Have you ever been to Palm Springs? It’s such a charming, strange place–almost stuck in time from the 1960’s. Daniel and I drove out there this past weekend for his studio retreat, and I documented our adventures:
Had to stop and say hi to the dinosaurs!
Rode around on his boss’ golf cart clearly not golfing and most definitely annoying everyone who actually was.
Unofficial Palm Springs golf cart architecture tour
Tiny Joshua trees that mostly reminded me of Westworld
Picked some oranges, grapefruit and lemons for breakfast with a very pointy stick.
Like lacrosse, but with eating!
Everyone was very nervous whenever I picked up the citrus stick. OMG I AM NOT THAT UNCOORDINATED OK
Triumphant bag of citrus
Had to poke around some vintage stores and see if we could find some cool art
A lot of weird nude art that we definitely didn’t buy. Although… that giant bronze dolphin in the back right corner… OMG why didn’t we buy that?! (kidding. maybe.)
Stopped off at Elmer’s for their dutch pancake. 10/10 would pancake every day
Hit the road just in time for a really good sunset over the wind turbines.
Did I ever confess to being a former fashion blogger? It’s true. Back in 2008, I used to take pictures of my outfits on the walk home from organic chemistry class with a tripod in the park.
This past weekend, on a drive to Palm Springs, I tried to remember how to fashion blogger. Out came my old DSLR, tripod, and wireless remote. Here’s what I’ve got:
Tip 1: find meaningless instagram-worthy background (aka pull off the road into a patch of sand behind a random housing development at golden hour)
Tip 2: Look wistfully away from the camera, like you’re hoping someone will come and save you from the humiliation of taking your own picture with a $1200 camera kit on a tripod.
Tip 3: Don’t forget a close up shot of the details, so you can make a weird face without stressing.
Tip 4: Wear a hat! Preferably a vintage hat of the “I brunch in Echo Park wearing scuffed clogs and handcrafted Japanese eyeglasses” variety.
Bonus tip: Try not to obsess over the wind blowing your dress up your butt to the point where it can be mistaken for a diaper.
Since I’m already going to hell: | Dress- Urban Outfitters (sold out) | Shoes – Dolce Vita | Purse – Furla | Bracelet – Handcrafted from Ojai | Hat – Vintage |
One year ago, my boyfriend unexpectedly got down on one knee, took out a ring, and asked me to marry him. And I stuck out both hands at once and said, “Yes, but I don’t know which hand the ring goes on.”
Don’t be like me. Learn from my experience. Here, have some wisdom, in the form of a handy list:
10 Things I’ve Learned Since Getting Engaged
- The ring goes on the left hand. If you’re left handed, this will suck. You’ll have a panic attack the first time you pee and reach for the toilet paper and realize you are about to swipe a diamond at your vag. Bathroom sinks will suddenly terrify you (pro tip: make a fist). It’s normal.
- If your significant other seems like they’re about to propose, or is just acting kind of strange, do not, under any circumstances: wear your worst underwear, skip shaving, or have chipped black nail polish. And for the love of god, don’t do all three at the same time.
- Taking a photo of your engagement ring will make you feel like an idiot. There’s no such thing as an attractive picture of a splayed hand. Here’s what to do: wrap your hand around your significant other’s arm, like they’re escorting you to some fancy Edwardian ball. Now hand your phone to someone (a stranger/waiter works in a pinch) and have them snap away.
- The moment you make the announcement on social media, your phone will blow up. You’ll get texts from people you haven’t heard from in years. You’ll be so busy replying to well wishes that you won’t get anything else done for hours. Be prepared for this. Coordinate a date and time with your partner, then simultaneously post your announcements and wait for the onslaught.
- Remember to tell family and close friends before the social media announcement so they don’t have to find out via instagram. Make a list to prevent accidentally leaving someone out.
- Say goodbye to your weekends. The moment we announced we were engaged, suddenly a dozen friends texted, “Congrats! Let’s get brunch and celebrate.” We spent the next few months working our way through a mountain of well wishes and Eggs Benedict. Every Saturday and Sunday. In hindsight, an engagement party might have prevented this.
