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Blog Love

Sweet Nothings

Whirlwinds

The husband and me silly-ing it up at a holiday party

The husband and me silly-ing it up at a holiday party this year

Why, hello there. Since last we spoke I’ve become a redhead, discovered an awesome recipe for flourless chocolate-chip cookies, and, oh yeah, been working on a damn cool TV show at NBC. It’s all been nothing short of a whirlwind, but, when I look back on the blurry big events of the last year, what stands out to me most is this: somewhere in between all the milestones, Los Angeles has started to feel more like home. LA is such a big, daunting city with no real center to speak of, but Jeremy and I have been taking it on day-by-day — renovating our house every chance we get and finding new pockets of this ocean-side desert that we love, while forever fine-tuning the way we balance our professional and personal lives. I just wanted to pop by to share these updates and say hello. Write at ya soon, darlings! -Coté

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Sweet Nothings

Crickets

Painted wooden door outside a shop in Ghent, Belgium

Painted wooden door outside a shop in Ghent, Belgium

Crickets. Yup, that’s been pretty much the only sound coming out of this blog lately. Life has been very busy and noisy in the time that this site has been quiet, but I’ve felt a bit remiss about the fact that I haven’t indulged in these shouts, screams, and cackles of laughter right alongside you, dear readers. Perhaps I should have posted one of those vintage TV test patterns months ago and asked you to bear with me through the wee hours that were to be devoid of programming. Do you remember those still frames of static and incessant beeping? {Sometimes they were a cartoonish image of a vertical rainbow, and other times they were a black-and-white bull’s eye with the bust of a Native American man above it.} Oh, how those stagnant images taunted my insomniac childhood…But, that’s neither here nor there. The point is: I’ve missed you.

While I admit that when I first shifted away from the once-daily posting model a year ago it was quite liberating at first, I now find myself really missing the ritual of blogging and sharing stories with you. I do not know how exactly I am going to find enough time to blog on a regular basis while working and writing up a storm on other projects, but I wanted to let you know I’m currently taking a serious look at my schedule, making plans and priorities, and I hope to start posting several times a a week very soon. In the meantime, just know I miss you and send my apologies for all these pesky crickets. Leave a comment.

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Kitsch Fixes, Sweet Nothings

Seconds

Two kitsch-tastic flamingos

Two kitsch-tastic flamingos

This past year has been all about firsts. I celebrated my first blogiversary, my husband and I shared our first year of marriage, and we even bought our first house together. While firsts are special and often possess a rarefied intensity that can be found nowhere else, seconds are pretty grand, too. As such, I’m tickled pink to be celebrating the second anniversary of this blog with you today. Thank you for your support and sweetness throughout the thick and thin weeks of posting…Your readership means so much to me, and if I lived close enough to all of you dears I would be sure to buy you each drinks with plastic-flamingo garnishes so we could toast to the coming years of seconds, thirds, and whatever other numbers life throws our way. Cheers and love to you on this day, my darlings! Leave a comment.

Image from Sparkles and Pretending via Pinterest.

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Sweet Nothings

Home Improvements

The renovated Coté Writes site along with a sneak-peek at some house photos, which I promise to share more of later this week

Since my husband and I are currently knocking out walls, painting cabinets, and hammering away galore at our new house, I figured this was the perfect time to do some renovations to my online home as well. So, today I am pleased to roll out the new design for this blog. I hope you like it and are now finding it easier than ever to locate the stories and factoids that matter most to you. Some of the new features included in this redesign (other than the new look) are these personal pages that you can now access via the top navigation menu: my life, my love, and my stories. In addition, there’s now a quick way for you to access all my top posts about kisses, kitsch, creative inspiration, travel, and baby talk just over yonder on the right side of your screen.

In the spirit of improving this online hamlet, please don’t hesitate to tell me about the things you’d like to see more of here. Also, do be a darling and spread the love for this site to any kindred friends, colleagues, or Elvis impersonators you think would enjoy the things this little gal has to say (and remember to follow the heck out of Coté Writes on Facebook and Twitter). Psst: If for some reason technology is buggy today and you’re having trouble seeing what’s so different about the site, just hit the refresh button in your browser and brace for bedazzlement. Hope you like what you see! Leave a comment.

