A couple of Fridays ago, I just had one of those days. At my wedding rehearsal, the mother of the groom was, to put it nicely, a bitch to me for no reason. I left Malibu at 5:00 on a Friday night. The Dodgers were playing in the World Series and I was stuck in my car.
It sucked. So I decided to pull off the parking lot that is the 101 on a Friday evening and find a bar with a TV and beer. Islands was the closest thing I could find, and though I mostly try to stay away from chain restaurants, I figured I might as well park it for an hour or two and let traffic die down (haha). I walked into the bar, found a table with a perfect view of the game, and ordered myself a beer. The waitress carded me, which was ridiculously unnecessary. I am 34. I do not look under thirty. And I was dressed for a rehearsal, which means I actually did my hair and make-up and was wearing something other than jeans and a T-shirt. I showed her my license, and she informed me it was expired. I told her I know, I already paid the fee, I just haven’t gotten my new one yet, but here is the paper that says I paid it and it’s renewed. She then told me she couldn’t serve me a beer because it was illegal. First of all, no, it’s not. Second of all, you didn’t need to card me in the first place, you were just trying to suck up. And now, I’m leaving. And also, I would have been the easiest $5 you made all night. And when I left the restaurant, it was 0-0; mere minutes later the Astros scored four runs and won the game. So basically this dumb waitress is the reason we lost the World Series.
But I digress (shocker). All in all, it was a shitty day. I was talked down to, denied my beer, missed my Dodgers, and sat in traffic for two hours. But by the time I got home, I was over it. I drank some wine, watched some crappy TV, and moved on with my life. As I’m writing this post, weeks later, I am totally detached from the events of the evening. In the grand scheme of life, it was all a bunch of petty bull.
And that’s when I realized (or remembered really, not like it’s the first time I’ve figured this out) that I am hashtag blessed. When I was teaching, I had more than one day that ended with me pulled over on the side of the road, hysterically crying to the point where I was unable to drive home. The bitchy parents and administrators I dealt with on a daily basis made the bitchy mother of the groom look like a saint. And how lucky am I that I was able to walk away from that situation? I now have a career I love, one that allows me the freedom to enjoy my son, enjoy flexibility with my time, and enjoy the people I work with. A career that stokes and inspires my creativity instead of crushing it.
So even though I had a shitty day, it was one of few these days. And I didn’t end up huddled in my car sobbing, so it really wasn’t all that bad. It didn’t leave me emotionally scarred, and by the next day (even with MOG continuing to be a bitch) it was over and done with and I was perfectly happy.
So thanks shitty day, for reminding me of all that I have, and how great my shitty days of present are compared to the shitty days of the past. I really am #blessed.
Guys, I have been in the mood for New York something fierce, and I finally found the perfect opportunity to take a trip: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is coming to Broadway, and I. have. tickets. Hells to the yes!
The whole process for being able to purchase tickets was crazy, and I seem to be one of the few lucky ones who had an easy time with it. A couple of weeks ago I registered for the chance to get an access code. I found out at the beginning of the week that my code would be sent to be on Wednesday morning, and that tickets went on sale at 8:00 am. I woke up at 7:45, logged into my computer, and waited. At 8:00 I entered my access code, selected the date I wanted, and bought my tickets. The show itself is in two parts, so technically you’re buying tickets for two shows. Not only do we have orchestra seats for both shows, the TOTAL for two tickets to both shows and fees was $200 Word. The whole thing took less than five minutes. According to Twitter, this was not the experience for most, so I guess I had some good karma going for me or something.
So our tickets are for July, during our birthday/anniversary week and we are leaving the kid with grandparents and heading to the Big Apple. I haven’t been to New York in a couple of years, and I have been having withdrawals like nobody’s business. But now with a trip on the horizon, I can focus on planning instead of jonesing. My last two trips to NYC have been with students, so I am looking forward to you know, going to a bar. Since I am forcing Matt to go to Harry Potter and Mean Girls (!!!!) I will be accompanying him to at least one jazz bar while we are there too.
Other must dos for me include: Strand Bookstore, a martini at a rooftop bar, and some big ass pizza. What are some other experiences I should check out while in New York? Leave me your best tips!
Hi friends! I decided to get off my lazy ass and actually write something for once. Everything I have been posting lately has been formulaic, the kind of shit I feel like I NEED to write, and nothing that I actually want to write. So I decided to switch things up a bit and focus on the wants. Which means there will be plenty of swearing and probably a fair amount of hashtagging in this post. #sorrynotsorry
Wedding season is almost over! This has been my busiest year yet, which is good since it’s how I make my money these days. #girlboss I am already starting to book up for 2018 and I’m excited to see where things go from here. As of right now, I will have coordinated 27 weddings by the end of 2017 (though hoping for a few more, I’d like to get to 30!). Loving my job and being my own boss has done wonders for my mental health. I do feel bad when my teacher friends ask me if I miss teaching, because for the most part, that’s a big fat nope. I do miss the kids and many of my colleagues, but being free from the assholes who ruined it for everybody is pretty freeing. October is actually going to be my busiest month with six weddings, and then I get a bit of a break in November and December. And then it’s on to the next!
