to write.

We’ve already determined a character needs to have a driving force–a desire. They must also be able to come across as relatable and multidimensional. Now we are focusing on a character’s ability to change. As Reissenweber points out, it is almost essential that the main character have the ability to change and evolve.

“Just as the desire of a main character drives the story, the character’s change is often the story’s culmination. While a main character usually does change to some degree, either dramatically or in the more gentle form of a realization, this does not mean your character actually has to make a change at the end of thee story or that the change has to be whole and complete.”

The reader should be able to feel the character has the ability to undergo change, however. You don’t want the character to feel predictable.

Your Turn:
Return to the character for whom you have created a desire and contrasting traits. Time to bring this person to life. Write a passage where this character is pursuing his or her desire in some way. For example, perhaps the actress is traveling to an audition to which she was not invited. (Oh, yes, it’ll help tremendously if you put some obstacles in the character’s path.) You don’t have to bring this “quest” to a conclusion, but have something happen that allows both contrasting traits to emerge and also try to include some hint that the character is capable of change. That’s a lot of juggling, so don’t worry if it comes out  a little clumsy. 

You’ll have to wait for the next post to read my passage {is it killing you?!}!

Write a passage with me!

What obstacles will your character face that show them to be dimensional with the ability to change?

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Summertime

I’m proud to announce… I have my first ever guest blogger, Neha!

I’ve been working on a little blog PR with 20SB. They host these huge Blog Swaps where you are given a partner and post on eachother’s blogs. It is a great way to reach readers you may have never reached before.

This blog swap’s topic was summertime. Without further ado here is a lovely summertime poem by Neha…

I am home

A fairy tale came sat by me

tonight she helps me sleep
Weaving intricate designs to be
Patterns of shared memories

Sparkling chandelier glows in dark
Rusty strings come alive
Casting spells of loves to come
Just like bitter sweet strawberries

Smells of fields and sounds of forest
Painted skies and the man on moon
Shimmering stars and distant lights
Whisper my name, welcome me home

Yes I am home
Tonight I am free
From nightmares that claimed me…..

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Character: Casting Shadows #2

Since we are looking into the construction of characters, it is only right to dive into those characters who are not fundamentally good–the villains. As Reissenwebber points out: “Literature is filled with great villains. Part of what makes them so compelling is the bit of ourselves we can see in them.”

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Is that the truth or is that the truth?!?!

Think about it. When a character isn’t being bad, he’s doing the things you and I do. Right? He/she is watching TV, eating dinner or grocery shopping for the week. Just because a character may be a villain doesn’t mean they need to be evil every second. Maybe they are even helping their neighbor with a lofty weekend project? Like us, real-life breathing humans, characters should be dimensional.

Your Turn:
Recall the worst person you’ve ever met. A psychotic boss, a back-stabbing friend, a playground bully. Or make someone up. Next, assign one redeeming quality to this character–kindness, courtesy, sympathy, a fondness for animals. Then write a passage with this person in action. Perhaps you show a sadistic ex-spouse helping a homeless person find shelter, or a bank robber arranging a baby sitter on behalf of a woman he’s just tied up. The result? A fully dimensional villain.
 
She stepped out of the shower and wrapped a bath towel around her. She grabbed a smaller towel for her head. She flipped her head upside down and looked at the dirty blonde hair that had fallen in front of her eyes. It was getting longer than she usually wore it. Though she loved the way the longer hair fell around her face and sometimes in front of her eyes, she wasn’t about to compromise her work for a moment of feeling sexy. Longer hairs, at least in her mind, were easier to spot. She had to remember to get it cut soon.
She twirled the towel around her forehead and balanced it on top of her head. She grabbed the gallon of bleach from beneath the bathroom sink. She quickly splashed the bleach around the walls of the shower and let it pool in the bottom of the tub.
“I’ll have to come back and do a more thorough job, but for now, it’ll work.” She thought to herself. 

