I'm totally stealing this from my friend Stephanie Perkins (If you haven't checked out her blog or the upcoming fabulous Anna and the French Kiss, please do. She's one amazing writer). She does a "Five Things I Love" post every month or so, and they always make me happy. I'm trying very hard to be happy right now. Sometimes it's hard to be happy, but like most things, I always believe in at least trying.
1. Yogurt and Granola
I don't know what it is, but I can't get enough yogurt and granola these days. It's the perfect breakfast, filling and nutritious and even a little rich. I recently discovered a grocery store that sells Tillamook yogurt, and holy cow it's soooo much better than any other usual brand I've had. The Marionberry? Oh my.
Food just makes me happy. Good, real food. Which brings me to...
Yes, a good grocery store makes me happy. I'm one of those freaks who actually likes shopping for food. And good food? A must. AND cheap food? Even better! I'd been hearing a lot about WinCo since one opened just about ten minutes away from me. I heard it was cheap—cheaper than Wal-Mart. This didn't exactly impress me, because I buy a lot of produce and Wal-Mart produce basically goes bad in 1-2 days. I figured WinCo would be the same quality-cutter type store.
Oh, I was wrong. They certainly cut corners (you bag your items, there are no shelves like at Costco, and it's basically a big warehouse), but they don't cut corners where it counts. The produce section was incredible! They had DAIKON! Do you know how hard it is to find daikon in Utah? At an Asian Market, maybe, but not at a mainstream store. And it was affordable to boot.
This basically went for every section of the store—quality food (all natural meats not pumped up with salt and broth so they look okay, dairy products sans artificial hormones, aisles of bulk organic grains, baking goods, cereals, and granolas) at affordable prices.
Yes, I'm saying I'd marry WinCo if I could.
Basically, this rewrite of Transparent wouldn't have happened without Paramore. Okay, it might have happened, but it would have been a lot harder. When I struggle finding the words, the soul, of my book, all I have to do is turn on some Paramore and the juices start flowing again.
It's funny how music can do that. With every book I've written, there's always been some kind of music that helps get the words flowing. Sometimes it's not what I expect (My fantasy/steampunk? Yeah...Green Day.), but I end up listening because the story just comes, the characters speak. I'm so glad I'm a writer and can say crazy things like that.
4. The Library
Libraries are amazing places. I gotta admit I can't concentrate like I used to—my kids demand most of my attention in their waking hours. And once they're in bed I'm exhausted and not motivated to work.
So I've been going to the library. My husband is amazing and watches the kids for a couple hours at night, and off I go. Being surrounded by books, in a quiet place, really helps me work. That, and it's like a race. How much can I write before they turn the lights out? I work better under pressure like that. Give me all the time in the world and I'll never get anything done.
It makes me sad that people keep saying libraries will die. It would be such a shame! Maybe they won't look the same in the coming years, but communities deserve a free place to go for information and access, for quiet and work. Not everyone can afford that on their own. We can't forget that.
5. Avatar: The Last Airbender
My sister-in-law let us borrow the first season of Avatar and DUDE. I love it. Must see more as soon as possible. It also doesn't hurt that Dino Boy loves it too. I might even be able to get away with shaving his head and painting a blue arrow on it for Halloween. You know I would so do that.
What I love most about Avatar is that it's the better version of a world I tried to create in my teenage days. I really wanted to do an anime/book with elements. Avatar employs "bending" in such imaginative and real ways. The world is soooo amazing. And the characters are too! Ack, I'm so in love.
So, what are you loving these days?