Wordy Wednesday: Sick

Well, it’s been an interesting week. I had a lovely Christmas with my family, with lots of food and movies and games–then I drank some spoiled cream in my tea at dinner on Monday and I’ve had food poisoning every since. (Like, that cream full-on poisoned me, with throwing up and a fever and not being able to sleep for the past two days.) (It’s been super fun.)

On the upside, being sick forced me to take a break from working all day yesterday for the first time in a very, very long time. It was much needed and appreciated.

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

*****
Pages smooth and cool,
heavy with ink, all stacked together—
afternoon sun making dust motes dance,
warm cheeks and a quiet house—
if I have to be sick,
this is the way
I like to spend it

*****

Thanks for reading, and happy-almost-2016!

 

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Want

The semester is officially over! Thank. Goodness.

It’s been a whirlwind few days of cookie-baking and movie-watching (and email-sending and meeting-having and application-doing and research-researching–but still).

It’s so nice being off classes. Like, as much as I enjoyed my classes this semester, and as much as I’m looking forward to my classes next semester, it’s nice to finally have some time to get caught up and relax. (Also nice: Straight As, including an A+ in Mexican Cinema. Hecks yeah.)

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

**********

Shaking.
Wanting something so badly,
I am shaking.
Haven’t felt this way
in so long that I
no longer thought
it was possible.

Please,
please
please.
Let me manage it,
let me make it,
let me trace my path
back to the place where everything
felt like a lightbulb turned
to full wattage—but where
I was a phoenix, not a burn victim.
Let the answer
please
be yes.

*********

Thanks for reading! (And merry two-days-until Christmas, if you celebrate!)

~Julia

Oh, and PS: I’ve got a new movie review up on [art]seen! Hannah and I went to an advance screening of The Danish Girl. Check it out: http://arts.umich.edu/seen/2015/12/21/review-the-danish-girl/

Other cool thing that happened: I won an ARC of Ally Carter’s new book See How They Run! I haven’t had a chance to finish reading it yet, but it’s super good so far (and now in stores), so you should deeefinitely go get a copy if you’re into twisty (but not too dark) YA thrillers.

And now I swear this post is done. ‘Later!

Wordy Wednesday: Angell Hall

Hey there! It felt so weird not writing a blog post yesterday.

Not much has been going on the past couple days (just lots of classes and homework and work), but one of my classes did watch Clueless last night, which is always a good time, and yesterday I REGISTERED FOR CLASSES. FOR THE LAST TIME IN MY UNDERGRADUATE CAREER.

Upside: I got into all the classes I wanted, including a children’s literature one with a professor who always ends up with a massive wait list! (#SeniorPerks)

Downside: I maybe registered to take seventeen credit hours my final semester of college. Including three literature classes and my honors thesis. And of all those classes, I only actually technically need one to graduate.

However, the three literature classes I’m registered for are two children’s lit courses and a spy fiction one, so like, they’re going to be incredibly fun and they should make the workload worth it. (There was also a dystopian fiction class I really wanted to take, but alas, there was just no way.)

Hopefully with all these lit classes, I’ll at least have lots to share with you next semester?

In the meantime: This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

*****

The stillness of Angell Hall at
six PM, two weeks before the end,
silent save for the buzzing lights,
the hum of hot air in the walls,
a window at my back and
only the stray student hurrying by,
bundled in parkas and maize and blue hats and caffeine,
home so close, it’s a flavor in the air–
these are the moments I stop
and let my eyes drift closed
and take a breath
and think about
how much this one random spot,
these grey wooden benches pushed up
against the strips of plugs and towering glass walls,
has defined the past four years–
blog posts and novel chapters and papers and emails and short stories and poems
have found their way into the world here–
and sometimes a tour guide goes by
with maybe-someday-future students
and once upon a time I was there, walking by
not realizing, not realizing,
because you never realize,
and now I am the senior who is
sentimental about benches.
It’s silly the things time
makes us scared we will miss.

*****

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: November Eighteenth

So, um… I accidentally wrote 8.3k today.

Isn’t it funny how that happens? Like I started out the day 3,000 words behind. I’ve been putting off writing since Sunday. And that extra time I had this morning to write? I spent it catching up on The Flash.

But I was sick of being behind, and so disgusted with myself for letting it happen AGAIN–so after my morning class I headed to a coffee shop, plopped myself down at a table with a medium hot caramel apple cider, and wrote for three hours. Went to my next two classes, then trooped over to Noodles & Co. to grab dinner and write for another few hours.

And now here we are, at 9:00 PM, and instead of being 3,000 words behind, I am now 4,500 words ahead.

What I’ve been writing all day is crap (really, what I’ve been writing all month is crap), but I keep reminding myself that that’s okay. That I just need to get this terrible first draft out, then I can make the novel actually halfway decent in rewrites. That I need to write this terrible first draft in order to even have a chance at writing a decent second one someday.

