Monday, December 31, 2012

Sparkling

There is just something about this time of year that makes me want everything to sparkle ...





HAPPY NEW YEAR!
And may 2013 be the year to shine ...

- all images sourced from Pinterest

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Years Cleaning


... So I am doing something about it. 

I haven't been writing lately on the blog but I have a really good reason this time ... I've been WRITING!!!! Yes, this makes me so happy it deserved 4 exclamation points!

One thing that I need when I write is a calm, uncluttered atmosphere. Unfortunately, this does NOT describe my home office at the moment. I would post a picture, but it is just too shameful. On that note, I will be spending the ENTIRE weekend cleaning and de-cluttering - just in time for the new year! 

I don't know about you, but I really like the idea of starting off the new year with a clean slate - LITERALLY! 

Anyone else out there like to clean around this time of year?

{Image: this blog}
- image sourced from Pinterest

Monday, December 3, 2012

On My Bookshelf

Happy Monday!

I hope all of you had a great weekend and are off to a good start for the week. I myself will be extremely busy for the next two weeks as I am in my last week of classes, and then I go into exams (eek! Wish me luck).

I am, however, already starting to plan out my reading list for the holidays! I saw this book while browsing at my local Chapters store, and this is going straight to the top of my list.

{Collateral by Ellen Hopkins}

Meet Ashley, a graduate student at San Diego State University. She was raised in northern California reading poetry and singing backupin her best friend's band. The last thing she ever expected was to end up a military wife. But one night, she meets a handsome Marine named Cole. He doesn't match the stereotype of the aggressive military man she'd always presumed to be true; he's passionate and romantic, and he even writes poetry. Their relationship evolves into a deeply felt, sexually charged love affair that goes on for five years and survives four deployments. Cole desperately wants Ashley to marry him, but when she meets another man, a college professor, with similar professional pursuits and values, she begins to see what life might be like outside the shadow of war.
{partial synopsis courtesy of Chapters website}

I'm excited to read this book for two reasons:  

1) Being a military wife myself I always like to expose myself to literature that might offer another perspective of that life. Though we've been lucky (so far) to not have to deal with a long and dangerous deployment, we have many close friends and acquaintances that have been deployed to Afghanistan and elsewhere.

2) I've never read anything by Ellen Hopkins before, but after flipping through the novel briefly, I am intrigued by her poetic style, and am hoping to gain some inspiration for my own WIP.

What's on your holiday reading list??

- Image by Cate Emond

Monday, November 19, 2012

I AM A WRITER!

{Love this Writer's Manifesto by K.M. Weiland}
{p.s. Click on the link for a larger view}

When I saw this Manifesto for writers over at author K.M. Weiland's blog I just had to share - I hope it gives you a bit of inspiration for the week :)

Check out her blog and website.

HAPPY MONDAY!  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New Toy + Cozy Afternoon

I just bought a cell phone!

I know, get with the times already, right?!

To be more specific, I decided to jump on the Apple bandwagon and purchased an iPhone. I'm not gonna lie - a main factor in my decision was my love for Instagram :p

My life is about to get a whole lot more productive, right? 

In the meantime, this afternoon I'm enjoying a yummy Starbucks peppermint Mocha (who else loves the holidays??), wrapping myself in a cozy throw and getting in a bit of reading ...

{Wired for Story by Lisa Cron} 
- Image by Cate Emond


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quarter of a Century

Normally I'm not too keen to go around advertising my age. I guess it's a mixture of either feeling too old - when I'm around my younger classmates at school - or feeling not old enough - out in the working world and still feeling like a kid trying to keep up with the adults! But this year is different. Last month I celebrated the first milestone birthday since turning 18 and finally being old enough to drink vote.

Last month I turned 25!! (It sounds so much more epic when I say "quarter of a century" though, lol, don't you think?).

It's funny, when I was younger I used to say 25 was the perfect age - you're still young enough to enjoy the benefits of youth, but old enough to start being taken seriously. I can't say whether or not this is true just yet, but I'll let you know in a year if I was right ;p

In the meantime, here is a peek from my Sunday afternoon ...

{La Tartine Gourmande - NEW cookbook recently purchased}

{Some ingredients for our dinner - recipe via my new cookbook}

{The result: Tartine - an open-faced sandwich with homemade pesto & mushrooms - and tomatoes stuffed with pork and mashed potatoes}
**This meal was delicious, but next time I would follow the author's suggestion of pairing tartine with a nice home-made soup :) Miam, Miam!!    

