Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another rejection in the mail today. And I quote Albert Einstein,

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

In other news, I only have six more days of school until vacation, and I plan to:
1. Sleep in until a ridiculously late, ungodly hour.
2. Work on my writing at the coffee shop.
3. Watch a marathon of the latest season of Gilmore Girls on DVD. Shut up! I dare you to watch ONE episode and not be totally hooked. They're like crack. With fewer side-effects.
4. Knit a gorgeous scarf.
5. Finish reading Cold Sassy Tree.

In that order.
Well, there's a good chance that I'll knit while watching Gilmore Girls. So combine those.
Oh yeah. I'm almost thirty. How did that happen?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I have a new Getting Published Theme Song.

After yet another rejection from yet another agent, I've decided to change my Getting Published Theme Song.

Previously, my theme song was "Take a Chance on Me" by ABBA.

(shown here in its original glory)

My new Getting Published Theme Song is.....drumrolllllllll......"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" by Diana Ross and the Supremes!
Fitting, no?

(live performance here with Ms. Ross and Stevie Wonder as a youngin.)

I don't know if any other writers have had luck with theme songs per se, but I really think having one is helpful for me. That way I can play it in my car and sing it to myself when I feel discouraged. I mean, I had a Teacher Survival Theme Song about six years ago, which was "Surviver" by Destiny's Child and it basically kept me from quitting. So, I think theme songs are important. I'd recommend getting one, if you don't already have one.

If you happen to pick the song "When I See You Smile," I'd recommend this version.

Not this one.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Writing news

So, two things are going on in my writing life.

1. I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month which has been really good. I'm only up to 8000 right now, and the big goal is 50,000 words, but I'm writing Young Adult, which is usually shorter. Also, keep in mind that my last book took three and a half years to write. When you look at it that way, I'm doing really well! This is my author's profile page if you want to take a peek at an excerpt, my other writing friends, etc.

2. Since hearing "no thank you" from the last promising agent, I revised my query letter and sent out a batch of ten cold queries. This time I targeted agents who specialize in YA. (The last batch was mainly the agents I met at the writers' conference last summer.) So far, I've heard back from five. Three said, "Not for us." One wanted the first 30 pages. And one wanted the entire ms, which is super-flattering, although at this point, it doesn't guarantee anything. I revised the whole thing (yet again) and dropped it in the mail today.

So far, my total record for ms requests is 4 for 15. Not too shabby.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I've come to a crucial decision.

When I become a best-selling author, and Nathan and I buy the house of our dreams, it's going to have a self-cleaning kitchen.

If self-cleaning kitchens aren't available and/or invented at that time, I may have to personally contact the United States Patent Office. I mean, this is a great idea. And anyway, they had one on the Jetsons.

I think if you have a really good contractor, he/she should be able to modify a kitchen such as this one into a self-cleaning kitchen, no problem. Minus the wicker chairs, obviously.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Towanda! Righter of wrongs! Queen beyond compare!

Fried Green Tomatoes was on Lifetime tonight.
Still no lit agent.
And Nathan wants to drop cable and get a mac tv.
But here's the problem. If we did that, I wouldn't know what new shows to watch.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

So it's been awhile since my last post.

Sorry about that, but I have some good excuses. Well, sort of.

1. I just got a new position for the fall. I'm going to be the Language Arts Instructional Specialist at my school. Most middle schools and high schools have instructional specialists for both English and Math. In some places, they're called instructional coaches, or curriculum specialists, or maybe something else I don't know about. What it really means is that I won't have regular classes, but I'll be supporting all the other language arts teachers with their lessons and planning and so on. I'm anticipating days full of meetings and observations, but I'm excited about the challenge. It's also considered a promotion, and the recognition feels really nice.

2. I'm still waiting to hear back from the literary agent in NY. By tomorrow, they should have had my MS for five weeks, so it's getting close to the point that I'll hear back. Every day I get a rush of adrenaline as I walk to the mailbox, and every day I feel disappointed as I open it to find crappy catalogs, bills and credit card offers. Sometimes I even check the mail twice a day, just in case. I'm not so good at waiting.