Rejection is a bitch. So if you have been here before, you might know that I self-published my first novel, Casting Call, earlier this year. It’s a book I wrote mostly for fun, and honestly, I published it mostly so I could put it to bed and focus on a YA project that I am obsessed with and trying to put some actual effort into. Well, my draft of said YA book is done and I have been slowly but steadily querying agents for the past two months, and so far it’s a whole lot of “it’s not you, it’s me” form rejection letters. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that was coming, and I was braced for it, but it doesn’t take the sting out of opening those emails. But I will keep on keeping on! I’m also working on a new romance novel that I am having a lot of fun with and will tell you more about later. #chicklit4lyfe
Podcasting is my new favorite thing. If you haven’t listened to Down to Fangirl yet, get your effing ass over to iTunes right this effing minute and download every single episode we have released so far. Seriously, I don’t really care if you listen to it or not, creating this podcast with my cohost Brianna is one of the highlights of my week. I mean, what could be better than drinking and chatting nerdom things with one of my besties? Also, we’re really fucking funny.
Other recent realizations of life: Target $5 wine is bomb. I’m having Game of Thrones withdrawals. Hauloween at Cars Land is the shit. I’m ready for fall. I need new music/podcasts to listen to. Newsies is on Netflix (though I imagine not for much longer as I’m sure it will get pulled when the other Disney titles go away). I miss New York. I want to see Hamilton again.
Instagram sucks right now. I put A LOT of effort into growing my two main IG accounts and for a while, I was having amazing success. But now thanks to whatever bullshit changes they have been making, engagement sucks and I have been losing followers by the thousands (not even exaggerating). So I’m posting a lot more of whatever the eff I want rather than whatever the eff I’m “supposed” to. Also, since you stuck around this long, go follow me on Instagram, I’ve got like eight different accounts and I am lazy AF so I’m not even going to link them, but here are my deets: @falonloveslife, @coffeebookswinerepeat, @girllovesla, @dtfangirlpod, @falonbweddings.
Alright yo. Just a little stream of consciousness for you on this fine Wednesday evening/Thursday morning. Have a great weekend!
It’s been a while since I have shared one of these posts, and I have a ton of new things that I am obsessing over that I want to share with you. From books to booze, these are the things I am seriously crushing on this summer!
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: If you have listened to Down to Fangirl, or checked my bookstagram, or read any of my What I Read posts, chances are you have seen/heard me talk about ACOTAR. Guys. For real, this is my favorite series since Harry Potter. Book two, A Court of Mist and Fury, is one of the best books I have ever read. Period. If you like to read, or even if you hate to read, this series is a must. Go buy it and thank me later.
Soap and Glory beauty products: I have been using this face wash for most of the summer and I have seen a huge improvement in my skin. Even though I am now mid thirties, I still suffer from acne and I have had a lot of problems finding a cleanser that works consistently for me. This one has been awesome so far and I am loving it. Soap and Glory also has a ton of other great products, my other favorite being their lip glosses.
Rose: I know, I know, I’m basic AF. But nothing beats a yummy rose during the hot summer months. And it goes down so easy I can drink it all day long! (Not that I do that…often.)
Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew: This is my go to summer coffee drink from Starbucks and I have been consuming them almost every day over the past few months. I love them a little too much.
Supergirl: I just finished watching season two of Supergirl, and guys, I legit cried actual tears during the finale. My heart is aching just thinking about it. I have a huge crush on Chris Wood, who plays Supergirl’s boyfriend (and is gay in real life, of course) and I am ride or die with Jeremy Jordan. Plus, Calista Flockheart came back for the last two episodes, and the original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter plays the president. Binge it. And then come cry with me when it’s over.
Making buttons: Okay, this is weird, I know, but I started making some Disney inspired buttons a couple of weeks ago and I got so into it I bought a button maker. I will be posting a tutorial soon, suffice to say I am going to be doing a lot of giveaways because I only have room for so many buttons in my life.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: I finished this book a couple of days ago, on my birthday, and then went to two different bookstores that day to try to find the sequel, Glass Sword. I LOVED this book and have been dying to start number two, but I had to order it online so I’ve had to wait a few days before being able to start it. I have a couple of books I need to review that are next on my list, but I might be diving into Glass Sword instead. Because it’s that good.
Podcasting: If you haven’t listened to Down to Fangirl yet, get on it! Brianna and I have recorded seven episodes now and I am so loving podcasting. Honestly, I’m enjoying the whole process way more than I thought I would, and I am hoping our little show continues to grow!