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Sweet Nothings

Halfway

Partial-eclipse snapshot I took at a sculpture garden in Houston, TX

Do you ever find yourself pulled in so many directions that you almost feel the easiest course of action would be to just stand still? I’ve had this sensation a lot lately, between meeting tight screenwriting deadlines, starting a new job, buying a house, and attempting to squeeze in a personal life. One of the main places where this pulling has begun to cause surface cracks has been in this blog, seeing as I’ve had to take several days or weeks off at a time from the blogosphere just so I could get other aspects of my life under control. This has pained me not only because I love blogging and connecting with kindred spirits around the world, but because I’m also an all-or-nothing kind of gal who hates doing anything halfway.

Recently, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to do this one thing I despise most in the world – I need to approach this blog with less than 110% of my heart and soul, at least for the time being. The good news behind this realization is that I will be devoting myself full-force to writing a new movie script and 60-minute teleplay, and will be spending more quality time with my husband as we renovate and move into our new home. The not-so-good news is that I will be shifting this site from a daily-blog format to a one-or-two-posts-a-week blog over the next three months. I will cherish the stories and musings we share over this time, and I’ll look forward to meeting you on a daily basis (and discussing everything from kitsch to baby fever, and romance to foie gras) come summer. Thank you so much for making my words a part of your day, and for being part of my every-other days in the coming months…Sending much love and happy weekend wishes your way, my darling readers! Leave a comment.

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Inspiring Tidbits

Inspired Blogs

Camera lens capturing a slice of bubblegum-colored life - I like to imagine I look this elegant when snapping photos for this blog (a girl can dream)

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the sweetest surprises of blogging has been the connections I’ve made with other creative souls out there in the Interwebs. Some of these people have blogs of their own, and some of these blogs make me feel positively inspired whenever I visit them. So, without further ado, I’d like to bestow the Kathryn Ingrid Creativity Award on the following lovely blogs:

  • Beancakes – The boundless adventures and DIY projects of a Portland-based graphic designer never looked so good as through the eyes of this artistic blogger.
  • Clarissa Explains New York – This gal goes to so many NYC art events, road races, and street fairs that you’ll feel as though you’re right there in the Big Apple when reading her blog.
  • Life’s Shiny Pretty Things – Written by an Australian gal who recently founded her own dating website, this blog features great posts about work/life balance, romance, and a little fashion for good measure.
  • Letizia Barcelona – This blog is my source for all things Barcelona, enviable everyday fashion, and did I mention Barcelona? Oh how I ache to visit that city.
  • Mrs. Alana’s Miscellany – Adorable love stories and life lessons from the crafty school teacher behind the Alana In Love Etsy shop.

Mega congrats to the blogs I’ve named above for being awesome! I hope you darling readers feel your spirits lift when visiting these sites, and I invite the five lovely bloggers I’ve named to spread the blog love by writing a little about your lives, creative passions, and your own favorite blogs (you can read my response to receiving this award here). What other fabulous things in the blogosphere or stratosphere are inspiring you today? Leave a comment.

Photo via Pinterest.

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Sweet Nothings

Overfloweth

Last week felt as crazy as this zigzag-painted crosswalk in the Houston Museum District

I spent Thanksgiving week in the Houston Museum District, where my days were stuffed with sculpture gardens, family gatherings, wedding celebrations, and lots of food. I’ll be honest and admit that I was overwhelmed by all the new people and platters surrounding me at first, and I devoted a lot more time to feeling gluttonous and dizzy than to feeling grateful. However, I eventually snapped out of my introverted delirium when I learned that The Laine List had just honored this site with the Kathryn Ingrid Creativity Award. There’s nothing like a little love and recognition from out of the blue to make a gal overflow with gratitude, after all, and I continued feeling thankful all week for the many amazing people out there who choose to make my words a part of their busy days. It is such an privilege to share my stories and musings with you, dear readers, whether you drop by this site anonymously, leave comments, or give me awards. While this connection with you is one of my favorite things about blogging, I’ll be completely honest once again and tell you that connecting with people couldn’t have been farther from my mind when starting this site…

You see, I began blogging more than a year ago for very selfish, career-centered reasons: I was (and still am) a struggling writer who spends all working (and most non-working) hours writing screenplays that take several years to truly finish. The looming weight of these long-term projects was really starting to get me down last September, and it dawned on me that blogging might be a good way to ensure I wrote and completed something new each day. And so, this little blog was born. I didn’t share the site with anyone in the early months, because blogging was just about me and my infatuation with those shining, finished products staring back at me from my computer screen at the end of every day. When I started getting the word out about my blog, though, and folks began reading and responding to my stories, I realized this site was about far more than just me and my daily writing quotas. It was actually about making genuine human connections by sharing experiences and life lessons with people from all around the world.

