Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer?

After raining for the entire month of May, Texas finally seemed to realize it's (basically) summertime and the temperature shot up into the nineties. For, like, a week. Now Tropical Storm Bill is working its way up from the Gulf Coast, so the past couple of days have seen overcast skies and random torrential downpours. I'm glad the clouds have come back for a few more days because I'd actually forgotten how bright the sun is (which sounds ridiculous, but when it peeked out from behind the clouds for the first time in thirty days, I legitimately nearly wrecked my car).

Aside from the weather, life hasn't been too crazy. Since we're short staffed at my branch and I work Sundays at BookPeople, I've been working seven days a week most weeks. Even though working at BookPeople doesn't really feel like work most of the time, I still miss having actual days off. I'm really looking forward to my vacation for this reason, and also because I desperately miss my Blogger Family.

I've gotten to work and attend a couple of really great author events in the past month or so. Melany and I decided at the last minute to see mustache-less Nick Offerman ("I've done you the disservice of appearing before you with just my face. I understand you feel slighted.") which was insane (865 PEOPLE) and wonderful. I worked the event for Melissa Cistaro's debut memoir Pieces of My Mother, and was able to talk with her and a writer for Kirkus reviews for awhile afterwards. A few weeks before that, I went for barbecue and beer in a seedy joint off I-35 with New York Times best-selling author Craig Johnson. This is my life now.

We found a new apartment. It's (way) south and really nice. It's also super close to a great coffee shop and an awesome bar, but we've only been to each a couple of times since they are so far away from where we currently live. Only a few months left with this view though.


On a sad note, Britny moved away from us this past weekend (but only for a little while). For our last hurrah, her, Melany, and I went to a free Quiet Company show on Thursday night where they shot their video for "Seven Hells." Then on Friday night, despite my extreme exhaustion, Britny and I somehow talked for literally six hours about Harry Potter, books, and TV shows. (These extremely long talks always start with Harry Potter.) See you soon, Britny!

-Maggie

Friday, April 17, 2015

Lately

  • Spring is in full force here in Texas. I can never decide if I like spring or not. On the one hand, there are wildflowers on the sides of the highway, warm breezes, and sundresses. On the other hand, there's a fine layer of yellow covering every outside surface and you haven't stopped sneezing for three weeks.
  • I had my first battle with Austin allergies a couple of weeks ago, which morphed into what the doctor at the clinic called a "little bronchitis" that took forever to get rid of.
  • The first weekend of April I flew to Lubbock for Denny's surprise 80th birthday party.
  • While there, my uncle made me a special cup of tea that was probably mostly whiskey to help me get rid of aforementioned cough. I drank it out of Denny's quilting mug (see above).
  • I turned 23 last Thursday and was pleased to find that blink-182 lied to me. People do like you when you're 23.
  • I had to work all day on my birthday, but my family had flowers delivered to my work and a coworker gave me her personal copy of one of her favorite books, so it wasn't too bad.
  • On Sunday, Melany, Britny, and I went to South Congress Cafe for a belated birthday lunch and really great mojitos. After that, Britny and I spent four hours talking at a coffee shop and getting absolutely no work done.
  • Monday night I went to BookPeople to interview for a little part-time job, and was pleasantly surprised to find David Levithan, Ally Carter, and Justine Larbalestier upstairs.
  • I got that little part-time job, so now every Thursday and Sunday night will be spent working author events. I am stupidly excited about this.
  • Just in the next few weeks, I will meet the winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in physics, the writer of DCOM Pixel Perfect, and Glenn Close's sister.

How's your life lately?

-Maggie

Thursday, April 9, 2015

23 Before 24

  1. Save more, spend less
  2. Fix bike and ride
  3. Take more pictures
  4. Finish Blog Life
  5. Read at least thirty books I haven't read before
  6. Fill up my yellow Moleskine
  7. Meet new people
  8. Learn how to really use my camera
  9. Learn how to really use Photoshop
  10. Go for more walks
  11. Learn to make the perfect mojito
  12. Meet up with the Blogger Family in Portland
  13. Take a trip somewhere (besides Portland)
  14. Write more stories
  15. Volunteer at the Texas Teen Book Festival
  16. Try one new recipe a month
  17. Get my third (and maybe fourth) tattoo
  18. Find the best coffee shop in Austin
  19. Apply to graduate school
  20. Go to SXSW
  21. Send more letters and packages
  22. Find the perfect couch
  23. Go paddle boarding
-Maggie

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Textbooking



My freshman year of high school a few friends and I were given some old computer textbooks to repurpose in whatever way we saw fit. Armed with all manner of craft supplies and a ton of magazines, we turned what would have been trash into our own personal treasures. The pages were covered with quotes from movies and books, pictures of friends and celebrities, and little high school mementos. We called it textbooking.

Eventually we moved from the oversized computer textbooks to smaller books and journals, but we still call it textbooking to this day. It's still something I love to do. I love magazines, especially fashion magazines, and love that I can use them after I finish reading them. Anytime I feel like I'm lacking inspiration or just need a creative outlet outside of this blog, I textbook. Usually while watching a movie or four.

It takes me awhile to finish a whole textbook because the urge/need comes and goes. Recently (or like two months ago), I finished the one I started my first year of college, which was, you know, five years ago. I don't mind though–I like that it spans so much time. It's fun to see how I have and have not changed. Anyway, I decided to share a few of my favorite pages with you. (You can click to make them bigger!) They're really nothing special, but I promise you it was so much fun.










-Maggie

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Finished is better than perfect.

My biggest problem when it comes to writing is actually doing it. When I write, it takes forever for me to finish–anything and everything. Blogs sit in drafts unfinished for weeks. School essays were never completed more than twelve hours before they were due. Sometimes it even takes me awhile to craft the perfect Tweet, and that's only 140 characters. It's some sort of mental block I have, and it's very frustrating.

I once read that writer's block is an excuse writers use to not write, and I remember being very upset by this. "No, I love to write!" I'd yell. "I really want to write, I swear!" And I did, and I do. More than anything, I want to be a writer–better yet, a good writer. I want people to look at me and think "writer." I want it, I swear!

Part of my problem stems from wanting to be a good writer. I want everything to be perfect. Everything has to be perfect so everyone thinks I'm a good writer! But perfect is, you know, impossible. I know this. You know this. Everyone knows this! So why do I still try for perfect? I couldn't tell you for sure, but it has to stop.

This desire for my writing to be perfect has kept me from writing at all. I get in my own way. Before I even start writing, I get hung up on how long it will take and how these things never translate from my mind to the page the way I want them to. Better to just not do it at all than to do it and fail, right?

WRONG, MAGGIE.

It's always better to do the thing. Whatever the thing is, you've got to try.

For me, that means to just write–just get something onto the page, tweak it a bit, and let it go. (You know, like that one song from that movie that came out well over a year ago but you still, inexplicably, hear everywhere you go told you to.) I've started carrying a Moleskine in my purse so I can jot down thoughts and outline blog posts while I'm out, rather than writing them down on a sticky note or, worse, expecting myself to remember.

Even though I haven't posted here, I have been writing more. I love having these things to look back on even if they never make it to my blog. Hopefully I will get better at transferring from journal to blog, but baby steps, guys.

-Maggie
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