3. We took a break from marathons of Meerkat Manor and went to the Alamo on Friday night to see the new Die Hard movie. I had never seen any of them (although now I have!) and it was fantastically fun. I highly recommend it. Yippie-ki-yay!

4. I'm already back to school, even though it's not August yet. Last week I had meetings and planning sessions. Starting tomorrow I'm helping with a two-week transition camp for incoming 6th graders. The kids will probably be really little and cute. I sort of wish they could stay that way....

5. I've gotten my YouTube fix lately, and in the meantime, discovered that America loves two things: Star Wars

and Legos.

And...Star Wars and Legos together.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tennis, anyone?

Sometimes Nathan and I get these crazy ideas. Like that time we decided to buy a toy $20 cotton-candy maker from Walgreens, and it sort of worked one time, before it burned out.

Our new thing is tennis. Yes, tennis. (This may have come from Nathan watching some Wimbledon while we were at my parents' house over the fourth, but I'm not sure.) Also, the pool at our apartments is closed for renovations, so we can't work out by swimming. Great timing, guys! But I digress.

So we talked about it, got all excited, bought racquets and balls at Target, and then went with Jenny and Stace to play doubles. Apparently there are tennis courts at this park right behind our apartment. Who knew?

I am happy to report that even though I'm currently one step above sucking, I really, really like tennis. I like a sport! With the exemption of skiing, I've never been very athletic, but I am super competitive, as many of you know. So that's working in my favor as I try to improve. Today Stacy and I went in the late morning to play, and she helped me correct the way I swing my racquet. The other great thing is that even if you have to chase a tennis ball around, you're STILL buring calories. Nice!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Right now someone in New York is reading my manuscript.

Okay, maybe not right at this very second.

But there's a good chance.

And all this excitment and nervousness is giving me acid reflux in the meantime.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Big News for Violet

I've been waiting patiently (okay, not so patiently) for a response from a New York literary agency. I won't say the name of the agency, because I don't want to jinx myself. If you're curious enough, you can look at previous posts and follow the clues. Which could be a really fun game if you don't have anything better to do. Anyway, they asked for the first twenty pages after I sent them a cold query a while back.

So....I just got their response, and as I pulled the envelope out of our mailbox, it was exactly like a movie, with that whole shaft of light shining down from heaven thing, along with the angelic voices raised together, just like in the Disney cartoon of the Sword and the Stone, or in Ghost, when Patrick Swayze decides to stay on Earth to be with Demi even though their chances for sexy pottery scenes are slim to none at that point. Him being a ghost and all.

Fast forward to the important bits: "If you have not already secured representation, we would be pleased to consider your entire manuscript. Please mail it to the address above and again, please mark the envelope 'Requested Materials.' We look forward to receiving your entire manuscript."

Yay! Double yay! I'm sending it by Monday at the latest, after I take another look at the whole thing. Keep your fingers crossed for Violet! And for me.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Movie Marathon

To celebrate the holiday and the new DVD player, we had a movie marathon today. We only had one criteria for film selections: Must be a movie that either Nathan or I, or both haven't already seen.

The movies we've seen so far today:
1. Shaun of the Dead (selection inspired by Hot Fuzz)
2. My Super Ex-Girlfriend (last minute selection inspired by rent-one, get-one-free night)
3. The Queen (we already had this little gem from netflix)
4. Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (Hello! I knew only a fraction of this story, and it's craaaaazzzzy.)
5. Curse of the Golden Flower (Chinese fighting movie, which inspired our Chinese food delivery)
6. Steel Magnolias (inspired by the fact that NO, I've never seen it. I HAVE seen the play at a dinner theater, and the whole thing takes place in a beauty shop, but unfortunately the one I saw didn't feature Dolly Parton and Darryl Hannah.)
Hopefully we will have time for:
7. Bobby
And to watch this week while Nathan is at work:
8. Gilmore Girls Season 3

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Summer is here! Well, basically here.

I have five days of school left, and after reading Erika's list of all the stuff she's looking forward to this summer, I had to post my list too.

1. I'm excited about working on my second book, and hearing back from agents on my first.

2. I'm excited about sleeping in. Ahhhh.

3. I'm excited about working on sewing with Jenny. I've always wanted to learn to sew, and Jenny was kind enough to offer to help me.