Champagne and Strawberry Lemonade: I feel like this is self-explanatory, but this combo has become my go to summer alcoholic beverage of choice. It’s a perfect combo and it also makes for a pretty pink drink.
Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout: Okay, so as trepidatious as I was of the ride in the beginning, and as much of an eye sore as it is in the park, it is a damn good ride. Plus, I am loving discovering all of the different versions. I need to ride them all!
What have you been obsessing over this summer? Let me know so I can maybe share in your obsession!
Hello friends and welcome to another edition of Life Right Now. I haven’t done a Life Right Now post in a long time, and well, there’s a lot going on these days, so I figured I would share some updates! Things have been crazy, in a good way, and I am about a week away from wedding madness season, so life is about to get interesting (and tiring, but again, in a good way). Here’s the happs:
Making bookmarks! I may or may not be obsessed with these watercolor bookmarks. Drinking Corona Light and lots of Chardonnay. Also lots of Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brews. Reading so. many. amazing. books. Seriously guys, I am on fire with the YA reading and it’s so good. Some recent faves are Legend, the Firebird series, and Caraval. Wanting to finish my YA novel! Playing Hamilton! Four and a half months until I get to see it again!
Wishing there were about six more hours in the day. Enjoying the new season of Southern Charm. Minus Landon. Waiting for A Court of Wings and Ruin to come out so I can start the series. Liking our new living room set up (the key was hiding Matt’s instruments and Squirt’s toys). Wondering if I am going to be able to find a literary agent this year. Loving the inspiration from the LA Times Festival of Books and YallWest. Hoping my YA book gets published! Needing some sleep. As always. Wearing shorts and tees and flip flops. Welcome to summer!
Following lots of pretty bookstagram accounts, find mine @coffeebookswinerepeat! Noticing why the term “threenager” was coined. Knowing that summer is going to be crazy busy! Thinking about my next contemporary romance book. Anticipating lots of long, hot days coming soon! Celebrating the publication of my first contemporary romance novel! Buy it here! Laughing at Squirt (as usual). His personality is really coming out these days and he is constantly amusing me. Feeling happy, excited, hopeful, and accomplished.
So last week I published my very first book. It honestly feels weird to even write that sentence. But I did it, I can check an item off my bucket list. Something I wrote is out there in the world (and not just on a blog). And I wasn’t going to tell y’all about it for numerous reasons that I am going to bore you with in this post. You know, before I tell you to go buy my book and leave me five star reviews. But first, some history…
I wrote my first “novel” when I was eleven. It was handwritten in one of those 350 page multi-subject spiral notebooks. It was a junior high love story with a heroine who bore an extremely close resemblance to me and a love interest who may or may not have been solely based off of Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I think it goes without saying that it was not good. But I mean, I filled a 350 page notebook at the age of eleven, so there’s that.
I wrote on and off throughout my junior high and high school years. In high school I wrote for the school newspaper, and my favorite English teacher was my creative writing teacher, Mr. O’Brien. He kind of ruined me for creative writing teachers in the future because he understood my point of view and my voice without me having to explain it. See, even though my writing style has (hopefully) matured over the years, my subject matter really hasn’t. I still love to write about love. My ebook can only be described as contemporary women’s fiction. And while the genre is quite popular and can be extremely lucrative, it is one that (in my opinion) is looked down upon by those who consider themselves to be “serious” writers.
In college, I was an English major. In my junior year, I had to pick a specialty. I knew at that point I was likely going to end up teaching, but I chose to major in Creative Writing instead of English for Educators. The main thing you do in creative writing classes is workshop your writing. So you bring in twenty copies of your short story, the whole class reads and critiques it, then you revise it and turn it in for notes from the professor. My work was consistently disregarded (on the nice end of the spectrum) and ridiculed as brainless fluff (on the harsh end). It wasn’t until my senior seminar (aka the last class I had to take as a creative writing major) that I had a professor get it. This is what he wrote on my main story I submitted to him: “This is great for what it is.” Did I write some ground-breaking, award-winning, super deep and intellectual, thought-provoking piece? Nope. I wrote something fun and light, think classic summer beach read. And for the first time in college, someone was able to see it for what it was, and not think about it in light of everything it was not. The fact that it took that long for someone to get it, and the fact that I had ONE professor in four (okay, six) years of college willing to see my writing for what it was, put a huge damper on my desire to write. For most of my “career” as a writer, I felt like I was not good enough, maybe even not a real writer, because I was writing commercial stories instead of artistic stories (and yes, there are those writers out there that are commercial and artistic. I’m not one of them. At least not yet.).
