A festival based on the town that is based on my town is happening in my town.

It’s no secret that I’m a Gilmore Girls fan. It’s also not a huge secret that I live in the town that is the inspiration for the show’s setting, Stars Hollow.

And now, as I’m sure you’ve heard, there is going to be a freaking Gilmore Girls Fan Festival in my freaking town. Where I live. MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE.

So now my little town is going to have to deal with a lot more people like me. Poor, poor town… But there’s going to be so much, coffee, a knit-a-thon, CAST MEMBERS, and – oh yeah: THEY’RE BUYING OUR TOWN A GAZEBO BECAUSE IT’S THE ONE THING WE DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE.

Guys. Seriously. I’m freaking out here.

FREAKING. OUT.

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Reflections on Romance… WITH KNIVES!

I think you can tell a lot about a couple from the way they shop for stuff in their home. You learn about who is practical and who is…not.

I am very concerned with things looking cute.

Fiance is very concerned with things working properly and looking nice.

This is most evident in our selection of kitchen equipment. If there are faces on it, or cute animals involved (as long as they’re not the meal itself), I am totally on board. Fun colors?! Count me in! In fact, before Fiance moved in with all of his fancy, functional stuff, almost everything in my home was brightly colored and had silly faces. My spatulas look like pigs. My knives are alarmingly bright. Fiance’s are all dull and silver. Well, they’re actually not dull at all. His knives are frighteningly sharp, but you know what I mean. They don’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, which I guess is a good thing if we were to be robbed. The last thing you want is for someone to break into your home and then you pull a knife out to defend yourself and the intruder is all “Aw, well that’s just adorable.” Then again, maybe you do. Maybe this is how we can find peace in the world. Through cute knives.

Fiance? He’s all “Well, sure, the knives do all look like cartoon farm animals, but do they cut stuff?”

WHO CARES, FIANCE! LOOK AT HOW HAPPY THEY ARE! They double as knives AND PUPPETS!

And that’s how I get things taken away from me and quietly escorted out of stores…

 

So yes, I think you can tell a lot about a couple from the way they shop for stuff in their home, but I think what’s even more interesting is that the Fiance and I are completely inverted when it comes to our selection in romantic partners. After all, I picked the practical one, and he picked the cartoon character with googley eyes…

And we’re both equally dangerous.

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TO THE ROOF!

This week Fiancé and I discovered the joys of furniture assembly and arrangement as a couple. There was a whole lot of “No, really, the couch should go here,” followed by “Oh my god, you were so right, this is all wrong, let’s put it back the way it was,” and then “That looks awful, doesn’t it? Maybe we should just put it all on the roof and call it a day?”

The biggest issue is that we live in 200-year-old tiny farm house with tiny rooms and crooked walls and we bought a bunch of modern-sized furniture from Ikea that doesn’t fit in said tiny farm house with tiny rooms and crooked walls. Plus, we have double the amount of stuff now that we’re living together. So, I’m suggesting we put stuff on the roof.

Fiancé: You mean the attic?

Me: What? No! It’s haunted up there. I mean the roof.

Fiancé: Why?

Me: Because we have too much furniture right now.

Fiancé: So you want to put it on the roof?

Me: Yes.

Fiancé: How are you going to get to the roof?

Me: A ladder. Or magic?

Fiancé: What furniture is going up there?

Me: At least some chairs. We have too many chairs.

Fiancé: Oh, like the designer chair you got from your sister?

Me: NO! I love that chair!

Fiancé: I have a feeling that you just mean my furniture.

Me: You said it, not me.

Fiancé: I think we can put the shoe trunk on the roof. I hate that thing. It’s dangerous, it smells weird, and it’s impossible to find any of our shoes in there.

Me: I agree. That furniture plan did not work out. It’s going on the roof.

Fiancé: Great. Except… It has all of our shoes in it. I don’t want to go up on the roof without any shoes.

Me: TOO BAD IT’S ALREADY DECIDED I’M GETTING THE LADDER!

Cohabitation is going really well, you guys.

***

In other news, I wrote a piece about Book Guilt and it’s over on Books, Ink’s Hamlet Hub. Go check it out, but only if you want to!

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I have the house to myself which means I’m kind of unstoppable.

Fiance is out of town this weekend because his brother is a superhero who is competing in an Ironman competition. Sadly, this does not mean that he is going to put on a metal suit and fly around with gobs of money and snarkiness, but apparently it means that he’s running, biking, and swimming a lot for about twelve hours.

I have to stay home because of work, but I’m kind of okay with it after having been LIED TO about the nature of this event. Fiance says I was never lied to. I think that they should have come up with a different name for the competition because it is by nature A LIE. Fiance says that the name has nothing to do with Tony Stark and I think that’s copyright infringement. Tony Stark is Ironman (spoiler alert?), therefore the contest cannot be Ironman, right? We should sue. Or maybe Tony Stark should sue. Can anyone sue for this? And while we’re on it, are women named Sue upset that their name brings such doom? Have they tried forming a group and suing for the right to take their names back? Is this a possibility? I need to talk to a lawyer. What was I talking about again? Oh right: Fiance is out of town.