4. I'm excited about using the gazelle to workout while watching marathons of my favorite shows.

5. I'm excited about meeting Stacy at Epoch or Thunderbird Cafe during the day, and playing this awesome word game called Syzygy. Yes, it's a word game, and if I explain it to you, it won't sound fun. Stacy already agreed to play it with me, and I predict she kicks my you-know-what.

6. I'm excited about going to visit my parents for the 4th of July and the two things on the agenda: laying in the hammock and playing bocce ball.

7. I'm excited about swimming at our apartment pool, and even better--breaking out our pool toys from last year.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I had a relapse.

That's right. Tonight, I fell off the wagon and watched the final four perform on American Idol.
I broke up with Idol months ago, but tonight I was weak. I felt myself giving in, and I couldn't say no.

That, and the only other things on are Dateline, George Lopez, U.S. Poker, Tori and Dean: Inn Love, Cops, and Flavor of Love. I know what you're thinking. Why am I not watching Tori and Dean? Because that's hard-hitting, quality reality television. I know, I know. But it's a rerun and I've already seen it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

What to do if you still haven't heard back about a job you really, really want.

1. Unwrap four Dove dark chocolate pieces. Put in a ramekin.

2. Add a couple of spoonfuls of your favorite peanut butter.

3. Heat in fifteen-second intervals at 50% power in microwave. Stir between each fifteen-second interval.

4. When thoroughly melted, drizzle over a gigantic single scoop of Dreyer's Slow Churned Vanilla ice cream.

5. Ahhhhh. Job? What job?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

We'll see.

Because I'm not so sure I'm going to get the job at the new school that I reeeeaaaalllly want. The interview went pretty well. They were poker-faced for the most part, so it was hard to tell.

I should know for sure before May 1. I hope to find out before that, like in the next week or so. I know they're on a fast timeframe, and if I have to wait the full two weeks to find out, I might lose it. I know that I have so much to offer, but I also might not be the most "attractive candidate." For example, I don't have my masters, I've taught for under 10 years, I've only taught in two different districts, stuff like that. I hope they can see through all that to my strengths.

I also found out in the interview that over 100 teachers applied for a transfer within the district alone, not to mention anyone coming in from out of the district or out of the state. I looked up the available positions, and it looks like they need to hire between 20 and 25 people, with about three different positions that I could be offered. You do the math.

I feel a little discouraged, but I still think I have a chance. If I don't get in this year, I do plan to try next year. But for moment, I'm still trying to think positive. Because you never know.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Things are good.

Very, very good.

1. The dogs are better, and running around playing Growl Game like nothing ever happened.

2. I got another request for the first 20 pages of my manuscript, which I am sending out tomorrow. This request came from a long-established literary agency in New York, (which represented John Steinbeck!), and when I read the request letter, I started crying.

3. On Saturday, I have an interview for a teaching position at another school here in Austin, and if I land it, I will pretty much consider it my dream job. Other than writing full time. So I guess it would be my dream teaching job. I don't want to say anything else about where it is or anything, because I don't want to jinx myself. More on that later.

4. We bought a "Gazelle" on Craigslist about a week ago. You've seen the infomercials, I'm sure. It's that gliding workout machine with that crazy dude Tony Little, who says, "You can do iiiiiit!" We've used it every single day since we picked it up. I like it because it's fun. Nathan likes it because it doesn't strain his back. We both like it because we can workout inside. If you've ever spent a summer in Texas, you know that cardio outdoors is not for the weak of heart.

5. The infamous TAKS test is coming up not this week, but next, and I feel ready for it. Or rather, I feel my kids are ready for it.
After the test, it's a mad rush to summer, which is always a beautiful thing.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Another two responses from agents today in the mail.

One said, "I'm sorry. I must pass." Which was at least handwritten. I appreciate that.

One said, "If you have not already secured representation, we would be pleased to consider your manuscript for possible representation." I am SO happy right now. I am grinning. I'm even breaking my diet to have a celebratory pale ale. Nathan made delicioso meatballs and both my dogs are healthy and happy. Did I mention that I'M happy for that matter?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Still stuck.

That's me. Stuck. Trying to revise the end of my book as suggested by my hopefully-would-be agent.