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!

- Photos by Cate Emond

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Post-Wedding Relief + Blog Direction

Phheewww. The past few months have been a whirlwind of planning, organizing, and dreaming! But it's official ... I am now a married woman and I couldn't be happier. And I couldn't be happier with how we decided to go about it - just a small intimate backyard ceremony in my grandfather's garden, then a casual BBQ complete with a pig roast! I have to say though, even for a small wedding it was stressful so I can't say I'm not relieved it's over but I wouldn't have changed it for anything :)

 Here are few shots taken by my friend, and talented photographer Daisy ...

 {My beautiful bouquet by a retired local (Ottawa) florist}

{Seriously the most delicious cupcakes ever!! by Sarah J's Cupcakes}

Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Caroline
Shoes: Seychelles (p.s. mine were white ;p) 
(p.p.s. I changed into really comfy jeans and a sweater after the ceremony lol)


On that note, I've been thinking a lot about the direction I want to take this blog - I know, I know, I'm always thinking about that and I'm ALWAYS talking about it, but I really have. Through researching other writing blogs and blogs in general, I'm starting to cultivate my likes and dislikes, as well as assessing my own capabilities . For example, in writing blogs I really love reading the advice other writers have to offer, but I know that as a beginner it's just not a service I feel ready to offer with this blog. Another blog I follow, by a Los Angeles based writer, often consists of the author's own poetry - something I would love to do but still don't feel it's quite right for this particular blog. Perhaps for a spin-off blog ...

Still, this blog is titled "The Write Life". To me that means just that - blogging about my life as a writer. The trouble with that is I'm too good at making up excuses not to write, and I haven't been doing much of it lately. So I'm in a pickle. How can I write about life as a writer if I'm not writing?

I guess I should start writing.

I'll be back soon ... I'm not abandoning you!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Eat, Drink & Be Married!

So this is what I've been up to lately ...
 
{Photo by Kristin S.}
 
 

Monday, July 30, 2012

You're Not Really a Writer Until ...



... you get REJECTED for the first time. 

Well - I got my first real rejection tonight, and by real I mean an actual notification, not the rejection you feel after entering a contest and then not seeing your name in bright lights when the winners are announced (not that that feels any less real emotionally). It's something we all go through, whether you're a writer or not, and as much as I hate to admit it, it stung when I read these words for the first time:

Dear Cate Emond,

Unfortunately, we will not be publishing your poem
The Red Hummingbird That Was a Bug ... The poem has been removed from our system; however, the title will remain on file for your records.

Managing Editor,
Local Poetry Mag

I think it was a nice touch that the word "not" was in bold, to really drive home the message, no?

So, I could take this as a sign that I should never write again like this person:

"That’s why I stopped sending out stories after the first few times."
- Reader comment in response to the comic strip above 

because let's face it, I have many - hundreds, maybe even thousands - more rejections to look forward to in the future if I continue on this path (just tryin' to keep it real), and if this one sucked, I can only imagine how much more it would suck to receive rejection #984... but then I would just end up being that sad person who always talks about what could have been, and there are too many of those in the world. And #985 could end up being a YES, but if I quit I'll never know (inspiration, and all that)!!

So instead, I'm going to print that rejection letter, in all of it's bold glory, frame it and hang it in my office to serve as a reminder ... that that editor clearly has no taste and I'm AWESOME!! ;p

If anyone wants to share their own rejection story in the comments (if anything, just to make me feel less alone, lol) please DO! You'll be in good company.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Classic Books According to a Six-Year-Old

This is what happens when you ask a 6-year-old to judge a book by its cover:


"This is about a girl that goes mining. I don’t know why, but she looks like she would go mining, mining for gold."


I came across this blog post on Twitter via John Winokur (if you're on Twitter you should check him out, he always has great advice!), and I just HAD to share. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Vintage Book DIY

 
I found this picture on Pinterest while looking for ideas as I plan my wedding, and I thought I would share.
 
Isn't this such a beautiful way to recycle an old vintage book??
 
As an avid reader, I would love to have this for my wedding!!  
 
What do you think? 
 
 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blogging, Reading + Writers Block

 I've decided that I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself about blogging this summer!