I’m falling in love with these characters, with this world. I am slowly but surely figuring out what makes it all tick. It’s the most exhilarating feeling, right?

And because of that, I am itching to keep going. I want to finish this thing so I can go back and make it shine.

But I also know it’s time to close the Word doc for the night. I don’t want to burn myself out, especially this late in the month.

But still: I’m really grateful for days like today. It’s days like today, when the words fly from your fingertips (even if they’re crappy words), that make all the other days spent trudging through them instead worthwhile.

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********

The rain coats my lungs
like a protective skin—
breathe it in, the mist
and the damp—
let it drown me one delicious
drop at a time

With every ragged, rushing breath,
off to somewhere else oh-so-important,
please let the world slow down,
slowly, slowly,
a drop at a time,
until it’s turning slow enough
to make sense
of everything that has been happening
and everything that is coming
for once, for once, for once

A stop for something warm to drink,
and a stop for a lecture I cannot pay attention to,
and a stop for a world I need to build,
my own private world to build—
I get to decide how fast it spins

Life is a story of letting go,
but this is one time
I get to hold on

**********

Thanks for reading!

Goal for Today: 1,000 + 3,000 (from Monday)
Overall Goal: 30,000
Current Word Count: 34,514

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Afternoon Sunlight

So yesterday was as busy as Tuesdays ever are this semester, so I didn’t get a chance to write. However, as usual, I also didn’t have any writing planned for the day, so I’m at least not any further behind now.

I haven’t gotten any writing done yet today, but as soon as I get my work done for the day, my plan is to hit that Word doc. The goal for today is to write 2,000 words, plus hopefully dip into the 1,500 words I’m still behind.

In the meantime, this week’s Wordy Wednesday is another poem.

**********

Sunlight warm through worn,
dark jeans, legs stretched, toes pointed,
just to feel the delicious pull—
the strain that comes with forward movement:
this is what lazy afternoons look like,
watching Netflix on the floor,
a crewneck snug around my shoulders and
my world pulled tight around me

This place where I live—
this is what makes it home

**********

Thanks for reading!

Goal for Today: 2,000 + 1,500 (from Friday)

Overall Goal: 19,000

Current Word Count: 15,504

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: November Fourth

IT’S SO NICE OUT TODAY. It’s honestly kind of scaring me. Seventy-five and sunny on a Wednesday in November? I should not be sitting at a table outside Espresso Royale with bare legs right now. But I AM.

I ended up being up past midnight again last night, not even because I was writing, but because I made the mistake of looking at the course guide for next semester (MY LAST SEMESTER) and, dude, that is a dark hole of despair you do not want to go down. (THERE ARE SO MANY CLASSES I WANT TO TAKE AND I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO TAKE THEM AND WHYYY.)

(Sorry for all the caps lock today. I blame the apocalypse sun for messing with my ability to probably format things.)

Despite going to bed later than I wanted, I also woke up an hour early this morning for no apparent reason. Upside: I got almost a thousand words written before class! So I just have another 1,200 or so words to go to meet my goal for today. (Although I do still have that extra 3,000 left to do from Sunday.) (Still.) (Ugh.)

Anyway, this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********
The day was so long that
by the end I had forgotten
the beginning, and
I had forgotten how to sit
without eyes drifting, drifting—
but the last class didn’t begin until
seven, and five minutes were
empty before it,
so I grabbed tomato soup and fresh baguette
and I watched the world grow dark,
a warm blanket thrown over the buildings
and trees and shuffling steps. I kicked leaves into
a kaleidoscope of orange
and yellow,
and I woke up, woke up
on the walk to class.

I will miss this place.
I am so grateful for this place.

**********

Goal for Today: 2,000 + 3,000 (from Sunday)

Overall Goal: 8,000

Current Word Count: 4,175

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Holding On

This post is coming to you early this morning, because I am in the queue for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets and it is ENDLESS.

Let’s see, what’s happened this week? Last Wednesday was Back to the Future Day, so my family all went to a double feature of the first two movies at this old, classic movie theater and it was super fun. I spent the weekend catching up on work and my bro came over Sunday to take senior pictures. And now I’m here. Waiting in this queue forever and always. (At least there’s Jane the Virgin to keep me awake?)

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem I wrote a while back.

**********
I always knew how it would end
because that’s how it always does
The others, they like to pretend–
but this is a journey
I repeat on and on and on and on

How many times do I have to break
before the lesson finally takes?
How many days do I have to waste
before I’m sick of getting slapped in the face?

But hope is a winged thing inside my chest
saying this is for the best;
it tells me to hold on,
when all I want is to give up and move on

And I keep thinking maybe someday
I’ll look back on today
and instead of wondering why I held on
I’ll think: this was the day I chose to be strong

**********

Thanks for reading!