It's not working.

I'm tired.
And also sick.
Not the normal "sick and tired" that you've probably heard a teacher or parent speak of, oh no. I mean tired and sick.
The tired is from not sleeping more than 2-3 hours at a time because of Maisy, our still-new puppy. She has taught me that even if you sleep as many as nine hours in a single night, you can still feel like a zombie.

On to the sick.
I have something. I don't know what it is. It feels like a mash-up of the flu with a sinus infection I had two years ago. Add in massive allergies, like those hazy people in the Claritin commercials. Only the really annoying thing is that I'm not that sick. I'm just sick enough to feel like crap if I go to work, but bored if I stay home. This pretty much sucks. I hope that whatever I have, it's the 24-hour stuff.

Thank you to Nathan for pointing out that I can use my bored sick day tomorrow to work on revisions.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Violet...the Lost Chapter

So, an update. I am not done with my first book. I thought I was. I am already hard at work on the second book. But that's beside the point.

The agent who asked to see my whole manuscript really likes it. She also really likes the idea of a series, BUT she still thinks the end of my book needs to be more fleshed out. I can see her point, but it's frustrating, to put it lightly. I keep telling myself, SHE is the expert. And maybe I'm too close to the material to really see the whole picture. And Nathan and I did agree that the end was like a mad dash. (I mean, you should have seen my first draft, it defined the expression "bare bones.") And while some things can be left up in the air, it still needs to feel resolved. It may be one part of a series, but it should still feel like a complete book. Duh.

Soooooo, all that to say, I am writing the lost chapter of Violet. Not a chapter that I intend to tack onto the end of the book, oh no. I'm strategically writing it as the next to last chapter, and keeping my final chapter pretty much as is. I hope that my first draft will be done by the end of this week, and then I can send a revised ending to the aforementioned agent.

This is quite a process. Have I already said that?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More good news for Violet.

Today I got an email from my potential agent who said that she loves my manuscript (yay!) but that it's not done (well, true!) and she asked me to think about writing 2-3 chapters to complete the book.
I sent her back an email that apologized for neglecting to mention (oops!) that I'm planning this as the first installment in a series.
I also told her that I'm working on my second book, which (thank goodness!) I've already begun.

I'll let you guys know what she says from there. She might not be interested, but I'm thinking good thoughts and listening to lots of Beyonce.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I'm partway through Steven King's On Writing,

which is one of the best, if not THE BEST, book I've read on the subject. Until this morning, when I came upon a terrifying suggestion from Mr. King. (It has nothing to do with the genre of horror, either.)

He strongly suggests that I stop watching TV if I want to get serious about being a writer. I repeat, STOP watching TV.

I have a list of reasons why I should continue to watch TV on a regular basis. I mean, doesn't TV give me material for my writing? Shouldn't I stay updated on current events, not to mention have exposure to teenage cultural icons, which I need if I'm going to keep writing young adult fiction???


But I have to admit, Mr. King makes a good point. If I devoted all the time I spend watching TV every week to reading and writing, I would probably be twice as productive.

But I also know me. And I know that I can't give TV up completely. So I made another list. This is a list of the TV shows I'm going to watch. The only ones I will watch from now on:
1. The Sarah Silverman Program (So funny, so politically incorrect, I love it.)
2. The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (I know, I know... But I'm totally addicted.)
3. Whatever "Top" show happens to be on (Top Design, Top Chef, Project Runway, etc.)
4. The Simpsons (which will give me more than enough cultural fodder, plus come on, it's genius.)
5. Best Week Ever (which will also fill me in on the best moments from all the reality shows I'm not watching anymore!)

You don't see American Idol listed here, because it comes on three nights a week and sometimes runs for two hours at a time and is (in the words of Lelaina Pierce) a "Master at the Art of Time Suckage."
If I really want to know the status of my favorites, like Melinda Doolittle, I can check the website to see if they make it to the next round. So I'm quitting Idol. We had a good thing going--while it lasted. But it just wasn't meant to be.

I also want to say right here and now that I reserve the right to swap shows, like if one of my selected programs ends a season, or gets cancelled. But I WILL agree to replace it with another show of the same length, be it a 30-minute show or an hour-long show, or if we ever get HBO again, sometimes they have weird lengths, like 42 minutes or something.