YES, I was (am) excited to start devoting more time to this space of my own on the web, but I realize I've started to think in terms of I "have" to instead of I want to, and that's not what I want blogging to be about for me. There are always going to be things in life that we have to do (yes, even writing), and I don't want blogging to be one of those things.

That goes for my reading challenge as well. When it comes to food, my guy often tells me my eyes are bigger than my stomach because in  my ravenous state I think I can eat more than I actually can. I guess I have a tendency to do the same in other aspects of my life as well. What can I say, when I get excited about an idea I want to throw myself in 110% The problem with that is at some point I start to lose steam, and unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day - such a pesky little problem! lol

I have however managed to read a couple of books recently ...


I'm just discovering Francesca Lia Block (I mentioned her in a recent post) and the world of Weetzie Bat. Pink Smog: Discovering Weetzie Bat is actually a prequel to the series of YA novels (although, personally I think her writing transcends such categorization), while Necklace of Kisses is the adult version of Weetzie. I have yet to read the original novels in the Dangerous Angels series (Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Missing Angel Juan, Baby Be-Bop) but trust that I will be remedying that quick!

I have my reading cut out for me, but all I can say is I am so happy to have discovered this author. Not to get too sentimental, but stumbling upon these novels, and the author in general, couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Since spending the past year in school, and now working full-time for the summer, I've started to feel like my creative well had run dry ...

I admit it (ashamedly so). I haven't written anything in months!!!

But I'm starting to get back into the groove. I don't want to talk too much about it, but I've had a particular writing project in the works for years now, but the way it's come about is so different from what I always thought a novel should be, that I've been holding myself back (Freakin' story of my life!!!) and pushing it aside, even though this is THE story that is aching to get outside of me (yeah, I know, I'm a drama queen :p).

So I want to take this moment to thank Francesca (even if there's no chance that she'll come across this post of mine) because reading her beautiful, magical words has given me some much needed inspiration to get back to tackling this project.
 
 :)

This is also a very good post I read recently, from the blog Write it Sideways, suggesting the use of writing prompts as a way to boost the creative well & combat writers block (this is obviously a theme I'm stuck on right now)!
 
xo Cate

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Monday!


So the early mornings and general busy-ness of my week caught up with me, so I didn't have a chance to post links on Friday. I hope all of you enjoyed your weekend (and for most of us in Canada it is a long weekend, so instead of being in my cubicle today I'm out enjoying the sunshine, doing some yardwork and relaxing).

I'm just so, so happy that it's summer! The long & cold winters that come with living in Canada can be trying for me (although, to be fair, I do live fairly south compared to many - about an hour and a half from the New York State border). I NEED sunshine, and I tend to get the blues in the Winter :(

But no more!! I have at least 3-4 months of great weather ahead of me and I plan to take FULL advantage :)

I hope all of you have a wonderful week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Reading Challenge: Week 3

And my book of the week is ...


{I'm reading the new edition}
 
 This is a book I've been meaning to read for a while. My grandfather gave it to my partner and I during chemo, but I haven't had a chance to read it until now because of my school commitments, so I'm really excited to read this!
 
I'll admit that my reading choices for the past couple of weeks have been quick reads, so at 222 pages this is a slightly ambitious choice. Then again, when I was in high school I read the fourth Harry Potter novel (over 400 pages) in one single night, so I think I can handle it ;)

I would love to know what YOU guys are reading!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Time For a Margarita!

I'm ALL about positive reinforcement, so ...

I'm celebrating 1,000 views of my blog!

{Pink Grapefruit Margarita ~ recipe here}

Every little bit counts, right? ;) 

Thank you so much for reading my blog!


♥ Friday Links

I think this is going to be a weekly thing ... what do you guys think?

{Photo by Oh Joy via this blog}

 It's that time of the week again ... HAPPY FRIDAY! This is definitely a day worth celebrating for me. Not only is it the LAST Friday for me before I go back to work full-time for the few months of summer, but looking out the window this morning it seems to be the first day of good weather we've had all week!! *do a little happy dance/knock on wood* It's been raining and just all around dreary, so hopefully the sun will stay for a bit.