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The woman walked down the hall to her bedroom. She quickly dressed in a clean flowing long skirt and a plain white tank top. Within 10 minutes she had blow-dried her hair, dressed and put on a quick layer of make up. It was her same routine now for over 15 years. 
Walking out her front door, the woman took a deep breath of the summer air. She was hit with the scents of fresh-cut grass and the flowers that grew in her front yard, it was sweet and made her feel grateful to be alive. A sense of exhilaration swept over her. Though the fresh air did not feel as empowering as the metallic scent she smelled just 20 minutes before, she felt so electric.
But that is how she always felt after taking another’s life away. Alive. Exhilarated. Electric. 
Walking down the street, she peered at her reflection in a neighbor’s massive bay window. She was tall and thin, but extremely strong. She looked great. She looked powerful. She looked confident. She wore a smile as she waved to Mr. Perry who was watering his flower beds across the street.
“Mr. Perry!” She yelled across the street, waving.
“How are you? Water tank holding up?” He asked. A week ago she was having difficulty with her hot water and had asked him to come take a look at it. Mr. Perry was always working on his house. He was known in the neighborhood as the handiest man around. He was miraculously able to get it to function for a few days longer, but urged her to begin looking for a new one.
“Oh, well, I took your advice. Put an order in yesterday for a new one. Thanks again for all your help, Mr. Perry. I don’t know what I would have done without you.” She replied with a gracious smile and she kept walking. She waved once again saying goodbye for now.
“I’m sorry to hear that. Hopefully, this one will last longer and don’t mention it, dear. Anytime, you just give me a call.” He smiled his sweet smile and waved goodbye. In fact, she didn’t mind having to replace the hot water tank at all. Hot water tanks hid bodies well if even for a few hours.
She walked until she was in town. She stopped at the Centre Cafe where she bought herself a bowl of oatmeal with a dab of molasses and a small chai tea. She chatted with the ladies from the neighborhood for about an hour. She didn’t particulary find their company entertaining. In fact, she didn’t really like the majority of them at all–Housewives discussing new recipies and kid issues weren’t really her cup of tea. She made up her mind to head over to Memoirs Antiques with her neighbor and the only woman she really cared for, Polly, who had hung out in the cafe all morning. They strolled over to the shop to look at all the old items that held, what the woman liked to think of as mysterious memories.
“I love to look at all these vintage pieces and think about the stories they tell. Just think about the people who once loved this little wooden doll. Some little girl probably had the fondest memories about this little baby.” The woman said to her friend.
“Oh, I know. Isn’t it just nice to fantasize. Sometimes I creates elaborate stories of what might have been.” Polly said as she turned over a tiny plate in her hand. “Like look at this! Apparently, this china goes back to the Civil War.  Imagine the owner of a giant plantation eating breakfast off of this as they hear gunshots in the distance.” Polly said with wonder. 
She smiled at Polly with sincere affection walking over to take a better look at the china from the Civil War.  
The women continued to look through the store building elaborate stories for the antique treasures for another 40 minutes before leaving. The woman said goodbye to her friend, lying that she had a hair appointment to make. With a quick kiss and a hug, she promised to call tomorrow morning to set up a brunch date.
Though not sure what her next step was, she decided a hair appointment was a good enough lie and it gave her something to do. The woman headed over to the salon to see if they could fit her in. It never took long to cut her hair since it was already pretty short to begin with. On her walk over, she stopped for a second to look at herself in a store front window. Did she need a wash? She had just washed it a couple of hours ago. But she might as well. It would give her more of an opportunity to be seen and remembered. She looked at herself for another second thinking she was glowing with a radiance no one could understand. It was as if the sun was only shining on her. She felt electric once again.
After her wash and cut, she walked the two blocks to the market to pick up some dinner and a few items for tomorrow. She decided she would have Polly over to her house for brunch tomorrow. That would be nice. To cook for a close friend and catch up on all the neighborhood gossip she had absolutely no interest in.

