Club Chic #FashionFriday

Club Chic #FashionFriday

A couple weekends ago, we were scheduled to return to Books on the Lake in Grosse Pointe.  Mom and I attended last year in hopes of connecting with some authors and were reasonably successful, even if I don’t really have anything to show for it yet.

But it had been a yucky, rainy week and Mom hurt her back after sneezing.  Really, I was feeling down and out and didn’t really want to go.  But then I looked up the authors who would be appearing at the event and saw that Adriana Trigiani is a huge deal.

Club Chic #FashionFriday

I knew that since I had been feeling hopeless it was a very bad idea to stay home when maybe, just maybe my life would change.

Luckily Dad was kind enough to get up early on Saturday after working all week and drive me out to Grosse Pointe.  The day turned out a little nicer than anticipated and we arrived fashionably late.  #sorrynotsorry – it’s an early event, long drive, and long day.

Club Chic #FashionFriday

We ate lunch and the speakers began before long.  We were right in front of the podium and Adriana and Cynthia Tennent, a local romance novelist, gave awesome speeches that were heartfelt, touching, and funny.

After that it was time to head to get books signed.  This was my chance.  The lines were long and I hung at the back for time to talk.  It turns out I sat with Cynthia last year.  She was super nice, but doesn’t have the connections I need.  Amor Towles looked at me kind of like I’d grown a second head when I told him I was a writer and wished me luck.  Mom said, “well he’s a guy.”  LOL!  Guys just don’t understand.

Grosse Pointe Yacht Club

So it was up to Adriana.  Looking back, it was almost an out of body experience.  She gave me her phone number and email address and told me she’d help me.  We have talked since and she is incredibly kind and I really feel like she will help me and this will be the turning point of my life.

After I finished talking to her, I swear I could feel all the adrenaline rush out of my body.  I was beat.  I needed coffee.  So Dad and I headed to Red Hook in Detroit.  They actually had golden milk on the menu, which I always wanted to try and loved, so I had that, but I did taste Dad’s cold brew.  And really, there wasn’t enough caffeine in the world to bring my energy back up.

Adriana Trigiani and Me

Nothing has happened yet, but Adriana is a busy lady and this is a slow process.  The past few weeks have been full of ups and downs and lots of waiting, but like I said, I have a good feeling.  Fingers crossed!

As for this look, it was basically because it was May and cold and windy and cloudy out.  My trusty jacket came in handy.  I did break out my butterfly sandals though, because why not?  Butterflies are one of my good luck charms – they bring good things.

Dress: Victoria Beckham // Blazer: YSL // Shoes: Sophia Webster // Bag: Prada // Bag Charm: Anya Hindmarch

Club Chic #FashionFriday

Bringing Girl Power to Hollywood

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StrengthHasNoGender #CollectiveBias

Bringing Girl Power to Hollywood

While this blog is my little space to share recipes, reviews, fashion, and any thoughts I might have at any given time, you probably know my real passion is in writing novels and screenplays.  I have been at it for almost ten years now with nothing to show for it.

A lot of this has to do with the fact that it’s even harder to break into the industry as a woman.  Can you believe only one of the writing nominees at this year’s Oscars was a woman?  We need some girl power in Hollywood!

Bringing Girl Power to Hollywood

I have a few contacts who are all men.  Don’t get me wrong, they are nice and trying to help me and hopefully soon I’ll have something to show for it.  But it would be awesome to work with more women who better understand where women writers are coming from and that audiences are interested in strong female characters from strong female writers.

People often suggest that I should be a model, and while this is obviously flattering, it sometimes bothers me that people don’t think I can be something more, that they don’t think I can both take pride in my appearance and use my brain.

Mom and Me

These are the kinds of stereotypes that prevent women from achieving great things.  I want to wear red lipstick and pretty dresses and heels that make me feel like I could touch the sky, but I also want to sit at my computer in track suits and type away, creating a world that will bring others as much joy as it does me.

Luckily there are great women who inspire me to keep fighting for my dreams in Hollywood, knowing that I will achieve them.  My Mom is my number one champion.  She may not have had a chance to follow her dreams of being a singer, so she is always there to make sure I have the chance to chase mine.  Mom also reads everything I write.  Is that red pen out of ink yet???

Shopping at Walmart

Many very famous actresses also have their own production companies now.  Not only does this inspire me as they push the boundaries of what have been typical responsibilities for actresses, but it also gives me hope that I can work with them.  They are always talking about championing other women and I can’t wait for the chance to show them what I have.

