Transplanted to Chicago!

Dear old world,

It’s been a hectic… several months… since my last post. This year has been a year of change, not just for me but for lots of people close to me. It’s taken a while for the dust to settle, but now I’m finally able to focus some attention back on this blog and my purposes for starting it: one part writing practice, one part writing escape, and two parts because, well, I thought it would be fun. ūüôā

As of mid-August 2015, I’m a resident of Chicago, Illinois. So far it’s been a relatively smooth transition to the big city. I’ve found my neighborhood bookstore, comics shop, and coffeehouse; I’ve purchased a new bike, taken it out for a ride, walked to the lakeshore, and picked out a gym. Things are falling into a bit of a routine, though I’m still working remotely for my old job,¬†which leaves a few threads of my¬†old¬†day-to-day yet¬†to be trimmed. That isn’t entirely a bad thing – I’ll really miss my former colleagues, so saying a long goodbye suits me.

By mid-September, I hope to start focusing on the Next Step: writing. I have a short story idea in mind which is demanding to be tackled first. I’m planning to apply for Clarion West again this December, as soon as the application opens, so I’m hoping this story will serve for that. Once I have a couple of drafts written, I’ll tackle the personal statement, the real struggle for me. I always have trouble writing about myself… (said said¬†in her blog post about herself). Sigh. To quote a friend’s ridiculously appropriate malaphor: “We’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.”

What else is new, you are probably not asking? Well, here’s a quick entertainment round-up to summarize what’s been filling my brain lately:

  • I finished reading Middlemarch by George Eliot a few days ago. I’m not even exaggerating a little bit when I say that it was the best book I have ever read. Eliot is a genius, my new hero, and possible the greatest writer who has ever lived. Okay, okay, I’m gushing. But for real… writers… read it and weep.
  • My best friend Alex has gotten me hooked on Book Riot podcast, among others. Alex drove with me from Reno to Chicago on his own trip to New York for law school, so we packed in a lot of listening hours, and that was all it took to spark my interest. I’ve never been a huge podcast listener before now, but I grew up with NPR on in my house every day all day, so I felt right at home once I picked out my chosen few. I use the Overcast app to subscribe to my favorites and listen without using data (also recommended by Alex, a Very Smart Person with Extremely Good Taste).
  • I’m re-watching Agents of SHIELD Season 2 with Derek in preparation for the Season 3 premiere on September 29th. I keep most of my fangirling about Fitzsimmons restricted to my tumblr, so I’ll summarize here by saying that I care¬†about this fictional couple far more than I would like to admit to a room full of non-nerds. Derek has been a good sounding board for my theories and fears re: Season 3, and the re-watch has led to much speculation about what’s to come. (Let’s be real: mostly it has aggravated my ever-present fear that the writers will f*** it up.)
  • Yesterday, during a grueling afternoon of unpacking, I discovered¬†the new album Froot by Marina and the Diamonds, which has become my soundtrack for the moment. I’ve been a Marina fan since I heard “Seventeen” (still one of my favorite tracks by her tbh), but the Track of the Week is definitely “I’m a Ruin” off the new album. Check it out if you love amazing vocals and a catchy hook that is impossible NOT to dance to.

Whew! An eclectic mix, to be sure. If you haven’t noticed by now, I like a decent mix of “high brow” and “low brow” in my entertainment regime, and I ain’t ashamed to admit it. Well, okay, I’m teaching myself not to be ashamed. Slowly. (But I’m also fully open to a mix of low brow and low brow. Because I think there’s value in a lot of different genres… but that’s a post for another time.)

xoxo!

Leanne

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