So there is my piece…I tried to make it a bit more subtle than the prompt suggested. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It’s just a passage so there isn’t any plot–conflict, problem, climax, resolution all that good junk. The woman is a narcissist and a murderer, but yet friendly. I’m still developing her, but I want her to be a murderer (not good), but her victims themselves are not going to be fundamentally good. Does that make her relatable? We shall see.

Create a villain with me!
What sort of average human traits would you make your character have?

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This post is part of my creative writing experiment that will get me writing more often and more creatively. All excerpts and “Your Turn” prompts are from the Gotham Writers’ Workshop Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School. As I write my way through this book, I welcome all constructive criticism, suggestions, advice and comments.

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Character: Casting Shadows

In the previous GWW posts I learned about the what, how and why of fiction. Chapter 2 Character: Casting Shadows by Brandi Reissenweber is about what makes fiction particularly captivating to readers. As Reissenweber learned from a young long-term hospital patient, people read “because they get to meet lots of different people.” Continue reading

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Fiction: The What, How & Why of It #3

Show up for work. Writing is work. It needs to be practiced and practiced and practiced {& practiced & practiced & practiced}.

Steele breaks writing into two different categories: hard time and soft time. Sounds a bit like doing a stint in prison, but if you enjoy writing then obviously it is time well spent. Hard time is actually planting your ass in the chair and producing content. It’s where the words are written. The less aknowledged but equally important, soft time, is done at all other times. When you are thinking about your work you’re engrossed in your very own soft time sesh {session but cooler}. Think brainstorming. When you’re considering where you want your piece to go, or not go, you are tossing around ideas and contemplating all of the details–that is soft time.

Personally, soft time is a highly enjoyable portion of the writing process. You don’t need to sit in your office, coffee shop, or at your kitchen table staring at the blinking cursor on your computer screen. Get out! Move around! Explore! Keeping your story in the back of your mind, rather than focusing all of your attention on your problem, you let the inspiration come to you. Writing doesn’t suck, people. It is personal and fun and creative. It is anything you make it.

Steele also writes about two different types of writers: Free Spirits and Stern Editors.

Free Spirit

Free Spirits aren’t hard to imagine. They are completely engrossed when they want to be. They’ll write what they want, when they want, and they don’t feel the need to satisfy others by sticking to the rules. They are mad cool and super chill. They’ll throw you love deuces in excess. Stern Editors {as I hope you have guessed} are about concise, grammatically correct, logical writing. Delete those unnecessary words, rid yourself of those comma splices and don’t you dare use abbrevs because the Stern Editor will hunt you down and there is no telling what price you will pay when you piss off the Stern Editor.

Stern Editors

The point is both need to learn to work well with the other. If you write well you are able to embrace both within yourself. Early on throw around the peace and love and just go with the flow. Set the ground work, but don’t hold yourself back by worrying about anything too much. Free Spirits free write.

Your Turn:
Take this opening phrase: Sam wasn’t sure if it was a wonderful sign or a sign of disaster but Sam knew… Write down that fictional opener, then keep going. Free write, meaning write without stoping or even thinking too much, just scribble away however many things come out. You should write for at least five minutes but feel free to go as long as you like. No one will see this but you, and you have permission for this to be nothing but gibberish. Just feel what it’s like to write in a white heat. 

So, since I’m dedicated to my creative writing experiment, I will set my timer for 10 minutes. I’ll warn you now, I’m a horrible speller. When I free write I close my eyes {is that weird?} so as to not focus or get held back by the typos and misspellings. I let my hands flow over the keyboard and do not correct a single error. I absolutely guarantee it will be complete and utter gibberish. Here is what my free write looks like….

