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New York, Portugal the Man, and Writing Update

Whew, it’s been a busy month! Concert, trip to NYC, my birthday, and a flurry of writing. Here’s a small update with the highlights:

Portugal the Man

Portugal the Man concert‘Portugal. The Man’ has become one of my absolute favorite bands over the past few years. I discovered them when looking for songs to fit my project code named: Shotgun Girl, and fell instantly in love. Several of their songs were absolutely instrumental in shaping the Shotgun Girl plot (as you can tell from the playlist). They are actually the only band I’ve turned Chris on to, instead of the other way around.

When they came to Nashville, only a two hour drive away from us, I knew Chris and I had to go.

We ended up with tickets to the pit, which was my first time ever being so close. I had some concerns about the standing or the noise, especially after I forgot my earplugs, but there was absolutely no problem.

You know, I really didn’t get music when I was younger. I found it distracting when I was trying to focus on other things, and it had the ability to affect my moods strongly, which gave me a sense of lack of both helplessness and hopelessness. I never used to understand why people would want to go to a concert or stand there with speakers blasting away at them. However, the older I get the more I find there’s music out there I actually enjoy. It was incredible to stand right there in front of the speakers, looking directly at the creators of the music I love, as they gave an amazing performance. No mood modification, no sense of being out of control. I liked it.

New York

A few months ago my great-uncle passed away after an absolutely amazing life of 90+ years. He survived World War II, was married to the love of his life for almost 70 years, and left behind a big, happy family that adored him and his buoyant spirit and sense of humor. The memorial and funeral were set for the same weekend after the Portugal concert, so I ended up staying the night in Nashville and flying out to NYC the next morning.

My littlest sister and I shared a hotel in Times Square the first night before spending the rest of the time with family. She’d been begging me for a New York trip ever since our other sister and I went to NY in 2011. Because of the short time period we focused on just being in the city and people-watching, but we did get up to some cool stuff.

Pictures under the cut!

Continue reading “New York, Portugal the Man, and Writing Update”

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Stop the Holidays, I Want to Get Off (With GIFs!)

I love the holidays. I love decorating and singing holiday songs and eating caloric food and visiting family.

But the day after the actual event I am done. DONE, do you hear me?

This December was a flurry of activity, with my writing, work, and personal life all swirling together. In case you weren’t aware, I’m in a leadership role in my day job, and act as the coordinator for a lot of our company events. Let’s break this down:

December Week 1

Turned in ACORAS to my agent! Celebrate! Indulge in guilt-free television-watching sessions and internet surfing!

Begin to think guiltily about ACORAS 2, which I officially started for NaNoWriMo and stopped working on in order to not over-stimulate the story.

Week 2

Even though I’d been planning for it all year, scrambled this week to fill the final details on the annual company Christmas party! Have first stress migraine.

At party receive recognition reward in front of all staff. Ride in limo.

Week 3

I was in NYC again! This time Chris went with me! It was a structured event so we had no free time to see friends or family (though I did sneak in half an hour with Sammy Bina while I was supposed to be touring the World Trade Center Memorial Center).

If you’ll recall, I was in NYC basically the same weekend last year, so it was a lot of dejavu. I still didn’t have time to see the NYC Public Library (it’s on my bucket list), but Chris and I had a wonderful time at the stuff we did get to do, which included eating at fabulous restaurants, giggling so hard we cried at WICKED on Broadway, eating the best pizza and cannolis I have ever had from some hole in the wall place, and buying way too many scarves in Chinatown.

Week 3

Our family Christmas party! We had a Godfather theme this year, so we served home-made meatballs and spaghetti sauce, home-made bruschetta, and made our own meat trays and caprese! We bought way too much food and have agreed to tone it down for next year, which is a total relief because preparing all that was exhausting.

Week 4

Christmas!! We spent every spare minute with family. Chris gifted me with all of our much-wished-for camping gear, so we will finally be able to go camping together as soon as the weather warms! Speaking of weather, it managed to sleet/snow here the day after Christmas, which is sort of a Christmas miracle. I’ll take it.

We went fox hunting with my family, but it was miserable cold, and we weren’t allowed to keep the car on or talk at all because we had to listen to the radio and for the hounds. It was awful.

This Week!

I’m sick, but finally back at work and on a regular schedule. It is such a relief to be ‘back to normal’ after a month of deviation. We are dieting and running again, I will be able to write more in the evenings, and we will take more steps towards finishing the updates on the house.

Goals for 2013

  • Sign a book deal. This one isn’t really up to me at this point, but it would be nice to do :-)
  • Finish the second sleeping beauty story. I loved having a month off in December because it showed me how much I can’t help developing stories. The second book is coming alive in ways it totally didn’t when under the deadline of NaNoWriMo. I’m very excited to turn it into another work I’m incredibly proud of.
  • Run in a 5K. Chris and I didn’t run in December at all, but we’re back on it starting tonight!
  • Hit my goal weight. We really have this diet and exercise thing down pat, it’s just a matter of sticking to the process. I’m excited for the progress I know will come.
  • Update my crafting blog twice a month.

Oh, what’s that? Crafting blog? Yes, I craft. I am a crafter. I just love making stuff with my hands, but I feel weird about sharing that stuff on here since you guys aren’t here for that. So, I’ve decided to separate out the projects, and if you’re interested you can follow along at Paper & Teal. It’s something I’m just getting started, but I should have some of my past projects up there soon, and I’m doing a new one with Chris this weekend.

2013 here we come!

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What about you? What are you up to/what are your goals for 2013? Leave a link to your blog if you’ve already blogged about it!

<3, Savannah

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Dropping out of NaNo, and I’m taking the Big Apple!

Well I might as well make it official. Despite how much I love it and how outspoken I’ve been about it this year, I have to drop out of NaNoWriMo.

My reason is simple, and the best one of all: revising other projects to make them more sell-worthy.

After speaking to my agent, I’m putting down NAMELESS for a bit and preparing  my zombie book, THE DEAD-FILLED HALLS for her eyes. I need to add a few chapters to the beginning (the first chapter excerpt I shared will no longer be the first chapter).

Then it’s moving on to the sleeping beauty retelling :-) I’m adding in a few things, doing some slight world-building changes, and modifying the somewhat-heavy middle section. If I’m a very good writer I think I can be done by the end of the year and return to writing brand new NAMELESS stuff.

Which leads to my next point: I’m going to NYC! My sister and I will be in the city from Dec 8th to 12th. I’ve already made plans to meet up with my fellow LTWF Sammy Bina, who works for a high-profile literary agency.

I went to NYC once when I was 13 and did all the touristy stuff; this trip is more about visiting family and hanging out (read: shopping).

I’m not really one of those people that romanticizes NY. True, I had the bug when I was 17 for about 6 months, but it’s passed. I blame Sex & the City. Yes I know how pathetic that is.

And yet NY is still one of those places I visit frequently in my dreams, so I’m particularly excited about going back and seeing it now that I’m an adult and can wander off and explore on my own. Plus it’s a city known for growing writers and hosting both publishers and agencies, which makes it part of the culture surrounding my passion. You could call it the holy land for American writers.

I guess it’s about time I made the pilgrimage :-)