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Writing & Connecting & Existing.

I want to find words on encouragement from younger versions of myself. I think I might go galavanting into online communities I’ve abandoned to see what I can find. I think there was wisdom in my college-aged self that maybe I’ve forgotten. I think there are dreams that have been washed away by finding a career and losing myself in learning about nutrition and food. There have been so many days spread out between that time I graduated high school and this very moment. There are feelings I used to have that seem to be muted with common adult problems, car loans and heartbreak.

I am currently reading a lot. I’m devouring contemporary and fantasy fiction and pausing only long enough to catch my breath before starting something else. I am leading a discussion online of Francesca Lia Block’s The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process. I feel like this is the book that I need right now. This is the text for me. These are the words coming from the writer I looked up to when I was a teen. It’s like I’m colliding my adult life with version of my past self and coming up with who I should become.

Writing has always been a way for me to open up. It’s been the way I’ve connected with people across states and countries, a means to get closer and form connections. It’s been the way I can work out my actual thoughts when in real life I might freeze up at the idea of needing to speak. Writing has been a vessel that carried me through high school and college. It helped me in every way it could. Along with music, writing made me feel unstoppable, like anything could happen.

Music is something else I forget about far too frequently. Gone are the days of lounging around reading liner notes and dreaming of following around bands who are on tour. Gone are the days I inked lyrics on my skin with glitter pens and used iron-on transfers to express myself on clothing. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the ways that we can create. There are Etsy shops full of everything imaginable, inspired by music and fiction and fandoms all over. There are tattoos now to permanently mark skin – I know, there have always been tattoos, but it wasn’t until I was in high school that Massachusetts changed their law so that tattooing was legal in the state. How far we’ve come in 20 years. It’s unfathomable that people weren’t able to just go to the next town over and get inked. Now it’s possible. So much is possible.

It’s even easier to connect with people over the internet now. Before there were message boards and AOL chats and livejournal. Now there is Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. In the middle we had Myspace, a place to express ourselves and make friends and incorporate music into our online lives. When I was younger I had a hard time connecting with people in real life. I couldn’t tell my friends in high school things that I felt, and I couldn’t figure out how to trust them with my inside thoughts. I’d watched countless friends find ones that they liked better, and didn’t know how to have conversations about important things. On the outside I was that girl obsessed with a certain band, trying to be bubbly and have a good time. I wrote everything down in journals, I explored pain in fiction, and I escaped into writing more than anyone can imagine.

If I’m at work and typing I am out in the open, and keyboards are not quiet. I always get comments on how fast I type. Always. I kind of brush it off, saying that I’ve been typing for a long time. And I have. I’ve been typing since I was seven years old trying to learn how to use an MS Dos computer to write my own stories. I’ve been really writing stories in word processing programs since I discovered fan fiction and Hanson when I was twelve years old. I filled notebooks with stories and typed them up at night. I spent hours connecting with people over AOL Instant messenger then writing my thoughts into the internet abyss in Open Diary then Xanga then Livejournal. I’ve been writing and typing for a long time. 21 years of knowing my way around a keyboard that hasn’t changed makes it so yes, I can type very fast. I can type faster than I can think, actually, and it’s a weird thing to think about. Type skills are probably getting worse as technology progresses. We have lots of people who come up to reference with a phone in their hands telling us they don’t know how to use a computer. They don’t know how to sit down and open up Google Chrome and sign into their e-mail. It’s really interesting to be at this point in technology where there are families who never bothered having a computer – not because they can’t but because desk tops and lap tops are becoming less and less relevant for adults who are not attending classes.

But now back to writing. Back to existing. I often find myself in the midst of having too many plans and dare I say enjoying myself too much to the point where I’m home and I feel exhausted, but I don’t have the time to unwind and my mind is reeilng and I go into the next day and work and do my thing and I forget about me. I forget to stop and reconnect. Writing is and always has been my way to reconnect. It’s like I have this inner Melanie that I can touch base with here and there, and I’d like to believe it’s the same girl who would have written her future self words of encouragement and reminders of who she is.

 

  • if you’re wondering, I typed this on 750words.com and wrote at about 50 words per minute, but yesterday when I was typing it was 74 wpm. I’ve tested myself on online tests at up to 90 wpm, but then I make way too many mistakes. I don’t even know what’s normal, so I suppose it’s fast, but what is fast, really?
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April 2018: Old School Ponderings

I got an e-mail today notifying me that this domain had renewed. I had to rush to the bank so I could deposit at least $2, so I wouldn’t overdraft that account that I barely use anymore. I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging lately. I’ve been thinking about what it means to me, and what it used to mean. I’ve been trying so hard to put my blogging thoughts into a box, to become something marketable and to squeeze this place into a niche that it’s all become stagnant.

And that is not how I want it to be.