Sam wasn’t sure if it was a wonderful sign or a sign of disaster but Sam knew he felt liberated. He had just trhown his cellphone off of the brooklyn bridge. It was the last of his devices keeping in contact with the world. He was once again his own man. He didn’t belong to his corporate job that had made him miserable for the past 9 years. He’d quit. He had donated all his belongs to the Salvation army and broke his lease on his rent controlled penthouse. He had just thrown away his identity he had spent so many years working to define himself as. No, he knew this was wonderful. Sam let his only family member, his mother, know he was going away for quite some time. It was his last order of business before the cell phone toss. 
“Mom! you home?” He yelled as he walked into the front of his childhood brownstone. 
“I’m back here, Sam. Come join me.” His mother, only 18 years older than he, was cute as a button. The tiny little lady was in the back tending to her window sill overflowing with herbs. He worshiped her. She the woman he compared all women to and he was not embarrassed of this in the least. She had overcome so much in her life, he could not begin to imagine surviving himself. 
“Hey Mom, how are you today?” He asked her. “I’m doing just fine, Sweetie. What are you up to? What day is it? Why aren’t you at work?” 
“I took the day off, Mom. I wanted to drop this off to you. Remember, I told you I am going away for a while?” 
“Oh, yes yes. Is that today? Well, let me bring this inside, washup and we will get started.” 
The two walked inside to the kitchen where Sam opened his bag and pulled out a top of the line, fully-loaded MacBook Pro. The two spent an hour hovered over the “computer machine,” as his mother called it, trying to teach her how to work it. Sam got her to the point where she was able to turn it on and open the internet. She was thrilled because he had set up the “Faceplace” account as she had asked and found her old friend from high school who had told her join about a month before. 
“Well this is just fantastic!” His mother was in awe as she scrolled through the pictures of her highschool days she had been tagged in. 
“Ok mom. I better get going or I don’t think I’ll ever get moving.” He closed the laptop and stood up from the table. 
“Oh Sam I wish you would tell me where you are going. How will I know if you are ok?” 
“It will be fine. I’ll be fine. I told you I will call you in one month, so on the 10th, to let you know I am alive.” He assured her. “I have to go now though mom.” 
” Is this a work thing?” she asked. He ignored her and walked over to the junk drawer where he knew she stored her post-it notes. He wrote “Sam Calls Sept. 10th.” and stuck it to her fridge. He gave his mother a giant bear hug and a kiss on the forehead. I will see you later mom. 
“I just wish you’d stop being so secretive. Where are you going?” Truth was Sam didn’t know where he was going. He didn’t know how he was getting there. He had no clue. No answers. Only questions.
He saw the faint splash from down below as his cell hit the water. He took a deep breath, picked up his backpack and began walking.

So there you have it– my free write. Now as you can tell the Stern Editor would now have to awaken and fix all the mistakes. She would probably tackle my Free Spirit and land a nice right hook to the jaw, but that is ok. At least I just went with it. I leave you with a Steele quote

“Maybe writing fiction is akin to those personal challenges we call recreation…These Things are rewarding because they are not so easy. They awaken us by making us feel the vibrations of our inner potential, regardless of the outcome. Writing is one of the best possible personal challenges because the room for growth is as limitless as outer space and you’re never too young or to old to give it a go.”

Which type of writer do you consider yourself naturally?

Now you try it. Do your own five minute free write sesh. Feel free to share!

This post is part of my creative writing experiment that will get me writing more often and more creatively. All excerpts and “Your Turn” prompts are from the Gotham Writers’ Workshop Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School. As I write my way through this book, I welcome all constructive criticism, suggestions, advice and comments. 

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Fiction: The What, How & Why of it…

Chapter one of GWW Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School by Alexander Steele, as the title suggests, examines the what, how and why of fiction.

Fiction |ˈfik sh ən|(noun): literature in the form of prose, esp. short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.

According to Steele, as humans we write stories for two reasons: entertainment and meaning. Entertainment is obvious. But what in the world does he mean when he says, “we seem to have a primal need for fiction, or really any kind of story, that is as deeply rooted as our need for food, shelter and companionship,”? Well, as humans we are curious and we are insecure. We are searching for the who, what, where, when and why in life. As Steele says, this lofty goal is the search for truth.

Think of the classics. Think:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

“The Tell-Tale Heart” Edgar Allen Poe (1843)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1885)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

“The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhob (1899)

What do these all have in common? They satisfy our primal needs. They are both entertaining and have great meaning.

I’ve come upon the first “Your Turn” of the book.