Brawny® is currently celebrating everyday women who are breaking down barriers in traditionally male-dominated industries and empowering others with the Strength Has No Gender™ campaign, and I am so proud to be a part of it.  I am more than ready to crush some barriers and then clean up the messes I make when cooking and baking (Mom is also good at reminding me of those) with Brawny® Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus paper towels.

Cleaning with Brawny

Exclusive to Walmart, limited-edition Strength Has No Gender™ pack is in my kitchen right now.  Not only are the paper towels super useful, but they also inspire me every time I reach for a roll.  Many days are not easy, they are full of rejection and disappointment, but I know that I can break the barriers, achieve great things, and pave the way for the next generation.

Brawny Paper Towels

 

Books on the Lake

Books on the Lake

I have been trying to get my writing career off the ground for about seven years now, and with each passing year the rejection and failure becomes more and more difficult to deal with.  This year, I have decided to do everything in my power to change my pat and the way I am feeling.

I have asked advice from many people and my dad’s boss suggested that I go to an event called Books on the Lake.  It is put on by the Grosse Pointe Library and held at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.  When I read about it, I was sorry I hadn’t attended the annual event sooner.

Books on the Lake

Though Mom and I were late thanks to a moving work crew that left the highway at a crawl for almost an hour, we didn’t miss much of the action.  We were presented a yummy meal and seated at a table with some super friendly, chatty people.  One of them was an author and was interested to hear my story as I was interested to heat how she made her way in the industry.

Devin Scillian

Before long, the speakers took the stage.  First was local news anchor and children’s author Devin Scillian.  I have been a fan of Devin for years, watching him on TV every weekday for about 15 years.  He gave a great and very interesting speech that detailed his love of both TV and books, reading his own book at the White House, and of course, trying to get published the first time.

He sent his book out, like I have done many times, and was excited to receive a letter back in the mail.  When he opened it, it said, “Dear Author.”  Anyone who has ever written to an agency or publisher knows what the next words were.  Something along the lines of “We’re sorry but we can’t represent your book, but we wish you luck in the future.”  He thought it was ironic that they referred to him as author.

Eventually Devin got the yes he was looking for and the rest is history.

Mardi Jo Link

Mardi Jo Link spoke next.  A native Michigander, she first began writing about her life living in Northern Michigan.  When she realized that wasn’t going to sell, she began writing books based on true crimes that had occurred in the area and found a publisher and an audience for them.

It was awhile later when she received a call from a big agent after submitting her work to just a few trying to reach more people with her work.  She had accidentally attached some of her writing about her life that she continued to write for her and her family only.  The agent was interested in that and felt people would too with the interest in the lives of real people growing.  It was so cool that a good portion of her career was really a happy accident.

Lisa Scottoline

The final speak er was Lisa Scottoline.  She has a bold, bright personality that invites you to listen and makes you want to be friends with her.  She has written 26 novels!  And also writes a newspaper column with her daughter.  In fact, it is her close relationship with her family that made it so easy for me to relate to her.  You all know I’m super close with my mom.  Who knows – maybe we’ll writer a newspaper column together one day!!!

I also love that she writes across genres.  I have never been inspired by only one genre, but by ideas, no matter where they fit in the genre landscape.  She proves that you can do all kinds of writing and be successful at all of it.

Books on the Lake

We had the chance to meet all the authors after the event and pick up some signed books.  It was great to meet them all, but we connected with Lisa the most.  In fact when I told her about my writing she said she’d help me find an agent.  I sent her an email and hope to hear from her soon.  I really hope that she can help me.  Having her say she would find an agent for me was incredible.  I have been waiting to hear those words for years.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

We already can’t wait to go back next year.  The event was incredible and the setting is just gorgeous.  Plus, maybe, just maybe, going to Books on the Lake will be the one thing that changes everything for me.

How to Make a Vision Board

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #ListerineBOLD #CollectiveBias

How to Make a Vision Board

If you read my blog, you know I have some lofty goals.  Bestselling author.  Oscar winning screenwriter.  Adele concert goer.  All things that aren’t easy to accomplish.

And yet, I don’t give up on my dreams and goals.  I know I am meant to be a writer and there is no plan b.  Actually there’s not even a plan z.  It’s writer or bust.  And I’m not going to be a bust.

Because of this, I have become a very bold person.  I have no choice.  If I don’t stand up for myself, fight for myself, show the world that I have a whole lot of awesomeness in me, no one else is going to.