Way way back in the day there was OpenDiary, and online journal where you could be anonymous if you chose. You could meet people and connect with them on different levels than in real life. I did that many times over. I made lasting friendships and traveled places I never would have thought to travel. We moved on from OpenDiary to Xanga then Livejournal. Livejournal was the community that thrived back when I was in college especially. Right as Myspace was becoming a thing.

I’m going to stop right there to let that sink in.

College & Myspace.

That dates these thoughts to 11-15 years ago. That dates me quite a bit as well.

Now community is elsewhere. It’s on Facebook and Instagram. There are groups and Reddit communities and Twitter parties. There are Snapchat groups and websites and e-mail newsletters. We are all spread so thin that we have to connect in many ways. Often companies and blogs will promote themselves across different platforms, which is fine, but it gets redundant when you’re seeing the same images and thoughts everywhere. People read less blogs. They watch YouTube videos and Instagram stories. I find myself wondering where my interests lie. My Instagram feed fills up with pictures of food and open air, yet I want my blog to have more than that. I feel split in a way that only I feel it. Should I change my name somewhere? Should I just let things be the same.

And then I come back to myself and the act of being frozen in indecision, allowing life to move along around me. And that isn’t something that feels good to me, either.

What does feel good? I wonder this sometimes when I’m obsessing over the current series I’m reading (A Court of Thorns and Roses, I’m rereading book 3, if anyone is wondering) and can’t help but lay down and just listen. What tastes good? What is good? It’s so easy to get caught up in the every day that we forget what we are doing and we forget to be here right now, today. Weeks are taking forever to go by. It’s almost May. and yet IT’S ALMOST MAY. The weather has been terrible. We are getting toward the middle of the year. And it still feels like February is slowly passing through.

I’m not committing to anything by writing this blog post, but I am wanting to think more and to feel the keys beneath my fingers move. I’m wanting to remember words and unlock my thoughts again. I’m wanting this familiar feelings of community in a disjointed world. I’m wanting to create something for myself.

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Writing Into Empty Spaces

I miss the words and the thoughts and the love, oh the love, pouring out of me. I miss feeling like I have a purpose, a reason to put fingers to keys. I miss the urgency and the ideas. I miss all things writerly. Over the past few years I’ve experienced my itch to write diminish even more. I’m afraid if I scratch, it will be gone. I know we change and we mutate and we grow. I know we become different people all while staying who we are. I know that writing isn’t in the cards for everyone, and that I have a career that I’m nurturing and loving. I know all this.

But that doesn’t change the fact that when I sit down and think about it, I get sad that it’s been weeks since I’ve blogged. It’s been days since I’ve stopped and read through an entire article, a chapter, an episode without looking for a distraction in between. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked on a novel. In November I started something. In November I always start something. And then a few days, a week, later I stopped.

It’s unconscious at first. I might take a day off. I might get distracted or forget. And pretty soon it’s weeks or months later and I’m sitting here remembering the intentions I had. I feel like this about a lot of things. If I don’t get very specific and intentional about what I want, I lose track.

There are so many things that I want to do.

There are places I want to go, people I want to meet and experiences I want to have. I get distracted with all the ambitious thoughts. I get lost in myself and the research during times that I cannot actively do things. When I can’t cook, but I’m looking up recipes I add them to Pinterest. Forgotten. When I can’t write but I have a thought I add it to a list in a journal somewhere. Forgotten. When I can’t exercise, but I’d like to probably do yoga or start running, I add it to Pinterest. I look up techniques and blogs. And then it’s all forgotten.

I can’t quite figure out how to get myself to do things a lot of the time. It’s those in between moments when I’m inspired. I’m inspired in the shower or while I’m driving to work. I’m inspired by a song during a busy moment, or a YouTube channel when it’s almost bed time. And all of the empty space when I could be doing things. I could be writing or achieving or exercising or cooking? I can’t quite figure out what I do with that time.

I know, realistically, that I’m watching TV or reading or driving because I’m not sure what else to do with myself. I’m watching another YouTube channel, playing Best Fiends, or kind of sort of napping.

How do I get myself to do things when I can? I get distracted. I forget. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I don’t want to talk to people or exert myself. Distractions and forgetting are the hardest, and most common parts. I need lists. I need down time to think and organize. I need to figure out how my brain works, or else it doesn’t work. A lot of times I feel like it’s not working.

I can’t tell if there’s actually something wrong with the way my brain works, or how I work. I can’t tell if I’m lazy or normal. I can’t tell if my ambitions are too high for myself, or if they’re realistic and I’m just not doing the things. It comes in every way. I forget about laundry until I can’t find any pants. I forget that my car is a mess, even when that mess is right next to me, until I’m trying to squash another thing in the front seat where there’s no more room. I forget that I wanted to clean off my desk or try a new recipe or work out on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I think I’ve always been like this, though I used to write more. It used to be something that occupied my brain. It doesn’t anymore. But what occupies my brain? I have so much going on sometimes, so many different autopilot thoughts, that I can’t organize the contents. Some days I feel exhausted just by thinking. Some days I feel out of sorts and like I’m a mess, and it’s all because my brain can’t calm down and feel composed.

