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What Inspires Me #3
(plus exciting publishing news!)
I have three days left of summer before I’m back to school teaching high school English for my 24th year (damn, that doesn’t seem possible). And soon my youngest heads to college in another state (*deep sigh*). The garden is looking like a hot mess from too many weeks of high humidity, but that’s okay. Life is not fucking Instagram :) I expect the next few weeks to be quite busy, messy, and emotional, and some of that might spill into these posts.
On that note, time for another post on random things that have inspired me lately, in hopes that you’ll share as well. I could use the positive energy!
(Here’s a link to my earlier post on why I wanted to focus on inspiration rather than gratitude.)
I loved watching Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard. I am a huge Patrick Stewart fan, and Star Trek Next Generation and Voyager are my absolute favorites.
I remember watching Next Gen as a teen with my mom. No spoilers here, but the way the season ends sets up the possibility of a new Star Trek series with all my favorites blended together, and I am here for it. I hope they come through and make Star Trek: Legacy a reality. It would be must-see TV for all Star Trek fans.
Reading passages from Braiding Sweetgrass in the morning has helped me stay connected to the natural world while I’m stuck inside with an air conditioner. The book always reminds me how the smallest details can illuminate the bigger picture through its deliberate, lovely language. It really helps me to slow down and be in the present.
Yoga and Fitness in the Park—every Tuesday and Thursday morning throughout the summer, my town has an hour of free yoga and weight training in the park. The humidity has been awful, but committing to yoga and weight training under the sky and trees twice a week has been a blessing. I thought the classes would be too hard for me, but it’s only beginner’s yoga and using five pound weights. It’s more about functional fitness. I can feel my body getting stronger and more flexible, and my anxiety has decreased as I’ve rekindled my relationship with myself.
I visited a retro arcade for adult trivia night on the invite of a friend, and I thought I would hate the noise and crowd as I’m not much of a drinker or an extrovert. The opposite was true—I’ve never walked into a place before that felt like my childhood. It was 80s-90s themed! The walls were fully decorated with actual cassette and VHS tapes glued to it, and people automatically started singing every hit song. The bathroom even had a Punky Brewster sticker on the door. It was so nostalgic for me (yes, I’m aging myself)!
Seeing the Barbie and Oppenheimer films (not on the same day; Oppenheimer is three hours long!) was so inspiring. While I have “opinions” on each that I won’t share here, it was great seeing packed movie theaters again and people excited over storytelling.
Dragon’s egg cucumber success! I planted three seeds and got amazing results. A white cucumber—how cool!
I spotted a hummingbird flitting around my garden (no photo since it flew away too fast). But I noticed the wings looked different—more like an insect. I did some research and found out it was a hummingbird moth! Who knew those existed?
Then I was visited by a butterfly that just wouldn’t leave! I took the longest video of it hanging on to a coneflower in the wind.
I attended a local theatre production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and it made me cry as usual. Live theatre always makes me cry at some point in the show, and I used to be embarrassed by it since my family thinks it’s amusing. But I’m a storyteller, and big character moments really hit me in the feels. I’ve learned to let my tears fall in the dark. Applause isn’t the only sign of appreciation.
I bought a bouquet of fresh, colorful Expo markers for my classroom. The nerd in me is excited whenever I look at them.
I met with a writer friend from my critique group for coffee, and we spent three hours talking about writing. She writes picture books and middle grade, and I write young adult, and we are both in a good place in our writing life right now, growing our publishing careers after we were both NOT in a good place a few years back. Publishing is such a roller coaster. So it’s inspiring to talk to someone who gets it.
Speaking of publishing as a roller coaster, I read the novel Yellowface, and it’s a must read for anyone in the publishing industry. Having been published with a small press and trying my luck again with a larger press, I could relate to the narrator’s struggle…BUT she’s the villain and doesn’t realize it! It’s tense, subversive, and shows the negative side of publishing and social media.
Now for some exciting news in my writing life!
Since you are reading my post and you made it this far, I figured you might be interested in reading about the behind-the-scene details.
It was exactly what you’d expect a New York film agent phone call to be like. We scheduled an appointment time for the three of us to chat. At the set time, my phone rang, and it was her assistant to connect the calls.
After about thirty seconds, the call connected, we chatted for about twenty minutes about the film industry, THE WARNING series, and which producers she thought might be best suited for it. I was surprisingly more excited than nervous. It’s the teacher in me. I swear, veteran teachers can remain calm in some strange situations. Like I’m on a payment plan to pay off my winter gas bill, but there’s a film agent on the line…
I asked a bunch of novice questions and scribbled a bunch of notes. Mary was super nice, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about representing my work.
It’s rare for a book to make it through all the options and stages to get to a screen, but you never know… Fingers crossed!
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