In this spirit of connections and in honor of this blog award, I figured I would share a few personal details that I don’t think I’ve ever let you in on before. Here goes…

My Secret Factoids Overfloweth

  1. I love bicycles but am scared to death of riding a bike.
  2. I listen to pop radio in the car – yup, the really commercial stations geared toward teenagers.
  3. I have a freakish memory for everything other than driving directions, which means I can recall the names, faces, and mundane jobs of people I met for a few minutes in a bar seven years ago, as well as the lyrics to songs I hear once.
  4. As a result of factoids 2 and 3, I frequently come off as a stalker and involuntarily sing along with very embarrassing music in elevators and grocery stores.
  5. I adore visiting art museums, but get far more excited about graffiti or piñatas for sale on the side of the road, which you may have guessed from all my kitsch fixes.
  6. I kill my own spiders.
  7. I never look through peepholes before opening doors, because I’m convinced the serial killer on the other side will shoot a bullet through my eyeball the moment I do so. What can I say? I’d rather be shot in the heart so I can look the fucker in the eyes.
  8. My least favorite sound in the world is the clanging of metal chains, and my favorite sound is a tie between a dog’s snore and Sarah Vaughn’s jazz riffs.
  9. If I weren’t a writer I would be a starving painter or starving opera singer. In other words, it is written in the stars that I will live on Instant Ramen for vast stretches of time.
  10. Before meeting my husband, I was pretty darn sure I’d be single forever and would simply have lots of wild love affairs with dogs, fancy shoes, Ramen Noodle salesmen, and – eventually – Woody Allen.
  11. No, I don’t think Woody Allen is attractive.

Psst: Check back tomorrow for a rundown of five blogs that inspire me. Yes, that’s right, I’ll be bestowing this blogging award on some of my favorites tomorrow…I’m also going to try to add a few more personal (and rather silly) pages like this to my blog over the coming months, so be sure to let me know what you want me to write more about. I hope you’re having a fabulous start to the week! Leave a comment.

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Bloggy Birthday

Row of festive birthday candles - I feel tempted to bake my computer a cake and put these to good use

Today this blog turns one year old. That’s right, precisely 365 days ago I sat down to create this little corner of the internet and sent my very first post out into the world. It is alarmingly humbling to think about all I have learned while typing these pages and interacting with you, dear readers; what began as a writing exercise (a.k.a., a way to give this struggling screenwriter daily deadlines and silence her perfectionist nature, spell check be damned) has become so much bigger…This blog has grown into something I see myself scribbling away at indefinitely – something I know will be a part of my life every day for years and years to come. The fact that you have joined me on this journey makes today all that much more meaningful and sweet. Whether you are a newcomer or have been here from the beginning, you inspire me daily to find new things to marvel at in our world, and I can’t wait for our future of optimistic scavenger hunts together.

In celebration of this bloggy birthday, I would be delighted if you showed support for this lil’ blog in as many of the following ways as possible:

Thank you for being such a meaningful part of the past 365 days and for all the inspiration I know we will find together in the days/months/years to come. Forever and lovingly yours, Jennifer

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Sweet Nothings

10 Reasons I’ll Never Be a Famous Blogger

Me toiling away (in black and white just to up the drama factor)

I’ve spent the past two weekends doing some heavy-duty housekeeping on this site – a very tedious process that has involved a lot of trial and error and quite a few 12-hour stints in coffee shops. On my last WiFi-enabled, caffeine-laden bout of tagging and reformatting 230+ posts, I made the mistake of sitting across from someone who wanted to talk about it. (Don’t you just hate those someones in coffee shops?) Not only did this someone gloss over my don’t-ask-me-about-more-than-the-weather nods and half smiles, but once he’d pestered me into describing the kind of stuff I blog about, he told me, “That sounds nice, but you’ll have to find a more specific niche if you ever want to be a famous blogger.” I agreed wholeheartedly and laughed, saying, “I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be read.”

