Wordy Wednesday: Rainstorm

Hey there! As I mentioned in last week’s Wordy Wednesday, this is a pre-written post because, at the time of its posting, I will be (am?) out of town. However, I hope you’re having a great week and I’ll tell you all about what I was up to when I get back.

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********
The sleepy drip of
sunlit rain against
windows and held-out palms,
the paradox of feeling as if
everything is happening at once
when really nothing is happening
at all,
and I love this, the way a rainstorm
can feel like silence
and sunlight
can be a blanket
and summer can be a
feeling, rooted deep in your restless heels
and your dancing fingertips
and the tug of your lips, reaching for
a smile–
I am so tired but
I am so awake
**********

Thanks for reading, and see you when I get back!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Afternoons

Hey there! My laptop is still down for the count, so things have been kind of weird this week. Like, I know not being able to use my own computer is a text book first world problem, but still: it’s hard to work without the keyboard and screen and internet browser I’m used to. Everything just looks so ~different~.

Because of that, I’ve gotten next to nothing done since my last post. HOWEVER, I did finally get to a doctor yesterday (for the first time in like two years) and for anyone who has at all been keeping up with the saga of my messed up knee and shoulder: the shoulder is tendinosis in my bicep and the knee is probably a structural problem that could be helped with exercises and stuff. So, guess who’s off to physical therapy! #Yayyy

(But actually, I am happy to finally have answers about this stuff and to have a tentative path towards being able to, like, do things again.)

And now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way: this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********

Afternoons at home are
warm, damp with humidity, and
quiet except for the breeze against
the windows and birds chirping and the dog
snoring in the hallway, just past the
cracked open white-painted door–
they are so sleepy
and still
and peaceful

They buzz with the whisper
of “this is summer,
this is summer–
hold onto it,
this last summer”

They are hours built for books
and daydreams
and listening to the quiet
**********

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Ink and Sunlight

I preface this post by saying: I swear the graduation and BEA/BookCon recaps are coming soon(ish). I’ve run into a bit of a hiccup this week (my laptop charger broke), but as soon as everything’s back to working properly (and thus I have access to pictures and everything), I will totally get those posts up. Totally.

In the meantime: BEA/BookCon happened this past weekend! And it was so much fun/so tiring that I sat down to read Monday afternoon and accidentally fell asleep for four hours! (I am eighty years old.) Other than that and the broken laptop charger, not much else has been going on. (Anything new with you? Do something cool? Go somewhere fun? Pet a cat? Really, I will be excited to hear about pretty much anything. I’ve basically just been marathon-napping for three days now.)

Aaanyway: this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********

Fingers brushing against crisp white pages
laced with ink and sunlight, and
don’t you see the stars rising from the
black and white streaks,
the way the falling apart pieces
are planting growing things,
and maybe maybe maybe–
this will be the time
the words are worth more than
another promise of another tomorrow

Maybe this time
the daydreams will cross from
scribbled out hopes
to shelves and smiles and something other than
the silence at the end of
another day spent trying but going
nowhere

Maybe I should give up, but
ink and sunlight;
it’s all ink
and sunlight

and for now that is enough
**********

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

P.S. Less than two weeks left to register for the 2016 Chapter One Young Writers Conference at our special early bird rate! The rest of the Ch1Con team and I would absolutely love to see you there. Check it out at www.chapteroneconference.com.

Wordy Wednesday: Writing

Happy Wednesday! The past week has been weirdly hectic without very much actually going on (mostly just family stuff, grad party, and endless trips to the dentist) (my mouth loves me).

Tomorrow, though, my mom and I leave for BEA and BookCon in Chicago, which is going to be SO ACTUALLY HECTIC and SO MUCH FUN and I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE PEOPLE. Let me know if you’ll also be there so we can meet up!