A couple of months ago, I started writing again. Probably because I felt a resurgence in my desire to create after separating myself from the brain suck that was my job last year. I set out to finish a novel. Not because I plan to make money, not because I plan to make this a career. More to prove to myself that I could do it. I mean, I’ve had the dream since I was eleven. And I read a lot of contemporary women’s fiction, and while a lot of it is great, some of it I read and think I could do better. So I figured why not throw my hat in the ring. And let me just be clear here, I love this genre, I love the story I wrote, and I had FUN writing this book. And if no one reads it, or if everyone who reads it hates it, I’m okay with that. Because I did it. And I’m proud of myself for that.
So why would I not share it with all of you fine folks? Well, about halfway through writing this novel (titled Casting Call, btw) I came up with an idea for a young adult series. And once I fleshed out the idea, I realized that I NEED to write this series. It is a concept that I completely love, and it is a story that I have to tell. And it is the type of series that could potentially land me an agent and possibly even a real publisher (making me a “serious” writer). But I also couldn’t just set aside Casting Call and jump into a new project. Part of the reason I wanted to write Casting Call in the first place was to show myself I could finish it. So it needed to be finished. For a while I started writing the series while still working on Casting Call, but then I decided to put the series on hold and finish what I started.
I finished the writing of Casting Call a couple of weeks ago, and spent the following weeks editing and formatting. I didn’t hire an editor because this was not a project I intended to invest money in (#selfemployed). Luckily, I have done a lot of editing and proofreading in my time so I felt comfortable doing it on my own (and yeah, I’m sure there are typos and mistakes, please feel free to point them out ;o)). And while I do plan on looking for an agent to represent my YA series, for Casting Call, and any subsequent novels I write in this genre, I decided to self publish only as an ebook on Amazon. While I wouldn’t call the process easy by any means (formatting is a bitch), it was way easier than going the “traditional” route. And it allowed me to publish a book I love on my own terms.
Work on my series is going to continue soon (I sent out a rough rough rough rough draft to some of my amazing librarian friends (shout out to Becky and Kristen!) for some notes). It is so different from anything I have ever written before that I am finding it is taking a lot more time and effort than what I am used to when writing. But it is also an extremely gratifying piece to work on and I hope that I can do the concept justice.
I think this is the point where I introduce you to Casting Call, and ask you to throw a few dollars my way ;o) Casting Call is a fun and light-hearted novel about a young actress named Emily who is making her professional theater debut. Things get dicey when she finds herself falling for her leading man–a guy who is off limits for multiple reasons. She has to decide what’s more important, her career or love. I loved being able to travel back to my theater roots as I wrote this novel, and I really ended up falling in love with both of my main characters. I would love to turn this novel into a series as well, assuming I can find the time to balance it with my YA series.
If you have made it this far, thank you for reading this totally rambly and personal post. I really debated whether or not I should even share this on the blog (because anything on my blog automatically gets thrown out into the social media world), but this experience of writing and publishing has meant a lot to me, and it wouldn’t have felt right to not share it at all (God forbid we have any emotions these days that don’t get shared!). If you are a fan of contemporary women’s fiction, or you want something fun and light to read, please check out Casting Call. And if you love it, please leave me a review. If you don’t love it, you can leave a review too, but just be nice about it :oP And if this is totally not your kind of read, please don’t feel like you have to read it! Reading books that aren’t your thing is rarely fun, and reading should always be fun.
Also, you might have noticed that I used a pen name for this novel. Since I am planning on writing another series in a totally different genre, I wanted to separate the two. So this book has my pen name for romance, Michele Matthews (which if you know me, you can figure out where that comes from), and my other series will have my real name (assuming it makes it to publication of course!).
I would love to hear your thoughts on writing, whether they are about my experiences or your own. I would also love to build a writing tribe sometime soon, so please reach out if that is something you might be interested in! Thanks friends, for reading this and for allowing me to always express whatever it is that is on my mind. You’re the best!
Well, friends, another month has flown by, and here we are, already six days into March! This past week I’ve been battling a nasty cough and cold which means I have basically accomplished nothing for the past few days and I am way behind. Bleh. Not a great way to start the month. I’m feeling a little bit better, and I know I gotta get back on the horse so that March is not totally lost for me! Before getting to my March goals, here’s a recap of how my February went (and I’m blaming my total lack of goal completion on the fact that it was a short month…):
February Mini Goals and Priorities:
–Put together my media kit. Nope. Still didn’t happen. Maybe this month?
–Contact hotel’s for Sister’s bachelorette party I actually did finish this task, only to have plans change.
–Organize tax info I made some tax progress, but I am not done yet, so still gotta work on this.
–Read four books. Check!
–Write 10k words in my novel Nope. Only knocked out about 4k. All in all, it was an uninspiring month for me, writing wise.
Ugh, so after killing it in January on social media, I took a big hit this month and only met my Instagram goal. Here are my numbers as of today (which is technically already into March, but it still counts!):