How to Make a Vision Board

I do this in a variety of ways.  One of which is starting my morning with Listerine.  It gets me and my breath off to a fresh start.  After all, I can’t have bad breath in case I run into an agent or Ben Affleck – hey he was in town filming a movie for awhile.

I switch between different varieties but Cool Mint Listerine is a favorite.  Also, if you haven’t tried Whitening Listerine DO IT!  I will never go through dentist office whitening again.  but back to Cool Mint it is … well … cool because in lab studies it kills 99.9% of bad breath germs and germs that lead to gum disease, it reduces gingivitis 21% more than flossing and brushing alone and plaque 52% more than brushing and flossing alone.  And it leaves a super minty freshness behind.

Shopping at Walmart

I also picked up Listerine Pocketpaks in Cool Mint for the first time on my most recent trip to Walmart.  They are great when I’m on the go.  I can pop one whenever my breath isn’t feeling its freshest.  They dissolve instantly and in lab studies kill 99.9% of bad breath germs.

Okay, so now that our breath is going to be minty fresh, I’m going to show you how to achieve all your bold goals and dreams by inspiring you to create a vision board.

You may have become familiar with vision boards back when The Secret was super popular.  They are a poster board that is covered in photos and quotes that represent what you want from life.  They can cover topics big and small.

Be Bold with Listerine

In order to create a vision board, you will need:

  • Poster board
  • Photos from a magazine or printed off the computer
  • Crayons, colored pencils, or markers
  • Tape

The first thing that you need to do is brainstorm ideas of what you want to be on your vision board.  Maybe it’s a trip, a new house, a career, a family.  For me, for example, I really want to move to California, so I put a picture of LA on my board.

I’d also like to be an Instagram star because it’s my favorite social media.  I’d love to be in Taylor Swift’s squad, make a movie with Reese Witherspoon, be on Ellen, and be represented by the best agency in Hollywood, William Morris Endeavor.

Squad Goals

Once I had my ideas, I printed some pictures, and got to work taping them on my board.  I also used crayons to add inspiring words and some decorations.

The most important thing about a vision board is that it be important and personal to you.  It should represent your very essence.  And supposedly, it is supposed to work.  Which is a good thing, because I’m ready for my bold moves to have bold payoffs.

With Listerine and a vision board, we can achieve any bold thing we want!

How to Make a Vision Board

Why I Started a Blog

Why I Started a Blog

I seriously cannot believe I’ve been blogging for over three years now! The time has flown, and I’ve watched my little page grow from grainy overexposed photographs and about ten likes on Facebook to a professional site with quite a few fans that I’m happy to call my own space on the Internet.

If you haven’t been here from the beginning, and I bet most of you have not, then you might not know how my journey began.

I have been a writer since I was 17. Oh yeah, I was typing away on my first novel then. After writing a few more novels and not being able to make anything happen, I realized I needed a bigger audience for my work. Or an audience at all. So I thought a blog might be the perfect fit.

Why I Started a Blog

I didn’t want to have a blog where I just wrote about whatever was on my mind because I felt like I wouldn’t always have something to say. Sometimes I have things on my mind that are personal and important to me that I want to share with you, so I just talk about them with my recipes. But other times, I only want to focus on my recipes, and I love having that freedom.

Because I also love to bake, I knew a baking blog was what I wanted to create. I hired a designer because I didn’t know anything about creating a blog (I still don’t know much!), and she suggested I choose HostGator for my domain and hosting services.

I went with her advice and am so happy I did. HostGator has been awesome! My site runs very smoothly. I have only had a couple issues over the years, and when I do HostGator is there to help 24/7 via phone, chat, or email. They are super friendly and helpful.

Why I Started a Blog

I also love that I have my domain with them too, so I don’t have to worry about working with different companies and keeping track of everything. It’s all in one place. Plus, HostGator offers design services as well as SEO and PPC marketing services to increase traffic. I might just have to check those out.

I hope maybe I’ve inspired you to start your own blog. If you do you should definitely check out HostGator. You will not be disappointed in their service. And if you already have a blog, maybe you want to switch to HostGator. I often hear bloggers complaining about their hosting services. You won’t hear any complaints from me about HostGator.

If you’re interested in checking out what HostGator has to offer, visit my special page where you can get 30% off web hosting services!