Choose a work of fiction that you cherish. In a single sentence,
try to state the major reason why you love reading this work.
Then list several ways with which you think the author achieved
this effect. The reasons don’t have to employ any fancy terms 
and they don’t have to make sense to anyone but you. You’re simply
trying to tune in to the source of the magic.

I can’t pick my favorite work of fiction. It simply isn’t possible. That is just as impossible as picking my favorite song. I cannot do it. I’ll do this exercise on my most recent read, The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.

I love reading this book because Lisbeth Salander is so extraordinary, and yet she possessed qualities that resonate with readers.

The author achieved this because 1. He made Salander a loner who was beaten down by society and those she relied on. Who hasn’t felt this way before? 2. She was odd, someone not many people would give a second look to. But she was a capable and extremely moral person hellbent on doing what was right. Who doesn’t want to fight for what is right? 3. Though relatable, she is extreme, an extent  readers would think about going to but probably wouldn’t have the cajones to carry through.

What I am saying is she provoked my curiosity because she was a peculiar character and yet, she was like me. She fights for what she believes in. She is searching for justice and the truth just as I am. Salander was just one aspect of the book though. I think the book was phenomenal because it takes readers to a fantasy that still grasps at reality. Seemingly real people in extraordinary situations, I suppose. Makes you wonder, if I were in those situations would I do what these characters did?

Have you read The Girl Who series by Stieg Larsson?

What did you like and how did Larsson achieve that effect?

This post is part of my creative writing experiment that will get me writing more often and more creatively. All excerpts and “Your Turn” prompts are from the Gotham Writers’ WorkshopWriting Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School. As I write my way through this book, I welcome all constructive criticism, suggestions, advice and comments. 

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& so it begins…

I’ve decided to go ahead with the write-my-way-through-a-creative-writing-book idea.

The book:

Gotham Writers’ Workshop

Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York’s Acclaimed Creative Writing School

Last night, I got re-acquainted with the book {I’ve had it since high school}. I read the “From Gotham Writers’ Workshop Founders” first. I learned that the workshop has turned into a large operation with hundreds of instructors and thousands of students each year.

When I discussed my idea I met some heavy criticism, which I wasn’t expecting. I was told “you can’t teach talent. You can either write or you can’t,” and another said “The only way to write well is to read.”  I was thoroughly  shocked at both of these responses. Yes, you indeed can’t teach raw talent, but you can certainly foster, refine and improve your skills. Then, of course, reading absolutely makes you a stronger writer, however, I’ll have to argue that reading is the only way to be a good writer {calling BS on this one}. Though these responses to my {what I considered brilliant} idea were unexpected, they did make me realize these people were completely unfounded in their criticisms and just wanted to discourage me for some reason or another. Mission incomplete. Discourage me and I will do anything to prove you wrong {I’d like to thank those who didn’t believe in me or my idea. You were a marvelous inspiration and I couldn’t have done it without you}.

To my surprise the book agreed with me:

“Simply put, we believe anyone can write. We believe writing is a craft that can be taught. True, talent cannot be taught, only nurtured, but the craft of writing can be taught. We’re devoted to teaching the craft in a way that is so clear, direct, and applicable that our students begin growing as writers during their very first class.”
 

From “How to Use this Book”:

“You shouldn’t just read your way through this book, but write your way through it as well. After all, you’re reading this book because you want to write….You shouldn’t worry about turning these exercises into brilliant works of fiction. Rather you should simply focus on experimenting and having fun with the task at hand.”

{That I will!}

Now that I am confident my idea/experiment is on key and in harmony with the purpose of the book, I was ready to get started. Not so fast. Before diving into chapter one, I first had to read the short story Cathedral by Raymond Carver. The book references this short story quite often.

Cathedral is a great short story. As it turned out, I liked it a great deal. I won’t go into great detail in case you’re interested in checking it out yourself {recommended}. But, it is about a man who is visited by his wife’s blind friend. He is horribly uncomfortable with the idea and doesn’t know how to go about interacting with someone with a disability. You almost hate the guy from the beginning because he is so ignorant. As the story progresses, his point of view becomes more and more enlightened as he learns about the blind man’s abilities. The shift in the way you feel about the almost ignorant man is incredible. That is what I would like to achieve with my writing.