So, I've been practicing waking up early all week (I'll let you know how well that went on Monday when I have to wake up early for REAL for the job), and I'll be the first to admit that I've been spoiled as a full-time student with a schedule that has allowed me to sleep in longer than most adults dream of. So I will refrain from complaining about the ungodly hours I'm waking at now, because I know none of you would sympathize with me ;p

My plans for the weekend are pretty simple .... DO NOTHING! If - IF - the weather is warm enough, I want to spend my days by the pool. Yup. It's summer alright :)

What are YOUR weekend plans??

Around the web this week ...

Dreams and Nightmares ... some inspiration for those moments when you want to quit.

Some advice on setting by Canadian crime writer, Louise Penny

Loved this post by Lisa Cron: Great Literature or Gibberish? - Helps to gain some perspective (especially for those who are perfectionists and need to push past the urge of getting it "perfect" the first time).

On the business side of writing, check out a month's worth of tips concerning how to build your writer's platform here.

Just came across this site ... I'm now dreaming of beautiful libraries. 

An honest post about how one writer feels about all the bells and whistles that go along with a writing career ... I would be interested to know how you guys feel about this!!

Have a great weekend!!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Reading Challenge: Week 2

This week's read is ...




PS: I've added a page to my blog (top right corner) where I'll be adding my summer reading list as I go along. If you click on the title of the book it will lead you to information about the plot, author, etc. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

♥ Friday Links

 Happy Friday everyone! 

I'm feeling so relaxed right now, and looking forward to the weekend. I'm hoping the weather will be nice so we can spend some time outdoors going for walks, doing yard work, and maybe even (fingers crossed) spend some time at the driving range to get get ready for golfing season (yes, I golf!).

What are YOUR plans for the weekend?
  
Here are a few things I found around the web this week ...

Love this advice about writing like a motherf*cker.
 
Writing Checklists? YES please - get your list on here

Some thoughts on writer's block (we've all been there!). 

Steven Pressfeild's agent, Shawn Coyne, talks about seizing the day and the changing world of publishing. There are some good references to "being pro" as well, like this gem:

Why did I think this guy would “get” my pitch? 

He didn’t quit on his book. Even when he probably should have. For the pragmatist, quitting and returning the advance would have been the right financial decision.  He could have maintained his ego as a full time breadwinning journalist and write the blowup off as a lesson learned.

But this guy is an artist, not a pragmatist. He made the hard choice.

 This one is from Steven Pressfield himself, about feeling resistance first thing in the morning


How I write: Writer, Nathan Bransford's writing process (does anyone else have to get up just as they're falling asleep because they have a great idea??)

Okay, last link from S.P. I swear!! (He just shares such great advice, as well as advice from others like in this post here).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Change: Letting Go of Fear and Perceptions

How do we change?


I would like to share with you a story. I’ll let you know now that this is going to be a bit of a longer post than usual. I guess I’m making up for lost time :p

During my earlier college days I was allowed the opportunity to be co-president of our school’s theatre club. We had decided to do two productions that year, and we would each oversee one of the productions. Now, this had been a year of firsts for me, one of which was living on my own. It was a difficult year, and one full of personal obstacles to overcome. Suffice to say, I made many mistakes, including taking on too many responsibilities (I had trouble saying the word “NO”) and the end result was that I let down my team. How? I had the need to be in control (partly personality, partly to get the feeling that something in my life was in my control at the time) but I didn’t delegate when I should have. I was exhausted, and overwhelmed to the point that I let the small things get to me.


What did I take away from that experience?

I chalked it up to me not being cut out for a role of leadership and responsibility, and I left it at that and carried that belief to this very day.

When I first began dating my partner, I told him this story. when I got to the end, I explained that this was the reason for my lack of ambition, why I was never going to be a “boss” or hold a position of responsibility. “I’m just not cut out for it!” His response was simple, but it caught me off guard. “Why not?”

“Well, isn’t it obvious?” I asked. “I clearly did a horrible job, and I’m not good at it.”

“Did you learn from your mistake?” He continued. “Yes,” I responded tentatively, afraid of where the conversation was going. “Then what makes you think you couldn’t do it now if you tried?”

 I’ve thought long and hard about that conversation, and it seems the answer has been staring me in the face. It became more clear to me recently after a less-than-friendly email exchange with an old acquaintance. The details are unimportant, but the gist of his response was based on references to mistakes I made in the past (did I mention that I've made many of those?); references which had nothing to do with the present situation, but nonetheless making them must have made this individual feel better about himself. But his words struck a chord with me.