Why I Started a Blog

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Try, Try Again

Try, Try Again

While many of you out there are enjoying spring break, I thought I’d take a little, tiny break from baking and tell you more about my love of writing.  For those of you who are new to the blog (Welcome!), you might want to check out parts one, two, and three in the story behind my writing.  Writing is my true passion.  I want to make a career out of writing novels and screenplays and hope my dreams come true soon.  I do also love to bake, but I really started this blog to get more experience writing and build my audience.

After I finished my third novel, Mom and I both edited it, as best as we can, not being professional editors, and then I began the process of writing a query letter once again.  This is not as easy as it sounds, with each prospective agent having different requirements for both the letter and how it is submitted.  Since I’m assuming they get tons of these letters, that’s the only reasonable explanation for crappy form rejection letters that tell me how many they get, and how sorry they are to be sending a form letter, and how my project isn’t the right fit, I’m also going to assume ones that don’t meet the long list of criteria get deleted or thrown in the trash without a second thought.  My letter is not going to be that letter.

Try, Try Again

The query letter also only allows for a few paragraphs to sell not only your book but also yourself.  How would you convince someone you are worth a second look?  Or put a nearly 70,000 word novel into one paragraph?  You need a moment or two or forever to think about it, don’t you?

Well, I did it.  What choice did I have?  But apparently I didn’t do it well enough as emails and snail mail letters began coming back, saying in the nicest words possible that I was rejected.  Again.  The worst ones of course, are those that don’t respond at all.  Did they get it?  I’ll never know for sure.  One letter said that if you submitted a work of fiction (I did and probably always will write fiction), the good news is that the issue probably wasn’t your finished piece or idea, just the letter.  Yes, awesome news, since I’d rewritten the letter nine hundred times and no longer had any ideas of how to make it better. 

I’d like to revisit that novel, perhaps sometime soon, but for the time being, I set it aside.  It sounds like giving up.  Sometimes it feels like giving up.  However, it’s not really.  It’s cutting your losses, moving onto a new idea, one that maybe I can sell better, or maybe will catch an agent’s eye.  You see I was only temporarily giving up on one particular novel, but never my dream, never the end goal.  Because my first novel kept calling my name.

Try, Try Again

It meant starting from scratch again with the base idea.  That was okay, writing is probably my favorite thing in the whole world to do.  I love watching TV and movies and shopping and baking and exercising, but I don’t think anything makes me as happy as writing.  Plus, I figured in the day and age of hot tween, teen, and young adult books, a story about a girl who just doesn’t fit in at high school, in life, could resonate with everyone at one time or another in their life.  So, maybe it would be the one.  The big break.  The bestseller.  So back to the computer screen I went . . .

By the way, I posted pictures of the eggs I colored Sunday for Easter because I didn’t have any other pictures to post and a blog post without pictures looks like a lot of stuff to read.

Try, Try Again

Writing and Learning

Writing and Learning

First, I want to tell you that my blog has been nominated for Skinny Scoop’s Top 25 Recipe Blogs.  The winners will be chosen based on votes, so I would absolutely love it if you’d vote for me here.  I know being on that list would help my dreams come true!  Please, please vote for me 🙂

It’s been awhile since I told you about my dreams of being an aspiring novelist, so I thought I’d continue that story today.  For those of you new to the blog (Hi!), you can read the introduction and continuation and you should know that while I love baking and this blog, my real love lies with fiction writing.  One day I know you’ll see my name on the bestsellers’ list, so keep your fingers crossed and your eyes peeled, please!

After my first novel got pretty systematically rejected, I knew I had to set it aside and start completely from scratch.  There was an interesting story buried in there somewhere, but I was too close to it to be able to find it at the moment.  Luckily, I’ve been jotting down writing ideas for years.  Any time an idea, good or bad, fleshed out or one sentence, strikes me, I scribble it down.  Most of them may never see my computer screen, but one of those may just be the one.  I looked at my ideas, most of which remarkably stick in my head, and thought on them for a couple of days.

Mom had inspired one of the ideas, and I felt it was a strong one, one that I could turn into something great.  The basic idea was how a family deals with death.  It’s something everyone can relate to.  Everyone experiences death and deals with it in different ways; no one is immune from the emotional pain and suffering it can cause.

I wrote and wrote, though this one far shorter than the first.  Then I read and re-read, Mom doing the same, before the scary process of submitting to agents began again.  Rejected.  Rejected.  Rejected.  Maybe this is just another area of my life where I live in a dream world, but I didn’t think it would be this hard.  Agents don’t offer advice or an explanation of your rejection, some don’t even tell you you’ve been rejected, you simply assume it after the designated period of time.  I thought someone would take me under their wing, seeing potential, even in what I knew was an imperfect novel, since it hadn’t been professionally edited and I wasn’t a seasoned novelist.  Agents, I realized, they don’t care about me and weren’t interested in taking a chance.

