"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." -Vladimir Nobokov

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Orleans, Friendship, YA authors, and Secrets

It's been one amazing week. I know I said I was going to blog during my trip to New Orleans...but that didn't really happen, so you'll just have to deal with a shorter recap. There are too many pictures to fit in the small space of a post, but I will be attempting to weave them throughout. Enjoy!

My first glimpse of the skyline

Part I: New Orleans
Pirate's Alley
New Orleans was amazing. No, seriously. We (myself, my mom, and my dad) wandered through the french quarter and visited two bookshops: Faulkner House Books and Dauphine Street Books. We ate beignets and savored cappuccinos. We rode the street cars, visited cemeteries, and drove leisurely through the Garden District. We tapped our feet to the rhythm of the city, helped of course, by numerous street musicians. I tried my first raw oyster. (I don't really see the appeal) It was a little chillier than we expected, but we just used the colder weather as an excuse to walk on the sunny side of the streets. Mardi Gras beads still hung in the trees. The city filled me up in ways I hadn't expected, and I let myself breathe it all in. Even on our last day, when we ended up eating breakfast at the mall version of Cafe Du Monde, I savored the empty, echo-y surroundings, and swayed to the elevator music coming down from the speakers. New Orleans taught me to continue tapping along to life's beat, and to love its eccentricities. Also, note to self: Don't wear black when you know you will be consuming powdered sugar.


Part II: Friendship
The past couple of days that I haven't been in New Orleans were spent reconnecting with friends. Because we spend so much of our lives doing schoolwork and/or theatre, it sometimes feels like we spend a lot of time supporting each other through the ever present stress, which is important of course, but not the best way to spend time with friends. On Friday we were finally able to get together and have some fun shopping for prom dresses. (Everyone is going to look beautiful, by the way!) It was so nice to be able to relax (mentally, not physically- shopping is strenuous!) and get back in touch with the foundation of our friendship, which was built on so much more than school. I am so grateful to have such amazing, supportive, talented friends, and I really could not ask for anything more. 
I also got to see the movie Life of Pi with a friend who I recently got back in touch with. It was so much fun, and Life of Pi was awesome. If you haven't already, go see it. Now.
So I guess the lesson in all of this is to keep in touch with your friends. They are the people who will always be there to make you laugh or to support you when the going gets tough. And besides, you could have a really, really great time.

Part III: YA Authors
Guess who I got to meet yesterday? Victoria Schwab!  She was on a panel with two equally awesome YA writers: Beth Revis and Carrie Ryan at Blue Willow Bookshop. They were all so happy and enthusiastic and they answered our questions with much laughter and a little bit of teasing. There was a lot of talk about short fiction, which was interesting because I feel like it doesn't come up enough in most author events (especially for novelists). I got my copy of Victoria's book, The Archived, signed (in silver!!), and a picture with her (Yay!):

I'm only a few pages in, but I'm loving it already. If you'd like to learn more about Victoria (And you should, because I'm convinced she's just about the most adorable person on the planet), here are a few links:
Blog (Inspiring posts on everything from fan fiction to wanderlust)
Youtube Channel (Check out her Making History series!)

Part IV: Secrets!
Okay, so admittedly this won't be a secret for long since I'm about to tell you what it is, but you have to admit it's a better section title. Ready? Here we go...

Friday morning I got an e-mail from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and...

I GOT A SILVER AWARD for my writing portfolio! 

That means I'm going to New York City, my friends, and I could not be more excited! I'll have more news as the ceremony date gets closer, but until then I plan to let this whole thing sink in for a while. I still can't believe it's actually happening!

Part V: Actual Secrets + A Hint!
You didn't see that coming, did you? I am planning to do an epic giveaway on The Blank Page, and you're invited! What am I giving away? Well, that's a secret. But here's a hint:

Well, I hope that makes up for this long, rambling post! Stay tuned for giveaway news in the near future. You don't want to miss this!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Self Image 2013 + New Year's Resolution Check In

First of all, can you believe it's already March? What about all the inspirational New Year's posts I was going to write? Well, I thought since we're embarking on the first I mean third month of the new year I'd give you a little 2013 update to hopefully inspire you to refresh your new year spirit.

Let's start with my self image 2013, inspired by this Youtube video.

Laura Mills, 18. Writer. Reader. Daughter. Dog lover.

I still don't know where I'm going to college, but I'm hoping that will change soon.

I'm currently a little too addicted to Youtube. Part of me wants to join their realm and become a video blogger and the other part of me wants to run away and hide at the thought.

I have the most supportive family, friends, and teachers in the entire world. I am grateful for them every. single. day.

I'm a sometimes traveler and an always observer. A book-binder and a lover of old things.

My favorite poem at the moment is "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver. My favorite book is and always will be The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.

I'm a twitter newbie, a blogger veteran, and a tumblrer never.

Hopefully, this will be the year I write a novel.

I'm Laura, and it's 2013.

Next, I'm going to take a look at my New Year's Resolutions:

1. Write a Novel: This summer, it's happening. THIS. SUMMER.
2. Take a walk every morning: Hahaha! Yeah, that hasn't happened.
3. Read 30 books: Four down, twenty-six to go!
4. Spend more time with friends: Went to a concert with friend #1 on Friday, hung out at the Waffle Bus with friend #2 on Saturday, and going to a concert with friend #3 on Wednesday. (Note: Numbers do not correspond to "friendship status" or anything, just the order they happen to fall in the schedule of events!)
5. Post a new blog post every Sunday (morning): Haven't really been sticking to this schedule, but I am posting fairly regularly, which is good enough for me!

Well, there you have it. Thank you to those who commented on my last post! Your feedback/thoughts really mean a lot to me! In the comments below I'd love to hear your self image in 2013 and/or how your New Year's Resolutions are holding up.

ps. Spring break is almost upon us! My family and I are taking a three day trip to New Orleans, and I plan to write at least one blog post while I'm there. Stay tuned for pictures and stories :)