This interaction with Mr. Coffee Shop stuck with me in that way only random encounters can, and it ended up inspiring me to compile a silly list of all the reasons why I will never be a famous blogger. Since the process of writing it gave me a few giggles after a long day, I figured I’d share this list with you to help start the week off with a little levity. Here goes…

Why I will never be a famous blogger (a how-to in reverse):

  1. I prefer words to pictures.
  2. I do not capture my daily fashion choices on camera (and if I did, this would damage my blogging rep even more).
  3. I wear sneakers instead of cowgirl boots, and I don’t even wear defiantly hip Converse – I wear the heavy-duty kind of running shoes I’ll need when escaping an evil pack of vampire ninjas in a dark alley.
  4. I legitimately think I will one day have to escape an evil pack of vampire ninjas in a dark alley.
  5. I will never wear skinny jeans or drink skinny lattes. Unless, of course, I come across a Styrofoam cup labeled “Skinny Cow,” in which case I will gulp that sucker down based on the assumption that it is full of melted ice cream and cookie crumbles.
  6. I live off frozen yogurt and takeout, and do not cook for a large brood of chubby yet endearing children whose silly sayings I quote back to you alongside yummy recipes.
  7. I do not have an Etsy shop from which I give away crafts each Wednesday.
  8. I started blogging in 2010 instead of the golden year of 2007. (If you’re serious about becoming a famous blogger, a time machine is a must-have accessory this fall.)
  9. I only leave comments on other blogs I honestly read and admire, instead of blindly posting things on popular sites in hopes of gaining web traffic. (Yup, if you’re a blogger whose site I leave comments on, this means I really do read and admire your site.)
  10. I write about horror movies one day and dating tips the next. (What can I say? I trust that there are readers out there who don’t want me to niche-ify myself and are sophisticated enough to know genuineness when they see it…Yeah, that’s right my darling readers, I adore you and am calling you sophisticated.)

All self-deprecation and list making aside, I realize Mr. Coffee Shop’s unsolicited advice was actually very accurate and I’m sure he had nothing but the kindest intentions of helping me. In a really roundabout way, I guess this interaction did help, because those simple words I uttered back to him (“I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be read”) so clearly express the way I feel about the hours of passionate work I pour into my craft, and it felt good to say them out loud. It also felt good to accomplish so many little improvements on this site, because I really do care about making this blog as visually pleasing and readable as possible. I care about these things because I love writing and being read, and I want this labor of love (otherwise known as my corner of the internet) to foster real, meaningful connections with anyone out there reading. I’ve got a few more aesthetic upgrades coming soon to this site, but please let me know if there are any changes you’d like to see in the meantime…Thank you, my lovelies, for making my day a thousand times better every time you read my words!

Psst: Have you ever received unsolicited advice from a stranger? Did you find the experience helpful or unsettling? How did you react? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment.

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Sweet Nothings

Following Dreams

Childhood photo of yours truly, a little girl with big dreams

Wanna make the big dreams of this little girl come true? Look no further than the right-hand side of your screen…I finally added a fan/follow widget to this site a week ago and didn’t want all this effort to go to waste, so I figured I’d point it out to you. Isn’t it lovely? What would be even lovelier is if you, yes you (the fetching darling who reads this blog in anonymity every day), took a moment to show your support for my writing by following me on Facebook, Twitter and RSS. It may seem silly and even impossible for one supporter to have a big impact on my writing career, but I sincerely believe every single reader of this blog will one day be an integral part of my dreams coming true. This is because my ultimate goal of writing for television is not too far off from what I do with this blog on a daily basis. I eventually want to create stories and characters on the small screen that make people ache to get through their hard work days just to join them on the couch; and, it is my hope that – at its very best of times – this blog keeps you company at the end of a long day in a similar way. For this reason, whenever you show public support for this little corner of the internet superhighway, you’re inadvertently announcing to any publisher or producer I ever meet, “Hey, this little girl’s stories are worth hearing.” This huge endorsement – along with our daily connections over coffee, coaxial cables and continents – means the world to me.

Psst: If you’re already a follower of this blog, why not suggest it to some likeminded pals? Who knows? You just might make their days and mine at the same time. If there’s ever anything like this I can do to help make your day or your dreams come true, never hesitate to ask.

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