Oh, and announcement time: NaNoWriMo is less than a week away, and once again I’ll be blogging every day during November! (Hopefully. If I don’t die in the process.)

Talk to you November 1st?

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Want

I’m writing this blog post Tuesday night, because I have a midterm tomorrow morning and a paper due in the afternoon and, like, procrastination whoohoo.

This weekend was fall break! A couple friends and I decided to staycation this year, so we went to the big U of M/MSU football game Saturday (which was exciting but also, you know, horrifying), hit a cider mill Sunday, went hiking and had a bonfire Monday night, and today (Tuesday) saw Crimson Peak. (I don’t do horror movies, but Guillermo del Toro is king and this one honestly isn’t that scary, so yeah.)

Like look how freaking pretty Ann Arbor is, though.

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is poem. And because I have the paper I’m supposed to be writing about The Great Gatsby on my mind, here’s a piece inspired by it. (That I definitely didn’t write this afternoon while neglecting said paper.) (And I’m definitely not mining for part of my conclusion nooope.)

**********

Life is a story of want;
desperate, contagious
inescapable, insurmountable
uncontrollable
want

Want that feels like need

Want that crushes your heart
in its fist

Want that makes you bleed—
that makes you want to bleed yourself dry
just to satiate it

Want that you will never
be able to
satiate

It’s the kind of want that,
despite knowing what it is,
what it means—
you would never let it go
even if you could

It hurts like everything
you’ve ever wanted to feel
at once,
pressing
on your chest

Push on,
I’ll push on,
just a little further
Please

Take everything
but give me that
in exchange

**********

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

PS. HAPPY BACK TO THE FUTURE DAY BRB LOOKING FOR MY HOVERBOARD

Wordy Wednesday: Terrified of Time

It’s been a long week. (Overall a good one. But yeah. It’s been looong.)

This weekend was homecoming, and whereas that’s normally not that big of a deal here (at least for someone not into sports or partying), it was a HUGE one this year, because it was also a big year for anniversaries: 100th year of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. 150th year of Michigan Athletics. And, of course, other anniversaries I’m forgetting because, let’s be honest, those are the only two I care about.

In honor of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance anniversary, the college hosted a ton of huge events throughout the weekend. Including A Very Starkid Reunion Thursday night, a concert featuring over thirty members of Team Starkid. It was fun and exciting and also maybe made my entire row cry, especially when Darren Criss changed the lyrics of “Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts” to being about U of M at the end because WHY ARE WE SENIORS WHY.

Then, Saturday involved lots of spiritwear and tailgating, followed by (guess what) a football game. At the game, the student section made the largest human roller coaster ever. Also, the New York philharmonic played at halftime with our marching band, which was cool. And then, you know, WE WON.

And, finally, on Sunday I had a choir lock-in, as part of which we had a full-on Pitch Perfect-style sing-off between the sections, and SOPRANOS TOTALLY KICKED SOME BUTT.

Aaand those are just a few of the fun things that happened this weekend. Because way too much happened to cover it all. And as much as I enjoyed it all, I am now so, so tired and it needs to be fall break like yesterday.

In other news, what this post is actually supposed to be about: This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********

I’m terrified
of where I’ll be
twenty years from now
when this is history

I’m slipping between
the threads of time;
how is it that control
is no longer mine?

I’m trying to hold on
but I’m not that strong,
and I’m trying to hold on
but time flows on and on

Tell me: is this the end?
Tell me: is this pretend?
Tell me: will I wake up tomorrow,
five years old again?

Tell me how I got here,
how I forgot to count the days.
Last I looked, I had forever;
now the future is yesterday

And I’m terrified of time
I’m terrified of time

**********

And on that happy note: Thanks for reading!

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Bell Tower Stairs

Hey there! How’s your week going?

Midterms are starting up at U of M, which means campus has basically turned into the set of a zombie B-movie. On the upside, I got to escape the madness for a few days by spending the weekend scouting venues for Ch1Con in Chicago with some awesome people.

  
Other than that, I’ve spent the past week just doing my best not to drown under homework. Oh, and my family saw The Martian Sunday night! I liked the book better, but it’s a solid movie. Definitely go see it, if you haven’t already.

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem.

**********

Climbing the stairs
to the eighth floor of the
university bell tower for
choir rehearsal
seemed like a good idea
on the first floor

But one floor up and
the air was gone and
three floors up and
the blood was rushing too fast
and five floors up and
our legs burned with acid and
seven floors up and our legs were numb

And the stairs spiraled on and on,
an endless loop of labored breathing,
gripping the banister too tight,
afraid of both looking up and
looking down

But eight floors up and
there was a door
and chairs,
and laughter from the group:
“We made it!”
And more than anything else
there was a window,
just a little thing high on the wall,
overlooking the sweeping, endless
green and orange quilt of trees that
gave this city its name

And look what we did,
look what we did;
together we climbed a mountain

**********

Thanks for reading!

~Julia