When we tell our stories, I think we leave out all the time we spend waiting. We talk about J.K. Rowling’s poverty and all the publishers who turned down Harry Potter, but we don’t talk about the way it actually must have felt to spend seven years as single parent on welfare, battling clinical depression, click-clacking an old typewriter in a corner cafe, all those big energizing ideas clashing with the dim dirty reality of chapters that won’t come out right, and the bills to pay and the people who aren’t interested, and the fact that hundreds if not thousands of other faces in this city all believe that they’ve got their own novel to write . To be clear, we talk a lot about the fact that J.K. Rowling was a single parent on welfare when she wrote Harry Potter, but we talk about it like she always knew success was coming, when really she couldn’t have.
Marathon Monday isn’t like what you saw on the news. It’s one of those days when everything feels lighter. The whole city comes alive with things to celebrate: the runners, the Red Sox, the city, the way the sun feels on shoulders that spent all winter beneath a coat. But the best part of it is the names. Some people have countries or organizations on their shirts, but most have their names. The thing to do on Marathon Monday is to stand at mile 21 and call them out. Cheer people on. Sometimes they look back at you and smile, or look a little more determined, or thank you. It’s humbling. The smiles and the thank yous are all very humbling, because they’re the superhumans running 26.2 miles, and you’re the one standing there calling out a name. But what you’re doing is still important. That’s what Marathon Monday is about. If you’re not running the race, you stand by and support the ones who are. There’s always something good to do.
To fill you in on the last six months:
- I rediscovered sunshine.
- I went to Disney for dinner, like, weekly.
- I stopped by New York for the election.
- I stopped by San Francisco for brunch.
- I stopped by Boston because it’s Boston.
- The replacement refs found a permanent place on my Oh-No-Nos list.
- I swooned harder at Aaron Rodgers than I have ever swooned at him before.
- I took Kelsey to the beach on my birthday, aka the hottest day on record in the history of all Sarasota January days. All of them!
- This happened at the Sitka Boys and Girls Club.
- I missed Sitka.
- I still miss Sitka.
- I wondered why I left Sitka.
- I realized that life looks bleakest when making and updating a LinkedIn profile.
- I kept tabs on everyone who has a professional writing career despite a subpar grasp of grammar, and I secretly plotted their downfall.
- Seriously though, plural words do not need apostrophes, Washington Post.
- I started this TV blog for the writing samples, and then I realized that I was actually having fun.
- I decided that I want to be a TV writer. I want to write TV shows. For a LIVING. Continue reading
Back in September, one of my roommates had a dream that our time in Sitka was coming to an end. TV cameras were there to document the occasion (oh dream logic, how I love you). An interviewer pointed his mic at me and asked, “You just finished JVC—what are you going to do next?” I turned to the camera in my Packer jersey, raised my arms to the sky, and said, “I’m going to DISNEY WORLD!”
It didn’t take long at all for my roommates to know me.
I like very much when kids say ridiculous things. I like it so much that I’ve been keeping a list. Enjoy.
I think Alaska has warped me. I’m not talking about my gradual desensitization to the rain, how tired I am of salmon, how I’ve stopped allotting any time for commutes, or how I’ve lost all sense of appropriate personal boundaries after a year with these people.
I’m talking about fashion.
I’d like to start by acknowledging that my best friend from home is currently in Mexico, where the sun is shining on her shoulders and David Boreanaz’s abs. At the same time. In the same place. In the same pool. I don’t know why I’m friends with her; she’s always doing things like this—casually lounging in a pool in Mexico, five feet away from the actor whose shirtless photo has on multiple occasions been my laptop background (which made for some awkward moments last year when my computer crashed and I had to take it to BC Tech Support guys). I can’t compete with that. Nothing in my life seems cool anymore! This cute parade means nothing to me!
So there’s this volcano near Sitka. Mt. Edgecumbe. It’s dormant. On cloudy days you can’t even see it, but on sunny days it’s on every horizon, a striking, majestic, empty thing. What once was dangerous now just sits there looking nice for tourists, like a military fortress turned into a museum.
My JV year began with a four-leaf clover.
It was the first night of orientation, and I found it in a field. I wasn’t even looking for it—I just glanced down to admire my new TOMS, and there it was: the first four-leaf clover I can ever remember finding. I wasn’t even this lucky during my four months in Ireland. The odds are in my favor!
(We’re going to forget temporarily that “the luck of the Irish” is an ironic phrase. My people have had it rough. I mean, remember the Disney Channel movie? That kid’s luck when WAY south when he found out he was Irish. But I’m pretty sure the ending was warm and fuzzy, so let’s focus on that. I think I AM lucky to be Irish, and I think that clover was an auspicious beginning to a great year.)
As promised, I really did watch the sunrise over a glacier in Juneau.
This counts as a sunrise in Southeast Alaska. Continue reading