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
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…
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Settling back into my house in Austin this balmy Sunday evening, I’m having a hard time not thinking about the scary things happening in our world right now. This is to say: after a three-hour plane ride spent reading news, images are fresh in my mind of the recent earthquake and its resulting devastation in Japan. Natural disasters of this magnitude often have a strong sticking power in our minds, sometimes making us feel lucky and other times causing us to feel downright guilty. In addition to this gamut of emotions, one unexpected thing I recall feeling right after the earthquake hit, however, was small. I don’t mean small in the sense of being helpless to make a difference/assist those in need; I mean small in the grand scope of the universe – the oh-so reverent, standing on a pitch-black country road and looking up at the stars kinda small. I eventually realized I felt this way because natural disasters are a reminder that we don’t own our earth. Yup, that’s right: earthquakes, floods and hurricanes all scream from the treetops that our planet owns us and we are at its mercy.
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I love you. If I had your address and a tad more foresight, I would’ve pasted together doilies, hot-pink construction paper, and dove’s feathers drizzled in glitter-glue and sent this stationary confection to your door. Or, maybe I would’ve gone all elementary school and opted for a tiny “Dora the Explorer” cardboard valentine with perforated edges. I would have deliberated a long time about whether to sign it with “like,” or a doodled heart or “love,” but this would prove useless because I’d tip my hand and enclose copious amounts of chocolate kisses; and, as everyone knows, more than three chocolate kisses says “I love you.” After mailing off this card full of Hershey’s goodness, I would have panicked about the chocolate melting and sent you a box of Sweetheart candies to make up for it. Then, I might worry that if the chocolate didn’t melt the abundance of candy would seem like I was coming on too strong, so I’d drive all night, hide out in your bushes and intercept your mailman the next morning with my muddy, frost-bitten hands. Now that I think about it, my hands and gas tank are grateful that I have poor planning skills and an empty address book, but they’re only a little grateful – you’d have been worth all the bother and craft supplies…Wherever you are and whatever amount of sugar is in your mailbox, I wish you a Valentine’s Day full of people, places, things and thoughts you love.
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Anyone who has spent much time earning a living as a writer or secretly scribbling away at their very own next great American novel knows this: the craft of writing is all about keeping our butts in the chair. Sure, talent, practice, and dumb luck come into play at some point, but a writer’s life is mostly about making ourselves sit down for a set amount of time, switching off the internet and letting ideas flow. Pithy turns of phrase and characters’ true selves only surface when this homage is paid to our writing chairs, so we all better get comfortable…