I’ll jump into chapter one as soon as possible.

Excited to move forward!

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Idea

I have been feeling a bit unproductive lately. I need a project that is fun, worthwhile and makes me feel productive.

{Light bulb}

Ever since I was a very young child sneaking under the covers after bedtime with my flashlight and notebooks writing whatever came to mind, I have wanted to take a creative writing class. When I was in fifth grade, I even wrote a short 100-page novel. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve spent less time writing creativly and went into just writing my day to day in a journal or school work. No bueno. My life just isn’t very interesting. I tried for 2 years to work in a writing minor at Iona College because I would get to take one creative writing class, but unfortunately, it just wouldn’t fit into my schedule. I ended up with a minor in English, but of course that was all reading.

So what is my genius idea? {get to the point!} Maybe I can find one of my old creative writing books. Think Julie & Julia. Blogger Julie cooks her way through Julia Child’s cook book. I’ll write my way through a creative writing book. If I remember correctly some books I’ve read have exercises to complete as you read.

This might help me because I haven’t produced or done anything productive other than read and make money this summer. It will satisfy this creative itch I’ve had lately too. It’ll hopefully make me a stronger writer. And maybe, just maybe, it will help me take this blog in a particular direction, because as you can tell I have been struggling with finding a topic for this stupid thing.

Just wanted to throw the idea out there. It won’t be pretty. I love to write, but I’m not saying it’s going to be any good. But eh..here’s my idea. Thought I’d get it on to paper and mull it over. I’ve had {brilliant} ideas before that have poofed into the black abyss of my mind before and others that still sit collecting dust on the back shelves of my inner workings. I have a book in mind, but I am still looking into others.

Know of any good creative writing books you can suggest?

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Blog on hold.

For the time being, I’m going to have to put this blog on hold. I’ve decided I really need to write about something that matters– that I can showcase in a portfolio and be proud of producing. That said, I’m placing my writing energy into freelance. I’m searching out people and contacts willing to give me an assignment. I’m willing to test many different writing styles, techniques and platforms.

If you’re looking for a writer, let me know!

Sarah.Ryck@gmail.com

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Writing: One

She is driving down the side streets of her neighborhood waving to the neighbors she’s had over for dinner and the children she watched grow up into young adults. She turns down the avenue, and waits as a car backs up into a tight spot between some beat up Nissan and an Infiniti. “Gosh, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore,” she thinks to herself. Her house, the one on the corner. It’s bigger and more beautiful than the one she always imagined when she was young. She smiles gratefully as she makes a wide turn into her two car drive way and pulls forward into the garage.

While she takes the keys out of the ignition, her hand reaches into the back seat and feels around for her purse. As she grabs its strap and pulls it into the front seat, her cellphone falls out of the front pocket and down between her seat and the center console. Without missing a beat the phone begins to ring. She’s expecting to hear from a client and her adrenaline amps up just a bit. Her hand fits between the seats without any trouble, but her forearm is just a bit too short to reach the phone. She wiggles her fingers and wedges her arm down as far as she can. Once she feels the phone, she pushes it out from between her chair and into the back seat. It’s still ringing and vibrating. She fumbles the phone a bit as she answers the call.

“Hello!” She’s been waiting to hear from this client for two hours with the details from the latest campaign efforts. To her avail, she learns efforts so far have produced remarkable results. As the CCO, it is now up to her to decide if the corporation should expand its communications strategy. She wraps up the call by thanking the client for their cooperation and asks if a few personal questions about their family’s latest vacation to the Dominican Republic. “I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks again, Derek. Have a great weekend. Bye.”