Is this what it’s like to be an adult? Is this how life works? Is there a reason I can’t see the mess in front of me, can’t remember that ONE thing I wanted to get done, can’t write because my mind won’t go in that direction? I know that your brain forms pathways, and the more frequently you think about certain things the deeper the paths. I wonder if somewhere along the line I just lost the mental capacity to write and to have ideas and passion for expressing myself. I wonder if some time when I was younger I allowed myself to forget the pathways to remember simple chores. I wonder if it’s part of something larger.

Some things that occupy my mind lately: Roller Derby though I don’t actually skate, food food food, Weight Watchers, how I should exercise, what I should post on my library instagram, a million stupid thoughts expressed on Facebook, Pinterest and how to get lost down the rabbit hole, how can I entertain myself this evening, how much money is in my bank account, did I pay that bill?, what am I doing tonight, what can I eat for dinner, where can I go to find new restaurants, a lot of Best Fiends, instagram instagram instagram, YouTube, water, drink more water, I’m tired of being tired, has anyone sent me an email? oh I was supposed to e-mail so and so, I think I’ll check Snapchat filters instead. Is anybody reading this? Did anybody ever read this? This all seems pointless, Hygge, why isn’t it Spring yet, what am I going to buy so and so for whatever, no I should probably not buy those leggings, I want to travel to all the places, food, food, instagram, Roller Derby, food cures, allergies, how to boost immune system.
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Goodbye 2017

What a fucking year.

The word for 2017 was Magic. I used this word when I needed to calm myself, and when I needed to remind myself of anything. I won free lularoe leggings for a year, and I won an essential oil diffuser. Winning, for me, is magic. I’ve learned more about magic, taken a class by Gala Darling and started slowly incorporating magic and energy into my life. It’s not perfect and I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but it’s a thing.

I climbed the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, MA, which is something I had wanted to do for years.

2017 was the year of halo top. It was the year of essential oils, zucchini noodles and Sarah J Maas novels. And YouTube. A lot of YouTube.

I lost one of my favorite people.

I watched two of my friends get married (not to each other). I celebrated birthdays with two different toddlers. I met a beautiful baby girl during her first day on earth.

I nursed heartache that still plagues me, went on some odd dates, and met a guy who I spent sixish weeks dating. I still think about him sometimes. Not in a way where I want to date him, but just because he is a sweet, unique guy.

I joined weight watchers, left it for low carb/ keto then joined weight watchers again. I’m down 30 pounds from where I was a year ago, but I had been down as much as 43 and I’ve learned a few things about weight. For me, five- ten pounds isn’t much to lose or gain. I’ve learned that I just need to do something and stick with it. I need to keep at it and eventually I’ll get though here.

I saw Hanson live a few times. I met Maggie Stiefvater. I completed my Goodreads challenge of 53 books.

Travel. I filled my wanderlust. I went to Vermont, Oklahoma, Tennessee, New York and South Carolina.

My book club has continued to thrive. I’ve reconnected with old friends and strengthened bonds with others. I’ve become increasingly more unfiltered about different topics with some people.

In the middle of the summer I was hired for my dream position – YA librarian. It’s been a rollercoaster of working in reference and trying to figure out what being a YA Librarian in my current library means to me. I’m still working on it. We are working on what we have to offer teens. In a way I feel like I haven’t quite started yet.

Ive gone to tons of trivia nights and won lots of those nights.

I’ve learned how to make a little extra money with surveys and different online apps. I’ve struggled with having my finances be extra tight, and I’ve struggled with spending all the money when it’s not tight. I’m still trying to figure out what money means to me, and how I can take back control of it. It is an ongoing process but I feel like I keep getting closer.

Last night I set up my bullet journal for a new adventure in 2018. Today I joined the YMCA. I’ve decided on some things I want to do next year. I’m so ambitious, and I want to follow through with all my thoughts.

I’m grateful for so many things. In 2017 I’ve tried to make a habit of making gratitude lists, and I’m going to continue that habit in 2018. I watched a video where someone was saying that one year they wrote down one specific good thing about their day, every day for a year. I love that so much that I’m doing to adopt it.

See you in 2018, everyone.

It’s only minutes away.

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Hello December!

What are your dreams, hopes and wishes for this month?

I’m working on feeling organized. I’ve got heaps of little gifts to get in order and I’ve been slowly decluttering my things.

I have three more books to read for this year in order to finish my Goodreads goal. It’s really doable for me, I just need to decide WHAT to read!