And that's when it hit me!


Have I been carrying the weight of the past on my shoulders to the point that I’ve been holding myself back from life? That I can’t even recognize the changes that have occurred within me, and that I’m not the same person I was 7, 5, 3 years, or even 1 year ago?!

And then I wondered, has this affected my writing? Am I afraid to write the things I really want to write because I’m afraid of what others think of me now, or will think of me in the future? Most of all, am I afraid of what I think of me? The answer to all of these questions and more is YES. But it’s a burden I no longer wish to carry.


So this is what I have learned:

People are going to have their opinion of you, no matter what. They will go on as little, or as much information as they have and they will file you away in a little box and put that box on a shelf (I should say now that I myself am guilty of this. We all are). Once they do this, unless some event occurs in which they are forced to, the box will remain untouched and their opinion unchanged. Why? Because this is safe; this is easy. It is NOT your job to change their opinion - they are entitled to it after all. It IS, however, your job to let go, to not carry the weight of their opinion with you. I am working on this.

I am thankful for the mistakes I have made. I may not like them, and they may still trouble me at times, but I am thankful nonetheless. They have made me the person I am today, and they are shaping me to be the person I aspire to be - a bit wiser, more understanding, forgiving, loving and stronger; a better Friend. Daughter. Sister. Granddaughter. Girlfriend.


I didn’t realize I even WAS carrying this weight with me, and in turn the belief that I was somehow, un-allowed to change. When you carry such a weight, it affects every aspect of your self - personal, professional, emotional. It affects your very sense of self worth.

So allow me to share this one thing with you (and maybe this is something that you know already, but I know I need a reminder): YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CHANGE! No one can tell you otherwise (even though it’s not something people usually “say”, it’s more of an unconscious thing, and it’s “said” through their actions). They can only cling to their perception of you, but it’s not your problem. It’s not MY problem.

Not anymore!

Have any of you ever felt like you were holding yourself back because you made mistakes in the past, or you were afraid of what others would think? Did it affect your writing, art, business, etc.?

*This blog post is part of a possible series of personal reflections on writing, and life in general. Let me know if this resonated with you in some way, and if this is something you care to read more of in future posts*
xo

Monday, April 30, 2012

A New Challenge!

As the title of this post suggests, I'm looking for a new challenge. Being a full-time student for the past year was insanely busy, and I found I didn't have time to read anything other than textbooks, and other course related materials. So I've decided to remedy that by challenging myself to read one book per week during the spring/summer months.

Every Monday I will feature my book of the week. Feel free to read along with me - or just tell me how crazy I am! ;p

This weeks book is ...

{Ten short stories by the author}

If anyone has any recommendations for me let me know in the comments, or send me a message at emond {dot} c {at} gmail {dot} com. 
 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Time To Celebrate ...

I'M DONE exams!

{Brandi Chastain, 1999 FIFA}

Yeah, that's kinda how I'm feeling right now ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm Back + Help Save the Faerie Cottage

I am currently in my last week, of the first year of my studies, for the job that will support my writing habit! I have four more days of exams (for a total of six) and then I will be off for two weeks before starting a summer employment position in my field of study. So many new things happening and it's all exciting!

To say that this past year has been challenging is an understatement. Suffice to say, I plan on being much more present on this blog over the next few months, and I'm excited to start blogging again. I missed you guys!

To end this post, I want to share something very important with you guys. Los Angeles writer Francesca Lia Block needs your help! Due to circumstances too numerous to post here, but which can be read about here, and here, her home is in threat of foreclosure and she's been stonewalled for over a year by the Bank of America.



Please take a look at her story through the links I've provided, and if you believe that this wonderful, fellow writer is suffering an injustice head on over to change.org (the huge link right above ;p) and sign the petition. It looks like only 16 more signatures are needed, which is so awesome! I myself have signed (although I was a bit fuzzy on the legality of a Canadian signing, so if anyone out there has a better wealth of legal knowledge than I please let me know) and I truly hope that this story will have a positive ending. 

********************

 {Bio taken from author's website}
Francesca Lia Block  is renowned for her groundbreaking novels and stories—postmodern, magic-realist tales that transport readers through the harsh, gritty landscapes of contemporary life to transcendent realms of the senses where love is always our saving grace.

******************** 

See you guys soon!