Monday, February 20, 2012

Birthday Bike Ride

Nathan's entire birthday party.

This past weekend happened in stages - Crazy Friday, Relaxing Saturday, Productive Sunday. A recipe for success if I ever saw one. Let's begin with the Crazy. 

Friday: Nathan got home from work late and I immediately jumped in the car. We had an appointment to sign a contract on a wedding venue. Yes! A decision has been made, money has exchanged hands, and we have breathed a huge sigh of relief. I'll post all the details tomorrow, but for now here's a hint:

If you can guess where we're getting hitched (and I haven't already told you!), then I'll think of some kind of fun prize to send to you. 

After rushing to our appointment we rushed again, this time to the UNCW MFA Anti-Genre Reading. My program has three genre concentrations - fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction - and each student is required to a take certain number of credits outside their primary genre. This yearly reading celebrates that crossing over. I signed up to read, and since my genre is fiction, I went with creative nonfiction, which I also enjoy. I ended up reading an essay I wrote a few years ago, about the experience of having dreadlocks in college, and unless everyone was lying to me and pretending to laugh during the funny parts, my essay was very well received. I felt really good about the reading, and grateful all over again for the opportunity to write alongside such talented, supportive, and hardworking writers. After the reading we celebrated at the bar, and then stumbled home and fell asleep around midnight, because that's about as late as we can stay up. Such a good night.

Walking along the Cape Fear River.

Saturday: Nathan's 31st birthday! After I got over the disappointment of his request to cancel his birthday party, I made sure he had a good day and celebrated exactly how he wanted - low key, relaxing, and just a tiny bit decadent. We woke up late, made a huge brunch and drank mimosas, and then rode our bicycles downtown. Downtown Wilmington is really cute, with tons of restaurants and shops and a very nice riverwalk, but we hardly ever take advantage of it. On Saturday, we played tourists in our own town. We had vegan hot dogs, sat outside a coffee shop and people watched with a friend we just happened to run into, and rode our bikes to the end of riverwalk. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we were with each other, so really, it couldn't have been better. That night we used a coupon at our favorite expensive restaurant and ate our weight in sushi and curry and wine, which was also glorious. I guess quiet birthdays are okay after all.

Coffee and friends.

I look like a hipster when I ride my bike.

Sunday: We woke to a wet and gray day, which was fine with me. I had a lot of work to catch up on and Nathan has a big test this week, so we spent all day at our desks, drinking coffee and getting shit done. We did take a short break at 2pm for a spin class at the YMCA, which is the perfect way to rejuvenate the brain and keep the body from atrophying in the name of education. I got a lot of work done - revising and reading, mostly - and even managed to submit a piece to five journals, per my 2012 resolution of doing so monthly (so far, so good!). I finished my submissions at about noon, and by 5:00pm had already received one rejection - and on a Sunday, no less! I didn't take it too personally, because how much time could someone have actually spent reading and considering my piece in that amount of time, but hot damn. Submitting work is hard enough. The least they could do is pretend to read it. 

As for this week, I need to do some serious research on my next creative nonfiction piece, get ahead in my reading for once, go to at least three yoga classes, and read a literary journal. I keep a stack of never-touched lit journals on my bedside table, which makes me feel guilty every time I go to sleep. I keep thinking I'll read them when I have the time, but clearly that has not been working. So: less reading GOMI forums, more reading literary journals. That shouldn't be too hard. 

Hope you all have a great, happy, productive, and satisfying week. Until next time!