I know I may stray from my commitment, but I feel good about it. One thing I probably should have done is wait until AFTER spring break to make this decision, but oh well. Think how far I'll get in my second book. I already have the first page, but not much else. More on that later.

In other news, the agent (who I've given an exclusive) will receive my full manuscript in the next few days. Then, she has two weeks to decide if she wants to represent me and shop me to a publisher. I'll let you know the news as soon as I find out. Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Awhile back, Erika "tagged" me.

She confessed six weird things about herself, and then asked six other people to confess weird things about themselves. This was a little like a chain letter, which I normally am against. But, it's Erika, who I love, and so I'm going to participate. Also, Nathan and Stacy already wrote their lists, and I don't want to be left out.

Six weird things about me:
(And I know there are way more than six, because I'm so neurotic, but here are six off the top of my head.)

1. I'm a loud chewer (according to Nathan) Don't misunderstand. I know my manners, and I chew with my mouth closed. But Nathan insists that I'm a loud chewer.

2. I either squeal or gasp in pleasure when I see SJP on TV. This reaction is totally involuntary, and it even happens when I see her in a commercial for crappy hair color.

3. Sometimes when I'm alone, I pretend that someone famous (like Oprah) is interviewing me about my book, and I answer her questions out loud.

4. My most comfortable way to sleep is flat on my back, with my arms at my sides, like a total Stepford wife or something.

5. I can spell most difficult words, but mess up on really easy ones, making the same mistakes I've made since elementary school. Some examples include: monthes, calander, and tons of words that end in "tion" because I mix it up with "sion," like extention. I spell check everything and use my dictionary widget on a daily basis.

6. I always save the very last message on my phone from Nathan, even if it's just a message about DVRing Battlestar Galactica, on the off chance that something tragic might happen to him. I'm really bad about doing this when he goes out of town. I'm typically not a morbid person. Well, except for this one thing.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Maisy, if you want me to love you, you have to stop peeing in the house.

This is what I actually said to Maisy just a few moments ago. It might sound cold. It might sound callous. (I know they pretty much mean the same thing, but I like the alliteration.)

We knew this would be a long road. Why else did we buy a new, fabulous, hand-held carpet shampooer? But, that doesn't mean I want to use it every twenty minutes.

I think I can speak for Nathan on this subject, without even asking him.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Even more good news for Violet.

After reading my next 25 pages, the literary agent who may potentially represent me, asked for the FULL MANUSCRIPT and an "EXCLUSIVE."

An exclusive means that I only show the whole book to her for a specific amount of time (approx. 3-4 weeks) and then she'll let me know if she wants to represent the project. I went ahead and emailed the other agents I had queried to let them know that I had a request for the entire manuscript as well as an exclusive. The reason you're supposed to let them know is to create interest and hopefully bring your query to the top of the pile. It's the equivalent of saying, "I'm great! Look at me! You want me!" or something like that.

This week, I'm going to go ahead with the exclusive. Then, while we're waiting, responses will be trickling in. They will most likely be rejections (I'm not being modest; I'm being realistic) and that will be fine. If any come back positive, I can let them know that another agent has an exclusive, but that I can give THEM an exclusive after that point. Then, we can try to see who feels like the best fit and/or can negotiate the best deal.

For the record, I'm still in shock.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Uncork the champagne, baby!

OK. I'm a little freaked out.

I sent out my first round of query letters to my first ten agents. Half of them I met this summer at a writers' conference, and they asked for me to send my synopsis and first three chapters when my book was complete. Two out of ten prefer email submissions, so I emailed them yesterday. The other eight I sent off today, on my way home from school.

I didn't expect to get an email response today. But I did, from both agents. One said, "Thanks for your query, but this doesn't sound right for us." I was expecting that. I was ready. I was NOT expecting the other one to say, "Dear Amy: I like this. Send me the next 25 pages. Look forward to the read." But it did.

No, it's not a deal, but it's the next step forward. And it's a step I didn't expect so soon. So, we're celebrating tonight.