- People will refer to you as “the bride.” Don’t make a face. Cashiers will spot your ring, suddenly light up, and chirp “Congratulations!” when you’re buying toilet paper and deodorant. It’s weird as hell. It will happen without warning. Sorry.
- Your mom will have a wedding dress hidden away somewhere that she’ll try to force on you. If you’re lucky enough to escape this, your future mother in law will swoop in with her dress. A great sentence to get out of this without hurt feelings is, “That’s a beautiful dress, and I’m so touched at the offer, but I’d like to wear something on my wedding day that reflects my personal style.”
- Book your wedding venue before you try on dresses. No one wants to drag a three-foot long white train through the woods. Or wear a princess gown on a sandy beach. Or sweat through a long-sleeved dress in a barn in July.
- You don’t have to start wedding planning the moment there’s a ring on your finger. Take some time to enjoy each other’s company and to discuss how you picture your future together, not just your wedding day. And maybe after that you can talk about the weird targeted ads you’ve been getting on Facebook ever since you announced your engagement. Because seriously, what is up with those?
I just turned in a revision on my new novel, and the star sticker method saved me. It’s magical. It makes me feel like I’m Hermione in Transfiguration Class earning 10 points to Gryffindor every single day. It’s that good.
I borrowed the idea from Victoria Schwab, who I think adapted it from Jessica Spotswood, who adapted it from Erin Bow, who adapted it from the Don’t Break The Chain method. But it’s something that has been making the rounds in YA author circles, so I figured I’d share it.
What you need:
- monthly calendar. (Mine is sold out, but it’s from Orange Circle Studio on Amazon. Here’s a similar one)
- colored sticker sheets. Stars or hearts work. (I like hearts because I’m still mildly traumatized from a star chart in my third grade math class, which I maybe used in the opening pages of Extraordinary Means. Pain is art, guys.)
What you do:
- Make a legend. Write down things to work on throughout the month. If you’re a writer on deadline, it’s probably “write 500 words.” If you’re working on your first novel, “write 100 words” might be better. I like to add other things to the calendar besides writing. That way, the days when I don’t write aren’t Fail Days. Things like “gym” or “read 50 pages” or “wedding planning” or “revise 10 pages” work well.
- Choose a different sticker for each thing.
- Every day that you do the thing, you get a sticker! If you write 1000 words, you get two 500-word stickers.
- That’s it! Do not underestimate the power of the sticker. The sticker will make you keep writing when you have 800 words so you can reach 1000. I solemnly swear.
Here’s my December calendar– mischief managed! (And yes, that is a Slytherin pen.)
I know, I know. I’m practically the last person on the planet to start a blog. But here it is anyway, peering up at you from the front page of my website. A blog.
And you’re probably peering back, thinking
Except, in your mind, it isn’t a movie quote. It’s a movie quote as metaphor for my utter lack of originality.
Which is perfect, because people who mentally GIF movie quotes as metaphors are exactly who should be reading this blog!
Want recommendations of my top surrealist party games? Coming right up. A roundup of the best leather jackets for secretly cosplaying as Neil Gaiman? Check. A video tutorial of a crown braid that actually works, unlike every other hair tutorial that has made me want to scream after wasting ten minutes watching? I’ll do that too. Plus book recommendations, and weekend guides, and photos of the ridiculous outfits I wear on writing deadline, and updates on my wedding, and an emergency guide to caring for unwanted houseplants, in case you accidentally throw a housewarming party and people bring you orchids instead of wine. Plus, I should probably let you know when I have a book or a movie coming out, so let’s do that, too. It’ll be a glorious, hilarious mess. Just like my makeup drawer. Or my dinner parties.
So we’re off! Check back here every Tuesday and Thursday at 10AM PST/1PM EST for new posts, or add me to your RSS feed (is that a thing? how do you do this? comment below maybe to help). And be sure to sign up for the newsletter on the side of this page, which will be sent out once a month with bonus blog content and potentially deleted scenes from my books. Zero spaminess. I swear.
Here’s to a 2017 that sucks less than 2016 did.