Amelie and Apples

Last week was my 23rd birthday. Birthdays are my favorite holidays. Not mine solely, but all birthdays in general. How special it is to celebrate the very day in history when a person you love didn’t exist for one moment and then suddenly did. I was nervous for this birthday. Mostly because it was my first time celebrating it really away from home and family. And yet, my nerves were for naught. The night’s festivities brought eight terrifically thoughtful and talented ladies from my MFA program together. It’s incredible to me that just after a month of knowing each other, we can connect on such a familial level. We went out for sushi at the local Asiana House and then came back home to watch Amelie, one of two movies in the world I could watch forever. It was wonderful.

Speaking of adventures and familial love, yesterday my closest friends here and I went to Peck Farm Orchard in East Montpelier to go apple picking and walk through the corn maze. I took a lot of pictures, because the Vermont landscape in autumn just begs to be photographed. The honeycrisps were magical – they are the closest thing to experiencing solid apple cider. Two of my friends had never been to an apple orchard before. To see their faces brighten at the simple pleasure of crunching into a hand-picked apple was so worth it!

Today, I’m working most of the day on writing a story for class, which hopefully turns into a novel. I love the main character and am really excited with playing with the interplay between language and format. We are to turn in a maximum of 25 pages for a workshop, which is difficult because my original idea for this story was in terms of a novel structure. I think it’s harder to condense a novel idea into a story, rather than finding the pleats in a short story to expand it into a novel. But, I am focused and determined to give this short story my all. Perhaps, I’ll make a big push in the novel for NaNoWriMo. Note to self: I need to create a story playlist on Spotify. This is a tool I discovered a few years ago. Organizing songs that get me into the mood of the story and the mind of the characters really helps me write and visualize scenes. (If you don’t already read the LitHub playlists inspired by classic novels, I suggest you check it out now! Here’s the link for Lolita, To the Lighthouse, Beloved, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.)

Other updates: I should probably clean my studio (how it’s so easy to put this off) and I have three various freelance projects to work on. I finished Tales of Falling and Flying and loved its simplicity and absurdist-spun fables. Now, I’m double-fisting The Catcher in the Rye and The Areas of My Expertise. They are definitely for different moods. Catcher is useful for the particular voice I’m trying to capture in my own story, and the intellectual, but superbly preposterous made-up facts of The Areas of My Expertise is the exact silliness I need to read to help me go to sleep at night. Perhaps next on my to-do list is to also re-read Einstein’s Dreams, which is one of my all-time favorites.

And eat lots of apples, of course!

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