Meanwhile: this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********

Sheets of paper, crisp with
ink and lines and scribbled words,
stacked thick and high enough to build
a tower (or a world)–
I disappeared through the pages,
my own portal to Narnia or Neverland or Wonderland,
and I have come out on the other side
in a place that had been waiting
for someone to find it

I was looking for a story,
a girl and a wristwatch and ivy-coated walls,
but instead I found the universe
waiting

**********

Thanks for reading, and keep a lookout next week for a BEA/BookCon recap! (Also hopefully my graduation recap at some point?) (I am really falling behind on this whole blogging thing, whoops.) (Love youuu.)

~Julia

P.S. You only have two weeks left to enter my giveaway of a signed copy of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestseller Truthwitch, as part of the Ch1Con blog tour! Read Susan’s exclusive guest post and find the giveaway here.

P.P.S. Two weeks is also how much time you have left to register to attend the 2016 Chapter One Young Writers Conference at our special, discounted early bird rate! Register here by May 31st to only pay $74.99.

P.P.P.S. I am currently totally addicted to “Spirits” by The Strumbellas. It feels a lot like writing, if that makes sense. I dare you not to like it.

Wordy Wednesday: I Am

In the past week, I’ve written three papers, two event reviews, and the text for the picture book that is the final project for one of my children’s lit classes. I also co-ran U of M’s Second Annual Publishing Career Forum, put on a bake sale, saw Misty Copeland dance in the American Ballet Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty, aaand I kind of got the results from my honors thesis back.

Drum roll please: my honors thesis received HIGHEST HONORS AHHH(!!!!!)

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That’s the highest distinction the university awards for honors theses and I’m kind of dying of relief and happiness.

For anyone who doesn’t know what went into my thesis, it was a collection of ten short stories (one from high school, nine from throughout my undergraduate career) that I compiled and revised throughout this school year. They were all contemporary literary fiction, a mixture of YA and NA, and as my thesis adviser put it “very depressing” (because, hello, literary fiction).

And yeah. This semester’s so close to being done now. I’m down to completing the picture book and taking my finals and then I’m FINISHED with COLLEGE what EVEN. (As I keep telling everyone who asks: I am very tired–so, as great as my classes have been this semester, I’m ready for summer–but I am also not at all ready to graduate. Like, I’m really excited for what’s to come after graduation–duh–but I’m also so, so sad, because I’ve loved this school and these past four years and gah.)

Anyway, on that note: This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********

I am lace dresses
and floral skirts
and faux leather boots,
scuffed on the toe

I am roses in Dasani water bottles
and handfuls of coral in a mason jar
and an infinite supply of peppermint tea,
in an infinite selection of mugs

I am movie posters
and photo collages
and pictures of cities,
I love and miss (I miss so much)

I am books upon books
and white Christmas lights strung across the ceiling
and a nest of teal blankets,
with the sheets kicked to the end of the bed

I am tired
and I am trying so hard
but also I am so full of
burning, breaking, blinding
happiness

I am so happy
to be this person, in this moment,
right here, right now–
to know
who I am

**********

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Hill Auditorium

Hey there! Guess who’s back in her knee brace and getting her butt kicked by regular life?

That’s right: after only a few days of brace-free leg, I managed to re-injure myself (because obviously). On the upside, it’s not nearly as bad this time, so I’m still able to work and get around pretty well, and I’ll hopefully (FINALLY) be back into participating in my dance class by next week. Cross your fingers!

This week has been crazy busy, between Easter and multiple papers due and my LAST CHOIR CONCERT OF COLLEGE HOLD ME. Then this Friday is this event I’m co-chairing for the university that we’ve been planning all year and are flying in speakers from New York for and all kinds of stuff. And then I’m trying to arrange a fundraiser for Edinburgh for Saturday, and then Saturday night I’m going to the ballet (for class/work), and this is all on top of the normal weekend stuff I have to do, like homework and rehearsal and pretending I have a social life.