Usually this would mean that I spiral into a weird corner of sadness and anxiety, but for some reason I’m kind of letting myself enjoy the time alone. Maybe it’s because we actually live together now and this alone time thing hasn’t happened in a while.

Maybe it’s because he went grocery shopping for me before he left and bought me all my favorite foods – all cheese-based, of course.

Or maybe I’m finally stabilizing and becoming a capable adult…. HA! Good one, me… Good one…

Gio, however, is not taking it as well, as evidenced by a series of texts I shared with Fiance this morning:

Me: He’s so grumpy with me today.

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Fiance: Are you sure he isn’t mad at me?

Me: For leaving? Oh definitely.

Fiance: He shouldn’t be so mad because he has half of the bed all to himself.

Me: Literally happening RIGHT NOW. IMG_5418

 

 

 

 

 

 

So… That’s happening. This is my life. It’s filled with cheese and grumpy dogs and video games and books. It’s really not that different from when Fiance is home, actually… All it’s really missing is logic and basic fire safety.

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Do you Litsy? You should Litsy.

If you don’t love books, this will not matter to you at all. If you do love books, read on.

There’s this newish app that I’m in love with recently and you should know that I’m in no way being asked to or bribed to talk about it. I just love it that much.

Because it’s social media for book lovers. And it’s not GoodReads (which I don’t use for many reasons). As many of you know, I’m a bookseller and I love talking about books, but I usually don’t do so here because that’s not what this blog is typically about. This is the exception. This is where I blur the lines between my goofy Internet self and my let-me-tell-you-what-I’m-reading-because-BOOKS! self.
It’s Litsy.

Basically it’s as if Instagram and GoodReads met one night at some bookish photography thing and then that turned into drinks, which turned into a few dates, which turned into trading book recommendations via photographs, which became their relationship, and then all of that eventually led to a baby app that grew up to become it’s very own awesome individual app that we should all be hanging out with.

And it’s so wonderful, you guys. Every morning I wake up and I check through my various social media feeds, and by far, my favorite one is Litsy. I get all sorts of reading recommendations from people who love books. I’m following authors and seeing what they’re reading. I’m mIMG_5225eeting other really bookish people on the Internet and my to-be-read list is overloaded in the best way possible. On top of that, there’s this fun little game aspect to it: You can track your reading and gain “Litfluence” points based on how much you’re reading and how many people are adding books to their stacks because of your reviews. So if you’re into stats and improving your score, this feature is delightful.

Currently this app is only available for iOS devices, but hopefully that will be changing soon so that we can all participate in this bookish glory together. But you should totally get on this if you can and follow me over there for book stuff! In fact, let me get you started with some of my favorite accounts:

Mine: @AwkwardlyAlive

Liberty Hardy: @Liberty (You will  never read as much as her. Accept this and then read whatever she tells you to.)

Amy Stewart: @AmyStewart (As in the author of Girl Waits With Gun, which is SO GOOD!)

Rebecca Schinsky: @RebeccaSchinsky (Fabulously smart)

K.D. Winchester: @kdwinchester (She reads the most interesting things!!) 

So go and download this app, follow me and all these lovely readers, and let’s start chatting about books! BECAUSE BOOKS!

 

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One year from today.

One year from today I will have a husband.

I will be a wife.

Fiancé and I went to our ceremony site today and had a picnic to celebrate our “pre-anniversary”. I had a migraine, but I didn’t care. He had a lot of work to do, but he pushed it away, all so that we could go and sit and be with each other in the place where one year from today we will be promising to love each other for the rest of our lives.

Which is insane. And awesome.

And now I’m back in bed, having just taken two more pills to make this pain go away and he’s back at his computer making sure that emails get sent. But that’s besides the point.

Because one year from today we will be dancing and drinking and clinking glasses and eating cake and I hopefully won’t have a migraine, and he definitely will not be working.

One year from today.

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My identity (or lack of one?) as a writer.

I’ve been in an interesting stage with my writing lately. Even though I’ve been doing this blog for a few years now, I’ve always seen myself as a potential novelist. I just wanted a way to exercise my writing brain and to use my sense of humor along the way, so I though this blog would be fun.

I’ve completed a first draft and a first round of edits on a novel, and I’m really proud of that, but I’m starting to wonder if that’s the route I really want to take.

I really enjoy personal essay. It’s an incredibly fun thing to work with and it’s a great way to explore that whole “write what you know” concept – or in some cases what you don’t know.

But it’s also so damn personal. And what if I write something now that I’m going to regret later? What if I choose to rant about gun control or women’s rights and I end up looking back on it and saying “Crap, that wasn’t what I should have said.”

Maybe that’s not the attitude to have. After all, if you constantly live in fear of regret, you never do anything, right?

And maybe this just means that I need to set up rules for myself.

