Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Little Things

I discovered that being alone for a week and trying to figure out adulthood can make me kind of grumpy.

My apartment is filthy? I have no internet and setting it up is unexpectedly complicated? Job applications are incredibly frustrating? I have no one to talk to? There is an unexpected fourth roommate no one told me about? Under normal circumstances, I save swear words for really choice moments; since I don't swear much, if I do, anyone who knows me is well aware that I REALLY mean it. Last week, though, the aforementioned circumstances had me swearing like a sailor to myself (well, maybe not quite that badly, but comparably speaking...), since nobody could hear me anyway and I had to vent my frustrations about ants and dust and no internet somehow.

Sorry, Mom.

My made-of-awesome roommate and best friend has returned, though, thank goodness. And I have discovered that, as in studenting, it's the little things that make adulting bearable.

Things like:

1. Drive-thru banks are kind of entertaining.

2. Finding a candy from the front desk at the hostel in Toronto in your purse.

3. Phone calls.

4. Making CD covers for the music you get to play in YOUR CAR.

5. Having time to write.

6. Getting a library card.

7. Reading books that were not assigned to you.

8. Feeling loved because you have seven zillion Facebook notifications after not having been online constantly.

9. Buying stamps with tigers on them.

10. When you finally do get the internet back, it is AWESOME.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thoughts from Places: Pomp and Circumstance

On Sunday morning, this happened:

That's me on the left of the sign. They emailed me and said "hi there, you are a smart person and we like you. Want to carry a thing at graduation?" And I said "yeah, sure, why not?" They also gave me a wooden baton I get to keep, which my roommate (standing on my left) and I will use to bludgeon potential home intruders.

I marched into the football field - the one and only time I have BEEN to Ithaca College's football field - at the head of my school, sat with my very best friends (except the one who sat with the School of Music), stood with those friends when they asked those graduating Summa Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude to stand, listened to David Boreanaz tell us not to get stuck on your sister's uncomfortable green couch and go out and DO the thing that you're meant to be doing, and flipped my tassel from the right side of my exceedingly stupid hat to the left.

I graduated.

To quote the brilliant John Green, because, as I have mentioned half a zillion times before, he says all the things I want to say, except more succinctly and more cleverly, "My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations." I can't quite wrap my head around the whole thing yet. It hasn't really hit me, in spite of the fact that I've got all the graduation paraphernalia stuffed in my suitcase in my room in the new sublet I'll be living in for the summer. It feels, right now, that it's just over for the summer, like always. It feels like I'll be heading right back to classes in August. I wonder how long it'll take me to realize that that's not the case.  

There are some not-so-nice things about graduating. Things like having your gown not fit AT ALL and having people ask eight hundred times what all your cords are for (Summa Cum Laude cords, history honor cords, Italian honor cords), being annoyed that you didn't get to throw your hat, getting frustrated to the point of tears when your lunch plans refuse to coordinate nicely, getting a raccoon-face sunburn so that everyone knows you've been crying FOR THE REST OF THE DAY.

Things like that.

But there are also some awesome things about graduating. (And the week before, which for Ithacans is Senior Week, in which every day is Friday. And then Friday is Friday to the power of Friday, which makes it EVEN BETTER.)

Things like getting to jump into Ithaca's famous fountain. It was freezing, but so very very worth it. It felt even more like a culmination of the last four years of hard work than actual graduation.

My roommate Lisa and I also went to pick up our honor cords from the registrar right after Senior Splash, in spite of the fact that we were soaking wet. It was the best idea ever.

Things like getting to spend every day doing exactly what *I* wanted to do. I read some books *I* wanted to read, I napped, I cooked, I sometimes got dressed up and went to senior events, and, most importantly, I hung out with my friends. I used my too-big graduation gown as a cape and made airplane noises swooping around in the gusts of Ithacan wind, and also as wizard robes in a chopstick wand duel with my roommates. (How nerdy is it that I've been planning that for four years?)

The whole thing is surreal. I keep waiting for a sense of accomplishment to hit me, a sense of "LOOK AT ME, I DID IT, I GRADUATED, WITH EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF HONOR CORDS TO BOOT!" But that hasn't arrived yet. I don't really know if it will. School is, at this point, really the only thing I know how to do. So, you know, I just did it.

And now I have to figure out how to do something else. How to be an adult.

It's weird, but I'll do that too.

For now, though, I think I'll revel a little longer in what just was. The hard part of all this is knowing that I'll never again be in the same place with ALL of my friends, those friends who provided a support network for all four years of college.

There really are no words to encompass everything my friends have done for me over the past four years. Whether it was forcing me to buy clothing that actually fit, making me dinner on my birthday, commiserating about terrible novels our thirteen-year-old selves wrote, going on European adventures, or simply talking very late into the night, the friends I made here at IC have really shaped who I am today. They took a shy, gawky, hellishly awkward high schooler and turned her into a (more) confidant girl who can at least pretend she knows how to talk to strangers and is capable of wandering around foreign cities on her own and can (sometimes) simply let herself relax and have fun and not care what other people think.

