November 15, 2011

It's the End of the World

Well. It's the end of a world. Emily's world. Which is to say, I've completed a first draft of my novel. I'm doing a little dance over here that you can't see, but I promise it's entertaining.

I need to write that again. A novel. An entire book fell out of my brain. (Not literally of course because that would be gross and painful.)

There's something unbelievable and intoxicating about being a writer. Something that both rips my soul out of time and place, and tethers me to reality in the same moment. It allows me to dream in peace. Something that no other part of my life has yet to offer.

Ask me two years ago where I thought I'd be right now I would have said: Working on my PhD in Biological Anthropology. (I've not abandoned this dream, I've simply shelved it for further consideration.) Five years ago, I probably would have said: Working for a small company in marketing and design. A decade before today, the answer likely would have been: Married, with a little house in upstate New York, hoping to own my own graphic design company.

I've worked in graphic design (and owned my own company). I've worked for a company in marketing. I've lived in upstate New York. I even interviewed at some PhD programs. But something felt off, missing, wrong.

The last five or so years, life has thrown me a few curve balls. Actually, life threw the whole damn bat at my head. And I did something I hadn't done in years. I picked up a pen and wrote about it.

I've always been an idealist. A dreamer. But somewhere along the line, more than ten years ago, I listened to those around me when they said: A degree in English isn't practical. You need a more rational plan.

I should have ignored them all.

I've been a writer since I could hold a pencil, and the decade or so that I spent writing less and less because "practical" got in the way nearly decapitated my spirit.

I am a writer. I write.

When life threw that aluminum bat in my direction, I remembered this fact. Over the past few years, I've filled three journals, several notebooks, and countless digital files with stories, frustrations, hopes. I had a lot to catch up on.

And I'll never stop again. Which is why I can say that this month I completed the first draft of the novel I've spent the last eleven months writing in my MFA program. It may be the end of Emily's world, but for me, it's just the beginning. While I don't consider this project finished, it is an accomplishment I plan to celebrate. With drinks. Whiskey — in honor of Emily's favorite drink. Who's joining me?

Here's a little whiskey music from the Dropkick Murphys:

And who could have a shot without The Doors?

Throwing in another classic:


  1. Throw a little Tom Waits into the mix, and I'm there.


  2. Congratulations! I am so proud of you. With your talent, it would be a crime to ever stop writing. Personally, I see the cultural anthropology as a major plus for a writer.

  3. I'm now thinking I'd like to check this out, sounds like a good read. Might I add you're very pretty!

  4. You go, Natalie-anator! Dynamite!

  5. Thanks for the comments all! Darren, we can definitely add Tom into the mix. Kelly, you and I should schedule our book tour together someday. ;)

  6. Hey...congrats! Such an overachiever :) Can't wait to toast with you in January.