Monday, November 26, 2012

Some Fun Things And Some Pictures - A General Update

So, 2012 continues to be a challenge. Am I the only one who can't wait for it to make its exit? Don't let the door hit you, crappy year. I've been keeping myself ridiculously busy, but, unfortunately, I haven't had time to blog about any of it because work takes up most or all of my free time. So here's a quick recap from the Land of Jess.

This week I was ridiculously productive with my WIP, IN REAL LIFE. I tried out Write Or Die, which I had always heard about, but never used, and I plowed through the five chapters of my ending I'd been trying to figure out and commit to paper. (Or, er, screen.) It's amazing how motivating those counting down numbers and flashing colors can be.

I'm in that stage of writing where I feel like everything I write is absolute rubbish. I hate that stage. I think it's just because I've spent too much time with these words now...nothing seems original, the jokes are no longer funny, it's all just tired and boring. That's a big, flashing sign that it's time to wrap this book up. I'm still on track to have it DONE done by the end of the year, so hopefully nothing crazy comes along to derail that. *knocks on wood*

One night my good friend Weezermonkey had two extra tickets to see Ben Gibbard play an acoustic show at a small theater in LA, so even though we only had a couple of hours notice, my wbff* Erin and I hopped on the freeway and battled traffic out to the Wilshire Ebell Theater to meet up with WeeMo and Mr. Mo for the show. It was awesome. Ben Gibbard played some of his new solo stuff as well as Postal Service and Death Cab songs...just him, his guitar, and his piano. It was amazing.

Here's a video of him singing my absolute favorite Death Cab song, Cath. It's not my video, and there are lots of videos of other songs on YouTube that are better, but it looks like this is the only one of Cath. This song, you guys. It's so MY song. Live Death Cab always leads me to have some sort of religious experience. Last time it was Transatlantacism, this time it was Cath.

A few nights later, Erin and I were back in LA to see Typhoon, this Portland band I love. And wouldn't you know it, there were WeeMo and Mr. Mo standing right by the door of this tiny club the second we walked in! I felt so lucky to hang out with them twice in one week, and we had such a great time catching up with them and meeting their friends that the guy at the merch booth actually shushed us. At a concert. We get shushed everywhere.

I love Typhoon's music. Their full-length album was on constant rotation when I was finishing AVOIDING DRAMA last year, and their EP is on the playlist for my current WIP. I knew they had a zillion members in their band, but it was downright hilarious seeing twelve people cram on this tiny stage. Two drum kits, two violins, and one guy actually playing a plastic bag...we couldn't stop cracking up.

Here's a video from that show, if you're into that sort of thing. It's not my video, BTW. I love YouTube.

See how many people are crammed on that stage?! You can't even really see all of them here. 

I ventured out on Black Friday for one thing, and it sure wasn't a gift.

I picked up a new phone for myself, the Samsung Galaxy SIII. I still love my HTC Evo, but I couldn't resist the awesome deal Sprint was offering for the Galaxy, so I scooped one up. I'm still learning all of its tricks, but so far I'm in love. And for someone who spends as much time on her phone as I do, that's important.

On Saturday I ventured to the mall and picked up a new pair of boots with birthday money I'd been hoarding, and I found a Nordstrom GC in my wallet, so I snagged a great basic top.

I haven't bought anything new that wasn't a book in a long time. It was fun.

Wbff Erin and I have been having lots of dates lately, since we don't see each other on the daily at work anymore. In addition to our two music dates, we also saw two movies.

I won tickets to the 50th anniversary showing of To Kill A Mockingbird from Julie's blog, and taking Erin was a no-brainer, since we've both taught this book for years. We were laughing that we've shown this movie in class so many times, but we always use movie time to get grading or other class work done, so even though we know every line of dialogue and every note of the score, we've never actually watched the whole thing, so this was a nice treat.

We also finally went to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was just as amazing as we had heard.

Several weeks ago was YA in the Sun, an awesome book event down in San Diego with TONS of YA authors.

It was a really fun day. I got some books signed, I had some treats, win a big prize, and I got to hang out with some of my very favorite writing friends.

Amy, Liz, Rachel, Kat, and me! 
Also, I got a chance to stop by Laini Taylor's singing in Glendale for Days of Blood and Starlight.

I couldn't believe the huge crowd...and how long the signing line was! But it was so awesome to hear about how she created the amazing world of Karou and the chimera.

It may seem like I've had a lot going on, but the thing is, I've been feeling like more of a hermit than ever. This is fine by me, because I have a book to finish, and it doesn't get written when I'm traipsing around town. I'm also feeling more and more old and crotchety, and it's best for everyone when I don't wander any farther than the Starbucks down the street. I am running off to Vegas this coming weekend, so hopefully the break will do me good. (Hopefully it will do my WIP good. We'll see.) And now that Thanksgiving break is over, I have three more weeks of school until I get three glorious weeks off. I can hardly handle it.

*wbff = work bff, even though we don't work together anymore. 


  1. Looks like some awesome events--glad you've been able to have a good time outside of school. You deserve it!

    I love Write or Die so much...I'm not sure if I'll feel that way when I'm editing the chunks I used it for, but it's definitely busted some slumps for me. You can edit anything but an empty page, right?

    Hang in there--the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas stretch is a crazy one but it's mercifully short! You can do it!

  2. You always get to go to the *best* book events... Jealous! Yay for awesome WiP progress, and I LOVE your new boots. Hope this first day back at school after the long weekend isn't too torturous! :-)

  3. That book event looks super cool. I missed the Wallflower movie but I'll catch it when it comes to Netflix. I also feel like a hermit having finished edits on my novel and starting a new one this month for Nanowrimo. :)

  4. I'm in love with your new boots! Excellent choice! Very Jess! <3

  5. Ooh, I like those boots, too. So jealous that you got to meet Laini Taylor!
    I'm in the rubbish stage with my WIP, so I sympathize--I hope you finish your draft ASAP and come to love it by the last sentence. :)

  6. Good luck with the rest of your draft! You can do it! I tried Write or Die once and it stressed me out. Haha, I like the more subtle timers like Pomodoro. I'm glad it's working for you.

    My husband has the Galaxy SIII and likes it. My dad ended up buying one during that same Black Friday deal.

    The YA event looked really fun! So cool you got to meet Laini Taylor.

  7. I'm super jealous of both the book events and the Ben Gibbard concert. I saw you post the tickets on Instagram and got a serious case of jealousy. I've considered Write or Die, but it scares the hell out of me. Do you have it set to erase your words if you don't keep writing?