On This Day…

Ever look at your calendar and remember what you were doing on this day, one or two or three years ago?

Three years ago (well, April 25), I found myself in church. In western Ireland.

With only about 10 regular attendees, there were more people buried in the churchyard than alive inside the service. It was rather quiet. 

Aftewards, some friends and I went horseback riding! I hadn’t been on a horse since I was eight years old (when veterinarian topped my list of career choices).

This horse was named Rua (Gaelic for “red”). As we neared the hilltop, she bolted. Bouncing around, as in control as a sack of flour, I clutched the English saddle, watching my life flash before my eyes…and arrived at this incredible vista of clear sea and sky (with the Blasket Islands visible across the bay).

Having survived our adventure, we limped off, saddle-sore, to reward ourselves with…

…the world’s most amazing chocolate cake! Murphy’s is an Irish ice cream/sweets shop that makes absolutely the best chocolate cake in the world. If you’re ever in Ireland, find some. It’s an especially good way to forget about being saddle-sore. 
I still miss Ireland some days. Especially when I think about what I was doing on this day two years ago: editing my senior project in college. 
With scissors. Helps rustle up the necessary ruthlessness. No better way to visualize transposals or deletions. I also think I killed an entire rainforest’s worth of post-it notes. But I graduated!
One year ago, I was…

…at my desk, finishing the second draft of my novel. I’m now partway through the fourth draft, which (I hope) will be the last. Maybe this novel will see the light of day before I start getting a senior discount on my office supplies. 
And today, I am here, typing up this blog post:
Freelance life may not often take me across the world on exciting adventures. I don’t often find myself bolting up hills on a runaway horse or violently editing a story with scissors. It’s not every day I get to celebrate the accomplishment of a completed novel draft. But my imagination doesn’t starve. And that is a blessing.
What do you see when you look back at this day in past years?

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be Everything

Did you do one of these posters in kindergarten?
I did. I remember it well. 
In the bottom left-hand corner was a space to write what you wanted to be when you grew up. The walls of the classroom were papered with posters of kids who wanted to be firemen OR police officers OR ballerinas. 
I wanted to be ALL of those things. And ALL the rest of the things. In fact, I remember one of my first existential quandaries: if there are only seven days in a week, how on earth will I find enough time to be ALL the things I want to be when I grow up? 
The solution, of course, was to have a different job every day of the week. Phew. Solved that one. I would just be an astronaut Monday, a teacher Tuesday, a farmer Wednesday, etc. (Yes, farmer was one of my kindergarten career choices. I blame it on Laura Ingalls Wilder.)
My childhood fantasy
Well, some life happened and I discovered that I don’t particularly like heights, lesson planning, or cow poop. That narrowed down the career choices substantially. Plus, majoring in EVERYTHING in college would have taken me a little more than four years. 
But little did I know that some weeks, I would get my kindergarten wish. 
Like this week, for example. 
Most weeks of my life are pretty interesting. For work, I juggle a balance of tutoring/proofreading/blogging/copy editing/novel writing, and I like doing all those things. But last Wednesday, I added a new job to the mix: knit modeling.
My super-creative friend Audry asked me to model one of her creations for the top-secret book she’s writing. It turned into an all-day adventure that blew desk jobs out of the water. First, we got to ride in the golf cart. Move over, Mr. Toad. 

There were also the wild animals–er, interesting features of the landscape. (The heap of sticks on the left, apparently, is a wood-rat nest. The thing in the purple sweater is anybody’s guess.)
Photo courtesy of Audry Nicklin

We needed to find horses for the photo shoot, which ended up entailing half an hour of trekking through backwoods trails (don’t worry, we had permission). But when we found them, it was well worth it. One of them tried to eat the golf cart, but this one just wanted carrots. I ended up getting horse cuddles in the bargain. 
Photo courtesy of Audry Nicklin

Laura Ingalls would have been proud. 


Does your line of work ever throw you surprise adventures?

(P.S. Audry wrote up her own take on the day. To hear her side of the story, click here.)