She breathes a deep sigh of relief. A great way to wrap up the work week. She relocates her purse and checks the back seat to make sure nothing else fell out. She climbs out of the SUV and closes the garage door behind her. She’s greeted by the most excited wagging tails. Chump, the Rottweiler, moves his entire ass as he dances around the kitchen. Lillie, the 7 pound pap, howls with delight.

She goes through her routine as she usually does when she gets home even though it’s only 3p.m. The dogs are let out into the back yard and fed. The chinchillas are acknowledged and scratched really well. She puts a few dishes that sit in the sink into the dishwasher and goes upstairs to change her clothes. She undresses down to her underwear and hops herself  up and on to the king size piece of heaven in the middle of the room. Unable to help herself, she wiggles her way up to the mound of pillows at the head of the bed.

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Day seven–15 facts

grrrr

  1. I find it difficult to write about myself
  2. I am a champion napper. Super serious, straight up champion.
  3. I’m a pretty good cook. I’m still learning, but I enjoy whipping up a creative meal.
  4. I love deeply. Genuinely. Sincerely.
  5. I don’t believe in religion. I like to learn about them all…but I can’t say I believe in any of them. The one true thing I believe in is love.
  6. I always wear my seat belt.
  7. I’m an excellent listener. Listening leads to understanding. People watching is a passion. I love to learn other perspectives.
  8. I have double chins. Two beautiful baby boy chinchillas.
  9. I’m also a super duper cuddler. Just ask my dog, the boy & my roommates.
  10. I go by many names. Rarely do people actually call me Sarah.
  11. I adore writing, but I couldn’t imagine myself doing only that for a living.
  12. I would really like to travel non-tourist destinations. Anthony Bourdain show me the way!
  13. My goals have changed drastically in the past three years. I want a house near the city with a backyard & a drive way.
  14. The only wine I drink comes out of a box or costs $4.99 a bottle. I’m classy like that.
  15. When I trust you, when I think you accept me, when I think we are close–I will call you names and joke around with you and show you the true meaning of sarcasm.
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Day One–This month’s goals

I’ve always had this obsession with trying to be a well-rounded human. My definition of a well-rounded person has, of course, changed and evolved as I have grown into who I am, but mostly it just never stop learning and improving.

That being said, this next month I am taking a break from both jobs that claim me 7 days a week and my graduate night classes. I’m going upstate to Western New York for an entire month, so I have set up a number of things I want to do. I’m really looking forward to take the time to work on me.

1.       Get back in shape. Working and being pretty busy has distracted me from my own well-being. I’m going to focus on eating the right things and working out on a regular basis. I need to get back into the habit of making my health a priority. I’ve stopped cooking and have resorted to take-out because of its convenience. That is going to change. I LOVE to cook. I’m taking all my cook books home with me. My father and I are going to enjoy home cooked meals!!!

2.       Read. Read. Read. There is nothing more frustrating than craving a good book but knowing you don’t have time to read the books assigned for class and the ones you crave. I have a list of books I want to read as long as Santa’s naughty list! I cannot wait!!

3.       Work on my career. I am pretty young for a graduate student. I love school, but it can only do so much in terms of real world experience, networking and social media. I’ve created a Twitter (@SarahRyck) a few weeks ago and I am working on building a PR network. I have met so many nice people who are willing to mentor a newbie. I want to be involved, start conversations, learn about PR and continue to meet wonderful people.

4.       Write. If I had to choose one thing as my passion I would say writing. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in first grade. My father used to have to take all the notebooks and pens out of my room when it was time for bed otherwise I would be up all night writing elaborate stories and diary entries.  Lately, I’ve fallen out of the practice of writing every day.

5.       Enjoy my friends and family. Being so far away, I haven’t spent nearly as much time as I’d like catching up with my friends and family back home. I’m really excited to take this opportunity to spend some time with them.

6.       Zen. I’m really interested in learning more about being Zen and Buddhism things like meditation. Being so busy can sometimes mix up my priorities. I’d love to learn to be more aware. Right now, I am completely clueless, but it is something that interests me.

Those are just a few examples. I am going to be busy back at home, just busy in a different way. I’m uber excited!

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