Altogether, this means I am incredibly exhausted and stressed out and constantly feeling like I’m not doing enough. However, a lot of really great things have also been happening lately (I got to see a couple of old friends for the first time in a few months! we won a major grant for Edinburgh! I’m almost done with the rough draft of Time Travel Heist Story!)–so I’m doing my best to take deep breaths and roll with the punches and remember that I’m doing all of these things voluntarily, because I like them, so getting stressed is counter-intuitive.

And yeah. I swear I really am enjoying my last semester of college! My classes are super interesting and I’m truly excited about the projects on which I’m working and I love Ann Arbor. (I’m just also really tired.)

And now that I’ve bored you with all of my life stuff: this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem!

**********

It’s a
deep breath
and the first step
onto the shiny, slick floor
overlooking so many seats
and the balconies,
all dressed in
red,
and the lights so bright
you feel like you’re
melting
into
a puddle, except also
they make you feel
strong

It’s the rainbow-shaped
arches of white lights
and the feeling of
so much history pressing
upon your chest, against
your fingers,
into your feet,
while you squint against the
stage lights to search for familiar
faces beyond the glow

And it’s this,
all of this–
the hesitation, the twist
to your stomach, as
the conductor raises
her arms–
it’s the moment before the
music crashes
around you and through you and
straight into you
and everything is so
absolutely
silent,
like all the
sound has been sucked
from the room

It’s this–
the moments I live for:
the stage and
the lights and
the anticipation
and the drumming of
my heart, waiting for
the music
***********

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Red Light

Hey there! Guess who’s out of her knee brace and back to regular life?

Other cool things that have happened in the past week:

  • Honors convocation! I was a James B. Angell scholar this year, after getting straight As for two consecutive terms. My family came out for the ceremony and everything. It was splendid.
  • Honors thesis is done! I turned in my senior creative writing honors thesis on Monday, which means I am now officially done with one of my classes for the semester! (You know, unless I earn honors on said thesis. Then I’ll have an end-of-semester reading in my future. Fingers crossed!)
  • Season two of Daredevil came out! Okay, so this has nothing to do with me, except that I am now binge-watching this in every free moment I get. Is it bad that my favorite part of this show is when Charlie Cox (Matt) slips up so you can hear his English accent?

Moving on: this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********

cars whoosh past in
a waterfall of stolen
breaths and whipping brown
hair–and the woman
beside me steps back,
steps away, flees to
the safety of the curb

but I love the feeling
of almost falling
over the edge,
so I step closer,
closer,
a game of chicken between the
roaring tires and my soft, worn ballet flats,
decorated with bows;
I’ve had them since I was
sixteen

and it’s this weird temptation,
this urge to shift
just a little closer,
just a little too far,
to change the entire course
of a life
in an instant

and I never would, obviously,
but I’m tempted,
I’m tempted,
until the light changes
and the recklessness,
the need for wildness,
passes as I hurry
safely
to the other side

you don’t realize
how fast the world moves
until you stand still
beside it
**********

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Towards Summer

It’s been a pretty decent week! Still taking things slow with my bum knee, but fun things are afoot. (See what I did there? Knee? Foot?) (I’ll see myself out.)

A friend who I’ve known for something like seven or eight years (but had never met in person before) visited Friday, which was amazing. And this morning Hannah and I bought our caps and gowns, which is just SO WEIRD HOW ARE WE GRADUATING IN SIX WEEKS WEREN’T WE JUST FRESHMEN? (Also the weather’s turned warm and thunderstorm-y, which is much appreciated because I am 5000% done with this winter.)

However, in the middle of those momentous occasions, something else exciting happened–and I am THRILLED to finally share with you that I’m going to be producing and acting (in a cameo role) in an original, one-act comedic play at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this August in Scotland!!!

I got the news that the festival had approved our production while sitting in the exact spot at Espresso Royale where, a little under a year ago, I first put together my proposal for the project to present to the university student theatre troupe with which we’re now working. Since then, my life’s been a hot mess of grant proposals, and searching for a playwright and director and actors and all that, and trying to convince the university that this isn’t a crazy idea. But we’re doing this! We’re actually doing this!