In my small circle of friends, pretty much everyone knows about my dreams and has helped in ways they can, though there aren’t many.  Many acquaintances know someone who knows someone who could maybe potentially help, but it’s funny how none of those things ever pan out.  However, one couple, Rob and Teresa, that we know offered to read and critique it as they read frequently.  Teresa in particular reads constantly and believed she’d learned quite a bit about the basics of writing a novel from all of said reading.  I appreciated their offer and took them up on it, understanding it would be difficult for them to give me critiques as well as for me to take them.  We had to put our friendship aside and consider this as a strictly business proposition.

From literally page one, they tore my book up and down.  The problems ranged from minor things like introducing a character without establishing their name to the rather more important and much more difficult to fix fact that they hated my main character.  Hated her.  I still don’t entirely understand why, but since I hadn’t read a book since high school, I took their word for it.  I never got offended at their opinions.  I needed to hear them, needed someone to give me an idea of why my novel was continually hitting the rejection pile.  Clearly they couldn’t know what the agents were thinking, but I figured their issues with my novel could be some of the issues agents were having as well.  I still appreciate their assistance and honesty.

Writing and Learning

After reading through all of the comments, and there were tons, I had some major homework.  The first thing I needed to do was start reading again.  I couldn’t write excellent novels without reading other excellent novels.  It was pretty much impossible.  Theresa lent me some books, while I headed to my bookshelf for more and Barnes and Noble to make the stack even bigger.  Reading helped me discover some pretty basic rules that most novels abide by, and it also showed me some things I didn’t want to do, didn’t like reading in other books.  I read more books I didn’t like than those of which I couldn’t stop singing the praises, but reading a book I love is like magic.  I still love reading books of all genres, and believe it has made me a better writer.  I thank Teresa for giving me the shove I needed to hit the books again.

Of course the other thing I had to do was decide where to go with my book.  As much as I was enjoying reading, it wasn’t going to magically fix my novel.  Instead of going page by page and trying to rewrite one thing at a time, a process that I’m not convinced wouldn’t have been impossible, I took the same idea behind the novel and wrote an entirely new and separate story.  That’s right, novel three.  It was fun and quick to write, knowing the mistakes I made the last time and trying my hardest to avoid them.  All that was left to do was hope that this time agents would be more receptive.  Keep your fingers crossed until the next part in my writing adventure.

The Continuation of My Adventure in Writing

Computer

I never liked school.  From preschool on, it just wasn’t for me.  Things were okay until high school came around.  I attended an all-girl Catholic school that just quite simply wasn’t for me.  There was the filthy cafeteria, the students who wanted nothing to do with me, the crazy schedule, and the faculty and administration blind to the problems that surrounded them.  Plenty of girls liked it there, most of them, in fact.  They worshipped the school and everything to do with it; many of the faculty members were prior students, returning to the place that changed their lives, that they loved as much as one can love school, liking it more than the college experience.  A couple others saw the school as I did, but everyone else had on rose colored glasses, or maybe they were school bus yellow.

Perhaps it was me.  I was always the odd girl out, wanting to spend time with adults instead of peers, not wanting to get dirty or play sports, heading to school each day to learn, then going home to leave it all behind, trying my hardest not to think about it.  No matter the cause, it was how I felt, and as much as I tried for awhile, I couldn’t change the school and didn’t want to change myself to the point of no longer seeing me when I looked in the mirror.  We can change who we are, but for the most part, we shouldn’t.    After sophomore year and an expansive investigation of nearly every high school, public, private, and parochial in the metro Detroit area (seriously dozens of them), my parents and I made the difficult decision that I would finish high school through an online program.

It went well.  It wouldn’t be for everyone, but for me it was perfect.  I worked on my own time and at my own pace, having fun as much as possible, even when I was working.  It was during this time that I started to get the idea of writing a novel based on my experiences in traditional high school and what would have happened had I made the decision not to homeschool.  Would I have stayed where I was?  Gone to another school?  Would things have worked out in the end?

A lot of fiction writing is about what ifs, whether novels or movies.  What if you could go back in time and save President Kennedy?  (11/22/63 – a recent read)  What if time was currency?  (In Time – a pretty good movie)  And what ifs roam my brain all the time, so I decided to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, really.

