Thursday, June 01, 2017

Right Here, Right Now: May Report

What a month May was! I swam in the ocean for the first time this year, Nathan started summer classes at UNCW, I re-launched my blog and kept my promise of posting twice a week, some friends got married, some other friends had a baby, and we finally turned on the AC. If this is a sign of the summer to come, then I believe it's going to be a good one. Here's everything else that kept me busy in May: 


Pitch, write, repeat. I've been trying to pick up some more freelance work this year (#sidehustle) and was rewarded with two publications in May. One was a guest post for the YNAB blog, in which I shared my budgeting success story. The other was an essay in The Billfold about the cost of keeping bees. The beekeeping one was meant to be funny and self-depracating, but apparently some Brits on Twitter took it at face value and spent a long time tweeting about how terrible I am. It was a good lesson in the danger of humor on the internet. At any rate, I like the piece and I love The Billfold, and I hope to write for them again. 


The Idiot. My book club just finished a long, strange, funny book - The Idiot, by Elif Batuman. It's about a young Turkish-American woman's first year at Harvard, and it's more about the narrator than the plot. Luckily the narrator is wonderful. The way she describes her life and the people around her is wholly unique and such a strange delight. It made everyone at book club immediately nostalgic for college, when every day was a revelation and epiphanies flowed like cheap beer. Highly recommended. 


Backyard delights. The ladies are in full swing and laying like champions, which is such a treat after a long, barren winter. This means I've been eating eggs every single day, about which I have no complaints. I've also been making tons of pesto using basil from our garden, which is one of my favorite things about summer. 


Beautiful beginnings. In the beginning of the month our very good friends welcomed their first son home, and he is perfect and tiny and wonderful. (I'm actually bringing them a meal tonight, and guess what - it's pesto!) At the end of the month, a couple I know from grad school got married right here in Wilmington, and a bunch of friends came back for the wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony, a fun party, and the signature cocktails were sparkling. I love weddings, but I especially love weddings for perfect couples. This was one for the books. 


Our dystopian future. Each Wednesday, my first thought upon waking up is "There's a new episode of The Handmaid's Tale!" The book is one of my favorites, and I'm loving/fearing the new Hulu series based on it. I also love the fact that they didn't release it all at once. Getting one episode a week feels so quaint and old-timey, and I like being forced to take it slow. I also think it would be a difficult show to binge-watch as it is so disturbing, so good on Hulu for keeping us safe.  


Cheers. It's finally Vinho Verde season.


Just this blog, mostly. Despite my pieces about beekeeping and budgeting, fiction writing took a backseat while I put all my energy into the blog. Now that I've got a good rhythm going, I plan to dive back into short stories and yet another draft of my novel. I got some good feedback on the book from a few trusted people, and the consensus was that I still have a lot of work to do. The whole endeavor is exhausting when I think about it for too long, and sometimes I jealously wonder what people who do not feel driven to publish a novel do with all their time and energy. Must be nice, I think, and then I get back to work. 


Our flock! As I mentioned on Instagram, some friends of ours were down to one lonely chicken who, in her sadness, had not laid an egg in months. Rather than let her continue to wallow, we decided to take her in. While adding a single adult hen to an existing flock can be a bad idea, we've tried our best to make the transition as painless as possible. Luckily Betty is a very passive, non-aggressive chicken who has no problem sticking to the bottom of the pecking order. I'll write more about her progress in a future post! 

Goals for June

Read more books. Write more fiction. Go to the beach every weekend. Run in the mornings before work. Keep the bees and the chickens and the garden alive. Continue to blog twice a week. Host backyard happy hours. Plan a precinct potluck. Hope our president doesn't start World War III via Twitter. Spend as little money was possible. All good things, and all possible. Here's to June! I hope we all have a great one.