Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday High Five

Every other Friday, I post a short list of five things currently making me smile. This is the latest installment. For past High Fives, click here.

1. Metaphorical Book Review. 
My friend Erica Sklar (AKA my cheerleader, therapist, reader, workout buddy, MFA wife, and text message recipient) has started up an amazing blog. It's called Metaphorical Book Review, and twice a week she reviews a book by comparing it to something else in ten sentences or less. The resulting nuggets are rich, deep, personal, useful, and all around lovely. Here, I will give you an example:
Hunger is a southern magnolia tree. It is sturdy and easy to climb into and around — close and roomy at the same time. The magnolia’s flowers are large but delicate, pure white. Like Hunger's prose, they offer great beauty without imposing themselves on the entire tree, unlike the saucer magnolia, which, at its peak, is overrun with flowers such that it has no leaves at all. The difference is that our magnolia is evergreen, while the saucer is deciduous.
Gorgeous, right? I highly recommend it for all your reading needs.

2. A Morning Off
Between my two freelance jobs, I've been working pretty much full time since I graduated, for which I'm very grateful. But the beauty of freelancing (so I've heard) is that you can make your own schedule. I decided to try this concept out and yesterday, I took the morning off. Nathan was home too, and between the two of us we worked the bees, caught up on laundry, changed the bed sheets, and mowed the lawn. It was a relaxing few hours, exactly what I needed to feel like my life is in order and under control.

3. Draft Seven. 
I finally started working on my book again. (Now that I'm graduated, I can't call it a thesis anymore: novel it is). My plan is to finish a "final" draft by the end of the summer, so that I can send it to agents in the fall. Right now, I'm going through comments and line edits from the three people on my thesis committee, taking notes and making changes as I go. It's a nice way to reintroduce myself to the book, since I haven't actively worked on it since late February, and good news - I still like most of what I'd written! Whew.

4. Planning Trips. 
Nathan's work schedule regularly gives him four days off in a row; my schedule is mostly mine to mold (see #2). Therefore, we're planning to do a lot of traveling this summer, mostly to see all the friends and family we neglected over the last three years while we were both in school/figuring out our careers. In June, we're going first to Long Island to see my parents, and later to Spencer, NC to visit my oldest friend, who moved there last year. We're also hoping to squeeze in trips to Rhode Island, Texas, Asheville, and Illinois. Only time and bank accounts will tell!

5. Freelance and the Hustle 
I will probably write more about this soon, but so far I'm really enjoying the whole freelance thing. I thought the part I would dislike most would be the "hustle" aspect - searching for new leads, asking about jobs, hunting down opportunities. But I actually kind of like it (even though so far I've hit a bunch of dead ends). I've been reading a bunch of freelance blogs, I got a book about working for yourself, and I opened a second savings account to put aside money for taxes. While I'm not getting rich just yet, I do feel like this is the right career path for me, at least at this point in my life. I'm feeling positive, optimistic, and a whole lot more relaxed than I would have expected, considering my need for order, control, and routine. Let's hope this feeling continues!

Overall, it's been a quiet and productive week, full of writing, reading, and working, which is fine with me. How about you?