Computer

What I ended up with was an over 300 page novel.  I like to think some of it was good, maybe even really good, but I was too close to the situation; the novel helped me deal with my feelings and emotions, which were very strong, however, it was too personal and way too long for agents to want to be a part of it.

Getting all of those rejections, and there were dozens of them, was tough.  Really tough, but I learned a lot.  I learned more about writing, I learned about the process, and I learned how long a novel should be (a lot shorter than the one I had written).  Most importantly perhaps, I learned that writing was what I really wanted to do.  I thought I might be discouraged, but I wasn’t; I only wanted to continue writing more and more, dreaming about becoming a published and popular author almost all the time.  So I headed back to the computer with ideas racing in my mind.  That’s where the story will pick up next time!

Computer Screen

An Introduction to the Plots

Cards

I wanted to take some time today to share with you the plots side of Pies and Plots.  I’ve loved to write ever since I can remember.  I wasn’t writing novels when I was in grade school, but I’ve always kept some kind of diary.  It was a way for me to share the silly ramblings of an eight or ten year old, things I didn’t really mean, but felt deeply in the moment.  Writing them down probably helped me move on to the next thing, and those diaries are good for a laugh when they are found today at the bottom of some bin or drawer.  As I grew older they helped me to sort out what had happened on a given day in my life and the world at large, often allowing me to remember things I might otherwise forget.  I didn’t have many, or more realistically, any friends to share my innermost thoughts with, and sometimes Mom just didn’t fit the bill of listener, so a diary was the only way for me to get out what I was thinking.  I think most young girls benefit from having a place to write things down.  Seeing something on paper can change the way you understand something entirely.

There was also letter writing, and a lot of it.  One of my aunts, cousins, classmates, parents of classmates, teaching assistants, my parents’ friends, neighbors, and more found themselves on the other end of a barrage of flowered stationary and brightly colored gel pens (remember Milky Pens?).  Unlike most people I wrote, I had seemingly endless time to carefully craft my letters and cover the envelopes in stickers.  My aunt tried to respond as quickly as possible, mostly out of familial obligation, but writing me back didn’t rank as highly on the priority list for others.  This is understandable to me now, but back then, it wasn’t.  I would write letter after letter to people I hadn’t heard from.  Most of them would eventually respond, but I have no doubt they were annoyed.

I even got pretty good at writing school papers.  If I enjoyed the topic or knew a lot about it, I could put together a paper in no time flat.  It became enjoyable to write them, as I watched my word choices turn into beautiful sentences, and those sentences turn into a coherent thought that supported my position quite well.  The papers that were even more fun to write were those whose topic I didn’t enjoy or have a full understanding of.  They took a little longer to write, but it amazed me that I could write a paper, one that sounded pretty good, and usually received an equally good grade, even when I kind of had no idea what I was talking about.  It was my love for words that inspired me nearly every time I sat in front of the computer no matter what I was writing about.

Where did my love of words come from?  I’d like to say it was my love of books, but it wasn’t.  It was my love of television.  I grew up in front of the television, but managed to avoid all the bad things studies say excessive watching causes.  And the first time I watched The West Wing the world of words came alive for me.

The first episode I saw was “The Indians in the Lobby” in the middle of season three.  I’ve since seen every episode at least a couple of times, have recited a scene for a school speech, and use some of the lines in everyday speech.  While I was a writer before my television was tuned to the spectacular writing of Aaron Sorkin, it was that writing that informed and inspired my time with a pen in my hand or a computer in front of me from the first line I heard.  The more I watched the more I knew writing was my passion, I just wasn’t yet sure how it would turn into my profession.

West Wing

I still keep a diary of sorts, where I note things that happen to me and things I want to remember, but know otherwise might slip from my memory as time passes.  I also still love to write letters, though they aren’t nearly as incessant and are mostly of the thank you variety.  Sometimes I can’t help myself from writing a card just to say hello to someone important in my life.  School papers unfortunately still happen, but I hope not for very long.  It’s been a very long time, too long in fact, since I’ve watched an episode of The West Wing (it’s probably time for me to dust off the DVD box sets), but The Social Network, Moneyball, and even Studio 60 (yes I liked Studio 60) have filled the void.  It’s fair to say I’m inspired my Aaron Sorkin’s writing in general, but The West Wing is simply my favorite.

Writing is a really cool thing, even if it’s only diaries, letters, and papers, but I wanted it to be something more.  But the next part of the plot is a post for another day.

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