Tea every day! I was going through my loose leaf tea and I’ve got so much I’ve decided to drink at least a cup of day (and document it on instagram because why not).

Taking time to reflect on this year and make goals and set intentions for 2018. I can’t believe we are almost there.

Also! This is my favorite time of year, and I want to be sure to be in the present moment and to enjoy it.

Xo

Melanie

2017 · magic · melanie kristy · Uncategorized · writing

Did I Fail NaNoWriMo? / What Happens Next?

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November is over. There is no more National Novel Writing Month. We are on to holidays and shopping and drinking hot chocolate and driving around looking for Christmas lights (at least, I am), and moving on from our awesome or disastrous attempts at writing 50,000 words of a novel in November.

So tell me. How did you do?

 

I wrote 3,000 words in the first week and then stopped because life got in the way.

I’m here to tell you, though, that just because you didn’t “win” NaNoWriMo, doesn’t mean you failed. That art of writing is not a win/ lose situation. There’s no competition for great art. So maybe you didn’t get enough words. Maybe you gave up half way through. Maybe you couldn’t get past the first 3,000 words. It doesn’t matter, it’s all great.

Just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you didn’t accomplish something, and that’s what is more important. If you’re a writer or want to be a writer or used to be a writer and you participated in NaNoWriMo even for half a day this year, you accomplished something great. You accomplished something that most people will not do in this life time. You imagined a plot, you thought up characters, you dug into the dusty areas of your mind and committed to writing something. So be proud of yourself for that.

What happens next?

Well… you keep writing. You revisit what progress you’ve made so far. You give yourself more goals, and maybe think about figuring out what kinds of goals are realistic to you, and you keep on going.

For years and years I’ve passively thought about finishing a novel. It’s been a very long time since I’ve written something to completion. All those goals were so passive, that I never even visited my novels or started fresh. I wanted to make certain seasons “the one where I write a book”. And then I’d put that idea back on the shelf and move along with my life.

First off, it’s okay to not write a novel. It’s okay to not publish anything. It’s okay to only ever write for yourself or your friend or your lover.

But if that’s not enough for you, I suggest you do something different.

Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to spend December thinking about the novel I started. I’m going to figure out where I really want to go with it – I realized that PLOT is my main issue with this current work, mainly that it doesn’t have one – and I’m going to figure out how to get there. And then I’m going to make 2018 the year I write and complete a novel. I’m telling you all now. I’m not going to table this idea. I am going to make it happen. I’m going to be responsible for birthing an entire YA novel.

And that’s what happens next. For me, at least.

Tell me what’s next for you. Tell me how you did. And we can figure out where to go from here.

xo
Melanie
2017 · favorites · Uncategorized

November Favorites 2017

album: Finally It’s Christmas by Hanson. Of course a Hanson album would be on here, especially if it’s a Christmas one in November. This cd came out in last October and I waited until my birthday to listen to it. My friend Erin and I blasted the album and tried to talk over the songs while driving down to the Cape for birthday lunch and mall wandering. Watch the nostalgic music video, too.

book: They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera. I just recently (finally!!!) started reading Adam Silvera’s books, and I’m kind of sad that I only have one left. Both books that I’ve read have been amazing so far. They Both Die At The End follows two characters – Mateo and Rufus – who got the Death-Cast call just after midnight on the day this book takes place. This means sometime in the next 24 hours they’re going to die, but neither one has any idea how. Join them as navigate their last day together.

television: I’m revisiting Boy Meets World, a long time favorite, on Hulu and I’m really enjoying it. It’s just the right combination of old time nostalgia paired with awesome characters and fun episodes that I pseudo remember to keep me interested.

podcast: I’ve downloaded way too many podcasts lately, and I haven’t really gotten into the rhythm of listening to them consistently, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Straight and Curly (A Podcast for Self Improvement Junkies).

videos: Gala Darling started a 6 week series called the Wonderland Sessions and I am loving them so far. There are two videos up and she hardcore talks about real shit, feeling awesome and how your vibration affects other peoples’ reaction to you. Watch the first video here

youtuber: Jessica Out Of The Closet / Jessica Kellgren-Folzard This girl has so much style! I randomly found her as a suggestion on my YouTube homepage, and I subscribed immediately. She discusses disabilities, chronic illnesses, clothes and much more, and she always has an amazing and upbeat attitude. Her vibe is infectious!

essential oil: lavender is my standby favorite scent. It makes me feel calm and happy, and I use a roller ball all the time just to force me to stop and change my vibe & recenter my mind

app: ibotta has helped me earn money back on certain items that I buy. It can be fun to scroll through and see what promotions are happening at the moment. Use my referral link to sign up and we both get paid https://ibotta.com/r/vmeuhhd

What did you love in November?

x.
Melanie