Don't worry--I'll keep everyone up to date. At the rate I'm going, I'll be on my book tour by the end of the year.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Interesting facts about Maisy

Number of days we've had her: 6

Average number of times we take Maisy out to pee per day: 14 times, I counted! (5:30 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 7:00 a.m., 7:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and in increments of 45 minutes thereafter up until 10:30/11:00 p.m.)

Highest number of times Maisy has peed in the house in a single day: 4

Fewest number of times Maisy has peed in the house in a single day: 0

Total number of days Maisy has not peed in the house: 2, not consecutive

Number of long walks with both doggies: 3

Cutest puppy habit: Tie between falling asleep frequently and getting the hiccups

Grossest puppy habit that I totally forgot, since Abigail doesn't do this anymore: Eating other dog's poo found outside

What I keep accidently calling her: Mabey (combination Abigail/Maisy)

Number of times I've had to scold Maisy: too many to count

Number of times Abigail looks distressed when Maisy is scolded: see above

Number of times I've had to reassure Abigail after her distress: see above

Total number of times Maisy has not cried when put in her crate: 4

Total number of times Maisy has put HERSELF in her crate at bedtime: 1

Songs Maisy likes, in case she does cry, to which she will stop crying: Killing Me Softly, Fugees cover of Roberta Flack; On Top of Spaghetti, artist unknown; Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson

JUST IN: Number of times Maisy has scratched at the door to go outside and pee: 1!!!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I have to tell you about how Nathan just broke our ceiling fan.

Tonight, in the midst of the fantastic spectacle that is American Idol, Nathan got, well, a little carried away doing a Bo Bice impression when he grabbed our beige, velour throw from the couch, which probably weighs close to five pounds (the throw, not the couch) and put it on his head, flinging it around like hair, singing Bo's version of "I Don't Want to Be," that crappy Gavin Degraw song, a.k.a. the theme song from One Tree Hill.

The impression lasted a glorious 15 seconds, before the blanket whipped to the ceiling, breaking off one of the spokes of the fan, sending it spiralling across the room. It was pretty awesome. But if the fan had been on, it probably would have killed me.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My book is finished! Well...mostly.

Yes, you read correctly. I finished the last chapter of my book this last week!

The only problem is, I can tell there are some things that need re-tweaking. This may come from the fact that all the beginning and middle chapters have been revised SO MANY times, and the latest ones at the end are still a bit rough.
Right now I am in the process of reworking the last few chapters, adding pieces that may be missing, and slowing down the pacing, to make sure it really matches the rest of the book.
Not too difficult, because all that really means is that I'm expanding what's already there, adding little scenes or lengthening the amount of dialogue, etc.

My goal now is to really have a strong, basically "finished" draft in the next two weeks. I also need to put together my proposal package, with query letter, synopsis, and all that. As of now, the game plan is to send out proposals to ten different agents every six weeks. I'm bracing myself for lots and lots of rejection letters. Honestly, that's just part of the process. I know that my writing is strong enough that eventually someone will be interested in picking me up. My optimistic outlook says it's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's January 3, 2007 and

1. I am nearing the end of my book. It really feels like that final sprint that you go into at the end of a race, which I've only heard other people talk about. I have just under 30,000 words/126 pages. My original goal was to be done by the end of 2006. My new goal is to be done by the time I go back to teaching, which is Tuesday, six days away. I'll let everyone know when it's done--don't worry.

2. In the meantime, I can't get enough of the America's Next Top Model mega-marathon on VH1, which I shamelessly subject Nathan and Abigail to. I won't let it keep me from working on my book, but I do have to leave the house so that I can really focus. But I usually do that to write, not just when America's Next Top Model is on.

3. Since we got back to Austin after Christmas, I've been working out like crazy, going back to my routine of exercising five days a week, taking off Mondays and Fridays. I've been alternating aerobic workouts with weight training, and hope that soon I will be able to wear the cute clothes hiding in the back of my closet.

4. Tomorrow night is the Ladies of the '80s Sing-Along at the Alamo Drafthouse, which I am SO excited about. It looks like it will be myself, Stace and Jennifer, along with many other 80s-music loving strangers who will seriously feel like our friends by the end of the evening. Based on how much fun I had at the Little Mermaid Sing-Along, it promises to be a great time.
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