The brilliant Skyler Tarnas wrote the script this school year and we’ve been in rehearsals for a couple weeks now–and I’m so grateful to all the people who have jumped on board with my (seemingly) impossible dream. WE’RE GOING TO SCOTLAND!

You can learn more about the show through our Facebook page here.

And now, what you’re actually here for: this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem!

**********

the drip, drip, drip
of the first spring rain
soaking into the pages of
the crumbling, yellowed novel
with my back against the
crumbling, greying cement bench
and the sky alive above me with
dancing lightning and
swirling clouds
and the whipping flag,
all red and blue, the white turned
damp, yellow, by the storm
and it’s spring, it’s spring,
it’s spring
–the clock tower strikes noon
and the raindrops drip on,
marching out the seconds
towards summer

six weeks
six weeks
**********

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

 

Wordy Wednesday: Right There

So, I’m doing a lot better this week. Still really tired and everything, but stuff has already begun to settle down a little (THANK GOODNESS).

A huge upside of this is that I actually got to do things that weren’t homework/work-related this weekend, like throwing a costume party with my roommates on Friday for Hannah’s birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) and dancing super awkwardly at the Michigan Quidditch team’s Yule Ball on Saturday. So that was very fun and much needed and it’s kind of nice to be tired from something other than staying up until two AM doing homework, this week.

I went to the party as Super Girl, because why would you ever give up the opportunity to wear a cape.

However, things are about to get crazy again, because I’m going out of town for a family thing soon and, as part of that, I’m of course missing over a day of classes. Sooo here’s to enjoying the calm between the storms. (Upside: the family thing is going to be super fun and is happening in a place much warmer than Michigan currently is?)

ANYWAY. This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********

I am
so close that
it is a word
on my tongue,
in my throat,
clenched between
biting nails and
sweating palms,
right there
right there
right there,
contaminating
every breath
and heartbeat
and blink
until the entire
world looks like
it is a bated breath, waiting,
anticipatory,
searching for
the exact right
second, millisecond
to
spring from
its cocoon

Maybe if I
run hard enough
I will learn how to
fly
**********

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Last First Day

It’s my last first day of school! Or at least the last first day of my undergraduate career.

I already had my first class this morning, and it was a fun one. Fingers crossed the rest of the classes I’ve registered for turn out to be awesome as well? (Or maybe don’t, since I probably should drop at least one of these literature classes. Because I am going to die if I keep all of them, I’m pretty sure.)

The end of my break was nice. I finally got over the food poisoning on Sunday (so I can eat dairy again!). I hung out with a bunch of friends and family. Aaand I turned in my applications for all the publishing institutes and got a bunch of work done relating to a couple other projects.

Next up: Get more work done on those projects. Get a very fun Ch1Con announcement up today. (I meant to do it yesterday, but it was that or un-bury my bed from under all my luggage last night, oops.) Go to a couple more classes. And maybe actually get a chance to write? (Wonder of wonders, I know.)

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem. (But also: New semester, new WWs? I haven’t gotten to do a writing process post in a million years! Maybe vote for that one of these weeks so we can get a little more variety on the blog?)

*********

Let’s talk about first days
and last days
and how sometimes they are
the same thing

Let’s talk about how hellos
become goodbyes
become hellos
and how I feel like I’m spiraling and
falling towards nothing and
drifting in space;
like there’s nothing to
hold onto
but also no place
to land

Let’s talk about how some things
are both happy
and sad
and wonderful
and awful
and how I am so full of
everything and
nothing
that I could
implode

Let’s talk about how I could
suck myself into nothingness

Let’s talk about how I could
explode in a burst of
color

Let’s talk about being
twenty-one and
scared and
excited and
boiling over with
anticipation
anticipation
anticipation

Let’s talk about anticipation
that is about to
break

Let’s talk
**********

Thanks for reading! If it’s also your last first day of school (or first or last of anything), best of luck! Let’s rock this thing.

~Julia