That, my friends, is entirely your doing, and I am so grateful. Sitting here in this sweltering Waffle Frolic (which has delicious food and free internet but, alas, no air conditioning), I miss you already, even though I only said goodbye to you yesterday. I WILL pester you all into keeping in touch if need be, and you may hereby kick me if for some inexplicable reason you do not end up on the acknowledgements page of my future novel.

I feel like this post is rather rambling and nonsensical, and for that I apologize. I wanted to say something Grand and Important and All-Encompassing, but I think my mind is still reeling from the shock of it all, and I can't quite find the words I want. Really, the most important words are: thank you. To everyone who helped me get to the point where I flipped my tassel from one side of my hat to the other, and left a football stadium an Ithaca College alum, you are the best. My family and my friends and my wonderful professors and my writer friends and you, dear blog readers: thank you. You helped me, in big ways and small ways, to get to the point where I could jump into a freezing cold fountain, have a chopstick wizard duel in overlarge robes, and write "graduated Summa Cum Laude" on my resume.

Here's to the next four years, then, hmmm?

Side note: if you are related to me and would like to keep in touch (or if you are not related to me and would like to keep in touch) send an email to coconne2 (at) ithaca (dot) edu and I'll send you my new address and all that jazz. :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Kissing and Swearing

So it appears to be Tuesday again. Sorry guys. I have had All the Things happening to me lately: I have job interviews and finals and last classes and I met Tamora Pierce this weekend (!!! I promise you this will be a blog post) and I've won some writing contests and had readings to do and oh my goodness my brain might explode if I have to process one more thing right now.

Therefore, I have a teaser for you again, but it is the kind of teaser I know you guys like best: the kissing scene kind of teaser. Huzzah!

So, Maire has just attempted to beat up the Secrets Man, without much success, and he has in turn threatened Caleb's life if she doesn't do what he wants her to do. Then this happens. Enjoy!


And then she bumped into Caleb before going in to dinner.

“Well, hello then,” he said, giving her his wide, cheery smile.

Maire could only gape up at him as suddenly she found her heart leaping into her throat. She felt strangely like she’d walked directly into a brick wall. There he was, whole, healthy, safe, and it suddenly occurred to her how terrible it would be if she lost him. How disastrous it would be if this boy, this sweet boy who seemed constructed solely out of smiles and good humour and kindness, were wiped out of the world by anything, least of all by Maire’s own carelessness. 

“Maire?” he asked, and she blinked at him, only just barely able to keep herself from continuing to stare. “Have I got something on my face?” 

She just shook her head, but then she furrowed her brows in as a strange, stupid idea formed in her head. Her eyes flicked up and down his face, from the quizzical expression in his blue eyes down to his chin, then up again, settling on his mouth. His shirt collar was hanging open, like the Secrets Man’s had been, and before she could stop herself, before she could tell herself that this was a terrible idea, she reached up on tiptoe, grabbed his collar to pull him in towards her, and pressed her lips to his. 

Caleb stumbled backwards, nearly sending Maire off balance, but he reached out an arm to steady her before she fell. She was just about to pull away, her thoughts screaming that this was a terrible idea and that she’d best run away right that instant, when Caleb tightened his arm around her. The gesture became not just one meant to keep her from falling; it became a proper embrace. And he kissed her back, then, his other hand coming up to brush her cheek. 

Maire felt herself leaning in to him even more, giving herself over to the kiss, and that was when she yanked herself away, stumbling backwards, her heartbeat pounding in her ears. She stared at him as he collected himself, as he let his hand fall back to his side now that his fingers were no longer settled against her skin. 

“Maire,” he said softly, blinking at her, “what-”

“Oh, bollocks,” she said, and she turned and ran, hardly thinking of where she was going.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cait Greer's EYRE HOUSE

Hey all! So, today's extra post is something a little different, but I think you'll be interested!

Do you like genderbent retellings of classic literature?

Does this whole New Adult new genre intrigue you?

Do you like nice author friends on Twitter?

Do you like cover reveals?

Well, my friend Cait Greer has a book coming out. I've only read a few snippets, but so far, the writing is awesome and the premise - well, the premise is pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

When eighteen-year-old orphan Evan Richardson signed up to work at Eyre House, on the sleepy tourist getaway of Edisto Island, SC, he never expected to find himself dodging ghosts. But Eyre House seems to have more than its fair share of things that go bump in the night, and most of them seem to surround his employer’s daughter.

Back from her freshman year of college, Ginny Eyre is dangerous from word one. She’s a bad girl with ghosts of her own, and trouble seems to follow her everywhere she goes. But living or dead, trouble isn’t just stalking Ginny. When her ex-boyfriend is found murdered in the pool, Evan knows he’s got two choices – figure out what’s going on, or become the next ghost to haunt Ginny Eyre.

You can check out Eyre House on Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17694883-eyre-house

And, Cait - who is among the exalted group of Caitlins Who Spell Their Names Correctly - also gave me the cover to share! 




Now, all of you guys should go add this on Goodreads and check it out when it releases this July. Go on! What are you waiting for?