Friday Funny with Brrrr, Reading, and a Writing Workshop

Brrrrr! Denver is freezing this week, everyone. Like, crank up the heaters, open the bathroom and kitchen cabinets, and constantly run the faucets–freezing.

For those of you who don’t know, Colorado’s weather tends to go like this:

Mother Nature:

Five minutes later…

No joke! The weather here is a tumultuous roller coaster. Sunny one minute, a blizzard the next. Within 24-hours, the temperatures can plummet 60+ degrees. That’s what happened this week. Last Sunday, it was a sunny and beautiful 75 degrees. By Monday evening, it was a snowy and freezing 15–and dropping. By midweek, Denver had nosedived below zero, with a windchill of negative 35 degrees.



I actually took Wednesday off of work because of the frigid temperatures and icy roads. The only problem was my car. If it sits too long in the cold without moving, the battery dies. So, I was forced to leave the warmth of my house multiple times to warm up the engine…and I’m positive every time I did this, my neighbors snickered, frowned, and laughed at what I was wearing:

Honestly, I looked like a walking, talking, shivering marshmallow as I executed Operation Save Car Battery on Wednesday. The repeated process went something like this: Step outside. Waddle, waddle, waddle. Unlock car. Fall inside. Flip ignition. Sit, wait, freeze. Turn off engine. Heave self out of car. Slip. Gain balance. Lock car. Waddle, waddle, waddle back into house.

Oh, I love this time of the year. 😉

Anyway, besides freezing my booty off and looking like a puffed up moron, I spent the week rereading the second draft of my manuscript and making edit notes for a third draft. Upon finishing it, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the first half of the story. The second half…

Well, I won’t say it’s bad, but it definitely needs a lot of work. My characters lost their edge, the dialogue wasn’t as snappy, the plot got foggy, the actual writing sloppy…Ugh. I think part of the problem is I began working faster and less diligently as I moved along. I wasn’t perfecting my later chapters like I did my earlier ones.

The good news is there is a story there, and I know what needs to be done to get it where I want it to go. So now I just need to roll up my sleeves, take a deep breath, and dig into a third draft.

I probably won’t be starting my third draft for a couple of days since I’m attending my first writing workshop tomorrow: the 2014 Colorado Writing Workshop with presenter and instructor Chuck SambuchinoEeks! I’m really nervous, but also really excited about this event. Not only am I going to get the chance to learn a ton about the publishing world, but I’ll be able to meet a ton of other writers from the Denver region.

I’ll be sure to fill you in about my experience at the workshop next week!

 Okay, enough chitchat. Here are some Friday Funnies to brighten your day. Sort of random this week, but I laughed so maybe you will too? Enjoy!

8db5ec3e22e8839ce5ac9c3929116f3e 80a75624d4450211905882e66c05ccc7How was your week? How’s NaNoWriMo going for those of you participating?

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Defying Gravity – Kerry Ellis

Make Your Opening Pop!

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

Well,  I’m sad to announce my CSU “Underdog” Rams failed to triumph over the CU Buffs this year at the Rocky Mountain Showdown. However, they put up a respectable fight and showed CU (once again) that they’re always a force to be reckoned with!

-10In honor of the Rocky Mountain Showdown this year, my sister, mom, nephew and I decided to take a quick trip up to Fort Collins to revisit the CSU campus before the big game.

For me, Fort Collins is more than a beloved college town. It’s where I first admitted to myself I wanted to become a writer. It’s where I first put pen to paper. It’s where I used to pretend my manuscript was an essay for a class…I supposed this a story for another day. For now, walk with me. We’re taking a trip down memory lane!

RoadsignsThe point of no return. Dun, dun, dun…Head west for Boulder, or keep driving north to the promise land of Fort Collins. *Cue heavenly light and voices*

-5After a delicious meal at our go-to breakfast spot, Farmer’s Table, we headed over to the school bookstore to update our CSU fan gear. As usual, my nephew was more excited about the train tracks next to the store than the town, or the t-shirt we bought him, or the game, or anything else for that matter. “Nane! Nane!” he cried. Over and over.

Thank God he’s adorable.

We then started visiting our favorites restaurants in Fort Collins to pick up a few snacks for the game.

-8First up: Pizza Casbah. As you can see, this restaurant was featured on the Food Network, so it’s gotta be legit, right? Well, trust me, it’s LEGIT! Let’s put it this way: I graduated from CSU over six years ago and I have yet to erase their phone number from my contact list.

I just…can’t…do it! -9We also made stops at other local favorites, including Big City Burrito and Fiona’s (a European delicatessen). I’m not going to lie, it was amusing to stand in line with CSU students. Listening to them commiserate about the homework they had yet to do, or the computer lab they needed to visit, or the lame house party they’d gone to night before cracked me up. And made me feel sad and envious too. I miss college.

Last on the trip “to-do list” was visiting The Oval in front of CSU’s admin building. We stopped here so my sister could snap a few pics with her son, and give him a chance to stretch his little legs and blow off some toddler steam before the long drive home.

2013090195114254 And, yes, I happily made a fool of myself by pretending I was an airplane with him.

-16At last, we packed up all of our food, put it in coolers and reluctantly left town. The traffic returning to Denver was horrendous since everyone and their brother was going to the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. However, as long and tedious as the drive was, it was worth it to see all the fans in their cars waving their CSU flags and getting pumped up for the game. And it was even more fun to boo the CU party busses we passed.

Back at home, we put our heartburn worthy spread of pizza, potato burritos and barbecue chicken sandwiches on the table and sat down to eat and watch the game. Meanwhile, my other nephew smeared war paint–er, pudding–on himself and shouted, “Bring it on, ya CU punks!”

-1Ok, he’s only one and can’t talk yet, but I know that’s what he was trying to say. I know it!

We may have lost the game in the end, but the day was great. I returned to my college town and took a walk down memory lane that left me nostalgic, but also grateful for how far I’ve come. It’s hard to believe that only six years ago I was sitting in my dorm room pretending my manuscript was an essay for a class. Now I’ve publicly proclaimed I’m a writer and I’m proud of it!


And I’m proud to be a CSU Ram too!