So that’s what I’m doing. Here are my rules for writing:

  1. Never write anything that will hurt someone else’s feelings. Or at least, never intentionally do so. Obviously I can’t avoid everyone’s hot buttons, but if I can foresee someone getting hurt, I will try and do my best to back away. Basically: only make fun of myself.
  2. Avoid major political or social issues as much as possible. This isn’t to say that I’ll remain completely neutral on subjects, and I might allude to my feelings, but I’ll probably never write an essay about why a certain candidate is amazing or terrible. I’m not smart enough to tackle that shit.
  3. Be honest. I think this is one of the most important ones. I don’t want to be fake with my writing. I don’t want to try and adopt a personality because I think it’s what everyone wants to read. I want to be me, and if some people find that interesting, then yay. If they don’t, at least I didn’t lost myself or lie about who I am in the process.

And I think that’s all I need for right now. Those are my three things that I will check in on before publishing anything.

And lastly, I’m going to start trying to submit my content to places. While I edit my novel, I want to start actually working on getting published in other ways. I want to start receiving rejection letters and maybe even some yesses.

If anyone has any tips or knows of a place where I should start submitting, I’d really love to hear what you have to say. We’re all in this together, right?

Here’s to the writing life.

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Be weird.

If you’ve been reading my stuff for any length of time or if you know me even a little bit, you can probably safely say that “normal” is not a word that many people would use when describing me. I mean, I have a normal body in that I have the proper amount of everything, so in that respect, I guess you could say I’m normal, but when it comes to my personality or my brain… not so much.

Now that we’re planning a wedding, Fiance and I are having a lot of fun with our weirdness. We’re just not incredibly conventional people and we want to incorporate that. We’ve never been fans of doing things because “that’s the way it’s done.” In fact, I think that’s the most dangerous sentence anyone can say.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not being married by a llama (oh my gosh, we should totally have a llama officiate our wedding…) or anything, but we are breaking the mold in certain ways. That’s not actually what I’m here to discuss, though.

I’m here to just say this: Embrace your weirdness. This isn’t a new message, nor is it a completely original one, but it’s one that I’ve been saying to myself a lot lately now that all of these decisions are coming up.

When I think of my heroes from film or books, it’s always Luna Lovegood and Pippi Longstocking that come to mind first. It’s always the delightfully eccentric and bizarre girls who are so unbelievably comfortable with who they are, even if the rest of the world can’t figure out how to be. I love that about them.

The two of them are disrupters – not for the sake of disruption, but for the sake of authenticity. They’re true to themselves and with the people around them. They do what they like to do and live life the way that they want to live. They don’t care if it means that they get funny looks or whispered about or scolded.

Is there anything more admirable?

I will never accomplish the level of awesome that Luna or Pippi did, but I sure as hell try every day to get there, and on the days when I feel like I come close, I’m really, really happy.

So all I’m here to say today is that I want you to embrace your weirdness. Live your life in the weirdest and most honest and loving way possible. Have fun with everything that you do and smile at the weird looks you’ll get, because the people who don’t or won’t get you aren’t the ones you want approval from anyway, right?

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So I guess we call him Fiance now.

Okay, so the past few weeks have been insane, because you know BOYFRIEND PROPOSED AND STUFF.

Yeah. It happened. We’re getting married and I’m still walking around with a disturbingly large smile on my face and suspect that that’s just the way I will look from now on. For the rest of my life.

He also turned 30. So, you know, celebrations have been happening.

Here is just one example of said celebrations:
IMG_3171

Carry on.

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“Hey! You’re Great! I love you! …Too much?” or “A Midwesterner in New England’s Court.”

I get teased a lot for being such a friendly Midwesterner. I never really noticed it until I moved to New England where everyone is very into their privacy and conversations are minimal with strangers. Thankfully, I work in retail, so my sunny disposition is a skill rather than a nuisance, and it ends up working in my favor, but if I didn’t have books to sell, I don’t know what I’d do with myself. I just like talking to people. I like hearing their stories and what they have to say, and I genuinely believe that if you’re nice to others and take an active interest in people, they’ll either return the favor or pay it forward (or both, if things go really well!), and that’s something I can be proud of.

As someone at work put it, “everyone is Emelie’s best friend.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days and I have my bad moments during my good days when I’m not as nice as I could have been or I say something truly awful and stupid to or about someone, and I almost always feel remorse over those moments. I do get annoyed with people and there are people who I just don’t like or don’t get along with, but I’d like to think that I give everyone an honest shot before deciding whether or not I like them. I do my best to be nice to every cashier and every barista – after all, coffee is my lifeline and if I’m not nice to the barista, things could end up very poorly for me – and I try and make sure that each customer who walks into the bookshop knows that I’ve seen them and that I’m happy to help them find a book if they need me. A lot of that has to do with my job, yes, but I think that it’s mostly just in my nature. I just happened to find the career that works best with my personality.

So, yeah, when I answer the phone, my voice goes up an octave, and when I ask how you’re doing, I really do want to know. It’s not forced and it’s not fake; it’s just… happiness. It’s love. I operate out of a love for what I’m doing and for the people I’m talking to, and even if some think that it’s too much, I’m not going to stop. I am nice. I am happy. And I’m unapologetic about it, because if any of that can transfer from me to you, then you bet your butt that I’m going to keep doing it.

Sorry, New England. You’ve got a loud Midwesterner in your midst and she’s here to stay.

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