Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday High Five

Every other now and then on 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. Round Up of Damn Good Writing 
Thanks to my MFA, I know a lot of really wonderful writers. I've been bookmarking these pieces and I'm finally sharing them with y'all, so grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and prepare to have your heart broken and your world changed.

"Cold Planet," by Joe Worthen (I first heard this story at an MFA reading, and it's just as sad and weird and beautiful as I remember) 
"My Mother, My Writing Student," by Robert Anthony Siegel (I studied with this professor more than any other while at UNCW - he's a brilliant teacher, as this NYT piece shows!) 
"Our Love In Space," by Kathleen Jones (THIS POEM THIS POEM THIS POEM) 
"The Limits Our Culture Puts On Love," an interview with Sally J. Johnson (Wise words from a dear friend - this should be required reading for all humans) 
"Waiting for Supermoon," by Eric Tran (Voted Most Likely to Break Your Heart) 
This Interview with Ben Hoffman (He's winning everything lately, and I couldn't be happier for him. One of my favorite writers to come out of the program, and a great person, too!) 

2. Draft #7: Done.
Earlier this week I finished my seventh and final (for now) draft of my novel. WHEW. I gave a copy to Erica for a read through, just to make sure I didn't do anything obviously stupid, and then I'm going to start querying agents in a few weeks. I'm working on my letter right now! It's very exciting and I'm feeling good, though I'm sure this optimism will ebb and flow. Luckily I've got #binders full of encouragement from friends, family, and fellow writers. ;) Having a community - especially at this stage - is so important, and I'm grateful for the one I've got. 

3. Orange is the New Black 
Nathan and I watch this show with Erica, but she was in France for five weeks, starting right around when season two aired. And so we waited... and waited... and waited... and finally spent the last week and a half binge watching. And it was so good! I'm glad that this season spent more time with the other inmates and less time with Piper. Also, Piper Kerman is coming to UNCW this March. I'm trying to decide if I should read the book before then, but it's a tough call. This might be the first time in my life that I don't want the book to spoil the television show! 

4. New Kitchen Chairs 
A year ago, we got this giant kitchen table for a steal from an MFA grad who was moving to Colorado. I love it because both sides fold down, so it can also be a tiny table. This is especially great since our new place (THREE WEEKS TO GO) doesn't have a dining room, so we'll be keeping the table tiny until we have dinner guests. The table came with wicker chairs that had been painted different colors which was cute, but not our style. I've been on the hunt for new chairs, but we had pretty specific desires. Something classy and sort of mid-century, if possible. Dark brown wood, to match the rest of our house. Foldable, since we'd only use two of them on a regular basis. And as inexpensive as possible, because we are eternally broke. When I came across these folding chairs from World Market, I knew we had a winner. We scored six of them for $11 each and they're perfect. 

5. Thunderstorms 
It's July in Wilmington, and that means we've been getting daily thunderstorms. They're brief and intense and loud, and once they leave it's soaking wet and just slightly cooler than before. Yesterday it rained all morning while I was writing, and then stormed at night while I was lying in bed, drifting off to sleep. Any day bookended by thunderstorms is a good one.

I hope you had a good week as well, and are looking forward to fun, relaxing, productive weekend. See you on the other side!