July 22, 2014
Tuesday Tips: Writing in Your Adult Life

It’s insanely difficult to keep up the writing while you’re working all day, running errands, paying bills, and trying to live a normal life. It’s not some hobby you can jump in and out of like knitting or cooking or playing cards. It takes time to develop characters, to develop a story, and most importantly, to motivate yourself to write over and over again. It doesn’t matter how many days or weeks or months go by… it’s difficult to pick it back up. It’s intimidating, but here’s what you need to start doing:

  • Join a writers group. They happen all over - network, ask friends, or start your own (it worked for me).
  • Take a workshop. Take a class at a local college or organization, do a summer writer’s seminar, or do a drop-in writing class. In Boston, there’s Grub Street. They have hour-long writing sessions for $10. 
  • Read more. You may not realize, but reading and writing go hand in hand. If you want to start writing more, start reading more books. You’ll find the inspiration you need.
  • Carve out time. If you don’t make the time, you’ll never write. Schedule an hour into your calender. Wake up early and go to a coffee shop. Find a time that works with you and stick to it!
  • Carry a journal. I’ve been working on this one, because it’s tough. I feel silly writing in a journal on the subway, too, but I’ve realized: nobody cares. And some of the best material comes to you while you’re commuting, while you’re listening to a stranger’s conversation, or standing in a line. Take notes.
  • Separate yourself from social media. This one’s a problem for me. I can’t help myself. I get home from work and all I want to do is watch SYTYCD or Orange is the New Black. Instead, turn off the Netflix, the TV, or the movie, and focus on writing. I work best with music, but maybe you work best in a quiet room. Figure out what works and do that more often than not.
  • Commit to it. Whatever you’re thinking about writing, stop thinking about it, and just write it. Writers always have ideas flowing. Instead of letting them float around, it’s important to get them on paper to see if they’re worth pursuing or not.

July 21, 2014
Maine, summer 2014
“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” ― Henry Miller

Maine, summer 2014

“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” 
― Henry Miller

July 18, 2014

Friday Flashback:What I miss most about life before adulthood

  • free breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • capture the flag
  • guaranteed health insurance
  • afternoon naps
  • waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve
  • birthday parties at school
  • rollerblading
  • making water balloons
  • playing dolls all day
  • dance recitals 
  • sleepovers
  • visiting sleeping bear dunes
  • family dinners
  • bike rides
  • trampolines 
  • swimming at the local pool
  • Gilmore Girls
  • going to camp
  • family road trips
  • Halloween candy

Don’t go crying to your momma ‘cause you’re on your own in the real world. - Ain’t It Fun, Paramore

Then again, life ain’t so bad as an adult. This weekend, I’m headed to Maine to enjoy the beautiful weather, the outdoors, a pig roast, a cold beer, and of course, good friends. Happy Friday!

July 17, 2014
"

Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, in a house that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered, and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword, a pebble could be a diamond, a tree, a castle. Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field, from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was queen and he was king. In the autumn light her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls, and when the sky grew dark, and they parted with leaves in their hair.

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.

"

The History of Love, Nicole Krauss (via ibecamethesun)

July 17, 2014
Thursday Tips: Living in Shitty Apartments

I have been (un)fortunate enough to live in three different apartments in Boston, not including my brother’s apartment where I spent three months sleeping on a purple couch in his living room. In all three apartments, I have had major issues. Call it unlucky, or call it city living, but whatever the reason, it happens more often than not. So, here’s some advice for city living, based on my own personal experiences:

  • If there’s a man sleeping on your front door at 1am in the morning,you should call 9-11. They will have him removed. Don’t ever try to climb over a sleeping stranger, especially as you’re jiggling your keys into your front door. 
  • If homeless people continue to frequent your stoop like it’s their home, tell your landlord and call the city’s non-emergency line. Apparently, your landlord can install motion activated lights on the stairs, as well as a no-trespassing sign. Every little bit helps.
  • If you have mice in your apartment, cover all holes in the walls (even the teeny tiny ones), put traps near the walls, and keep your apartment spotless. Also, keep your food in closed containers, keep your trash closed, and make sure there are no messes - clothes included.
  • If you find a cockroach, there are others. Look for holes in the walls, put sticky traps around the apartment, clean everything, especially the kitchen, and kill them with insecticides. 
  • If you live below or above a drummer and they play at 4 or 5am in the morning, report it to the landlord. If the landlord doesn’t do anything and the music doesn’t stop, call 9-11 with a noise complaint. Don’t feel bad. If they play again and again, the cops can remove their drum set and charge them with a fine.
  • If your toilet floods, don’t scream. Seriously, that helps no one. Use a plunger. If the toilet continues to spill water (and the plunger’s not working), lift the back of the toilet and then lift the float cup or float ball high enough so that the water stops running. Now use the plunger to clear the area and reset the float so it sits lower in the tank. And clean up the mess…
  • If you have flies, don’t worry, they tend to live short lives. Until they die, keep your kitchen and living areas spotless. Bump up the air conditioning if you have it. If you don’t (as I do not), use fly paper on the windows and fly traps on the counters. Or use a magazine - works just as well. 
  • If there’s a SWAT team at your apartment, find somewhere else to sleep that night. Refresh your google news, look on Twitter for updates, and email your landlord for details of the incident. You’re entitled to know a) what’s going on b) who they’re after c) what happens to the suspect when they’re sent to the psych unit and d) when they’re expected to return to the apartment (if at all).
  • If you have a creepy neighbor, don’t invite them into your apartment and don’t go inside their apartment. I thought this was self-explanatory, but apparently not.

Of course, these aren’t the only problems one might experience in the city… there are also bed bugs, rats, and spiders. Maybe I’ll be spared in my next apartment, but who knows. All I can say is, I’m ready for a clean, comfortable, safe apartment. I think I deserve that much…

July 14, 2014

(Source: fatelooves-thefearless)

July 13, 2014

Location: Journeyman Restaurant, Union Square, Sommerville, MA

Scene: My older brother’s birthday. We sat at the bar where we watched the chefs make our courses step-by-step as we sipped on numerous cocktails. It was a very satisfying, memorable experience that I recommend to anybody looking for a quiet, expensive night out. There was also a fire in the front of the restaurant. You can’t go wrong.

July 12, 2014
My Top Ten Favorite Things Right Now (Mid-Summer Edition)

  1. strawberries
  2. my hometown
  3. calls from friends
  4. lakes
  5. Orange is the New Black
  6. weekend trips
  7. half-day Fridays
  8. drop-in dance classes
  9. peppermint tea
  10. card games

July 11, 2014

Friday Flashback. The Oh Hello’s, Hello my old heart

Dear sixteen-year-old-me,

Stop straightening your hair; it’s a waste of time and it ruins your natural wave. Say “hi” to people in the halls. I know you think they can’t see you, but they can; you’re not invisible. Throw away the colorful headbands and the matching bows; it’s not a good look. Be confident in your dance moves. Someday you’ll lose that flexibility and those muscles so take advantage while you still can. Don’t worry too much about math and science; those grades won’t matter. Talk to your brothers more. You don’t know it, but someday you’ll miss them. You won’t be a lifeguard forever, I promise. Talk to more girls. You won’t figure this out for a long time, but some of the nicest girls are the quiet ones you pass in the hallway. Kissing will get better, I promise. And someday love will feel different and don’t worry, it will find you… many, many times. Skip class just once. I know, I know, it’s not allowed, but you deserve it. Spend more time with your cousins. Someday you’ll live 700 miles away and you won’t be able to see them on a whim. Write more. You’re young, you’re creative, and you’re motivated. Channel that into your writing. Watch more sunrises over the lake. Don’t stress about prom. You’ll go three times and someday those experiences will blend into one and you’ll find yourself wondering which was which. Don’t worry about the future so much. It will work itself out, I promise. Always follow your heart and never dwell on the mistakes.

Sincerely,

your older self

July 10, 2014
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life."

— John Lennon