Friday, January 1, 2016

Laundry Disasters

I have a habit of leaving tissues in my shirt sleeves and pants pockets (you never know when you're going to have a kleenex emergency).  I try to double-check my sleeves and pockets before doing a load of laundry, but as often as not, my clothes come out of the dryer with a scattering of white tissue fibers; no biggie, my clothes aren't that nice to begin with.

Today, I left a blue pen in a skirt pocket that exploded while tumbling on low heat. My clothes actually came out unscathed (mostly), but the inside of the drier was another story: the drum was a Rorschach test of ink splotches.  I scrubbed with soap and water (that did nothing) and then a Magic Eraser (that did a little) before giving up and searching the internet.  The first result was a Youtube video of a guy demonstrating how to clean a dryer drum after a pen exploded in it.

I love the internet.  No matter how crazy my question, someone has made that query before, and someone has an answer. (For the record, nail polish remover works great; just remember to scrub THAT off with soap and water before drying your next load!)

So that was how I started 2016.  Could be worse.  I ended 2015 by paying off the remaining balance of my student loans.  My dad's awesome reaction: "Time for phD?"

Happy New Year, everyone.

Monday, June 15, 2015

One Sentence at a Time

I'm getting ready for a novel-writing workshop.  It's a week long event with a small group of writers and a smaller group of instructors. It feels prestigious, though given the price tag I'm not sure how many writers applied.  Never mind that, I'm excited to be going and I'm excited to be focusing on my writing after more than two years of spending more time on getting married, getting a new house, and getting a new job.  I've been 70% finished all this time, but I kept letting other things get in the way, and I wasn't disciplined enough to plough through.

Anyway, just checking in.  Life is good.  How lucky am I that I can actually take a week off from my job to go to something that will at worst be like fantasy baseball camp for writers and at best will give me the tools to finish and submit my novel for publication?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Some Spider

Living just outside our back door is a beautiful spider with red and white legs--we're pretty sure it's a marbled orb weaver. The spider only comes out of its corner when it's ready to wrap up some food, so it's a treat when we see it active.
I'd say the spider is about the size of a half dollar, the marbled sac like a jelly bean (not a tiny jelly-belly but a regular sized one!)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Ed Colina Foundation

We are getting ready for the annual celebration and dance for my dad's foundation, Journey: The Ed Colina Foundation.  To help spread the word, I created an infographic for his projects.  These aren't all the things the Foundation's money goes toward, but I think it's illustrative.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Voices of August 4.0

For the fourth summer  in a row, I had the opportunity to contribute a piece to my favorite left Coast blogger's series, Voices of August.   George Rede invites friends, family, and acquaintances to write something--anything.  This year I wrote about a book I had just finished, Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings, in a piece called SARAH GRIMKÉ’S MORAL COURAGE.  Check it out.

But while you're there, check out the other pieces and I know you'll be impressed by the collection of writers and their varied experiences!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I have a theory when it comes to email replies.  The longer a person takes to respond, the longer that response should be.  For example, if someone sends me a message and I reply right away, I can get by with "Hey!" and maybe a line to follow.  Punctuation is optional.  However, if I am unable or unwilling to reply immediately, when I finally do send a message back (maybe a couple of days later), I have to write more.  I have to write a paragraph.  I have to include some context and, of course, proper punctuation.

And then there's the long lost email.  I don't reply the day I receive it, so "Hey!" is inappropriate.  I don't reply the next day, or the next week, so a paragraph is inadequate.  I don't reply within a month, or two months, so the context has changed so completely that I don't even know where to begin.

But really, once enough time has passed without replying to an email, it's ok to start from scratch, isn't it?  To send a new email of your own: "Hey!" Write a line, or write two?  Write a paragraph?

So it's been with Perfect Sand.   I would hear something on NPR and think, "Ooh, I should write about this, connecting it to [fill in the blank with some experience in my life]," but then I remembered that I'm out of practice.  That so much time has passed.  That I'm not ready to write again.

I've been listening to Ann Patchett's collection of essays, "This is the Story of a Happy Marriage," relishing her true stories of becoming a writer, of falling in and out of love, of taking care of her grandmother.  She is a successful novelist, but has contributed dozens of essays over the years to various magazines.  At one point she says that writing fiction, for her, is much harder than writing nonfiction; it requires a great deal of discipline and frustration for her to start and complete a novel. And she won't start a new one until her current one is finished.

Rather than be jealous of her success and writing discipline, I'm posting something.  I'm replying to the email that I've ignored, and I'm going to pretend it's not awkward.  Hey, it's ok.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 5 of 2013

In no particular order:

  • got married
  • welcomed new sister-in-law and nephew (born three weeks ago!) into our family
  • watched all 5 seasons of "The Wire", the bestest show ever. Seriously.
  • moved into a new house closer to the city
  • watched "Breaking Bad" series finale two months after it aired WITHOUT getting spoiled first (and yes, Wire > Breaking Bad)
Ok, it's kind of odd that two of my top five involved television shows.  If I thought about it more, I'd add my new job, or the fact that two of my grandparents are in their nineties and still living in their own houses. Or any number of things.

But the truth is I haven't been able to dedicate myself to a longer and more thoughtful blog post in months.  When I've tried, I feel myself turning inward and becoming melancholy.  This happened when I was single, living alone, but I didn't mind feeling a little sad then.  Part of me enjoyed indulging the melancholy.  I don't want to do that now, though.  So I close my blogger tab without saving.  Without posting.  This is one of the things I'll work on in 2014.

Anyway, it's been a good year.