sunshine on a cloudy day.

Monday, March 31

I have the best readers in the world. No, readers isn't what they are. They are friends. You are all some of my best friends. Is that weird? Is it weird that I feel closer to the lot of you than a lot of my other friends? You're all privy to quite a lot of things that the rest of the world isn't. You make me feel safe in a way that not a lot of people can. So thanks for that.

Anyway, Lovely Lacey nominated me for a Sunshine Award! She's always a ray of happiness so it was only fitting that the award would come from her. Lacey's blog is always so happy and she has the absolute best taste in music. Her playlists at the beginning of the month always get my month started off on a good note (PUNS) She always leaves the nicest comments and is just so beautiful. So beautiful.

So here is this! And here are some rules about the award. 

1. display the award on your blog
2. announce your win with a post and thank the blog who nominated you.
3. post ten interesting things about yourself
4. nominate some other deserving bloggers
5. link your nominees in a post and let them know with a comment

Ten random facts about myself!
1. I used to make up dances to Britney Spears songs in my bedroom. I planned to perform them in front of my family to prove how edgy I was. Thank GOD that never happened.

2. I got pantsed (I don't know how to spell that. Pants were forced off of me? That's worse..) in the third grade by the kid I had a crush on. I'm still not over it.

3. A British man kissed me on my 22nd birthday. All I know about him is that his name was Andy and he was 29. I know I'll never see him again and I find that so perfect and so sad.

4. I feel the need to have huge emotional breakdowns at least every 5 months. I watch or read something that makes me cry, then keep myself crying for two hours until I'm dried out. Then I can function for the next 5 months.

5. I snuck out of my house so much more than my mom thinks I did while I was growing up. I liked taking late night drives. Still do.

6. I have so many scars on my feet from Irish Dancing as a child. All up my legs.

7. I have a pyramid shaped birthmark on my right hand. I like to think it means I was an Egyptian Queen in a past life.

8. The first book I remember hating was Johnny Tremain. I read it in the 5th grade and hated it so much I made my mom read it with me and suffer through it with me.

9. I love watching people type. I think it's amazing that we are all so good at typing that we can look away while we do it and still find the letters. There's a metaphor here. I'll find it.

10. I got in trouble when I worked at Starbucks because a customer found me "too perky." I found out which customer complained and gave him decaf every time I served him after that. Douche bag.

So there's a bit about meeeee :) I like these getting to know you posts.

Here's some people I'd love to get to know more about.

The Emerald Dove: This pretty lady is my pen pal :) She's the cutest and so smart. She has her life so together and the best fashion sense. I adore her.

Allerdings: Always the most delicate and honest writing. She was one of the first blogs that I found and I've been obsessed ever since.

A Day in the Life: Shelby has become seriously my best friend since we met each other through blogging. Luckily we live close so we have become real life friends. She's the best and I want everyone to know it. I have so much fun with her and her pictures CANNOT be stopped. Obsessed. Best Friend.

As Far as The Eye Can See: S has the most beautiful way with words. This was another of the very first blogs I found and whenever she posts, it's the first thing I read. I cannot get over her talent or how beautiful she is. I cannot.

Thanks again to beautiful Lacey :)

liebster round 2

Wednesday, March 26

You beautiful souls are far too kind to me. I've been nominated for a Liebster award again! Twice! One of the nominations was a little bit ago and I'm horrible and never did it. I'm so sorry Erin! Here are the answers.

I was nominated by Erin from Take Comfort Project and also by Rachel from Deleting the Adjectives. And here is a link to my first Liebster

Since I've done this award once before, I'll forgo listing facts about me and get right into answering the questions from these beautiful ladies.

Erin's Questions-

1. What's your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
I hardly ever eat breakfast but when I do, I love breakfast sandwiches. Gimme a bagel with some eggs, cheese, and bacon and I'm a happy girl. Also yogurt and granola. Just. I love food.

2. What's your favorite hot beverage?
Venti Chai with three pumps of cinnamon dolce syrup. Tastes like Thanksgiving night with family surrounding you. Tasty and comforting. Starbucks. Gettin it.

3. What's your favorite animal?
I love my dogs beyond words. But also dolphins, seals, otters. Sea life. One time when I was five I went to the aquarium in Alaska and a seal came up to the glass I was staring into and put it's flipper against my hand and just sort of stared at me for a few minutes before swimming away. I feel connected to the sea.

4. Tell me about the first place to visit in the state you live in?
When you come to Utah, the first place I'd probably take you would be a drive up Ogden Canyon. We have wonderful canyons up here and getting lost in them is my favorite thing. I love SLC and I adore my city but let me take you in my car with the windows down. Welcome.

5. What is one of your favorite movies?
Oh my god so many. Right now, I've found myself watching Midnight in Paris about once a week. Y'all know my feelings about Fitzgerald. But I feel like I've been misplaced through time. I belong in the expatriate lost generation. This movie is the closest I will get.

6. What is one of your big life goals?
Living in the UK. Being successful writing and working for a theater company in the UK. Surrounded by accents. Mmmm.

7. How many countries have you been to?
Not a lot yet :( I've been to Canada, which was gorgeous. And the great USA!

8. Do you like the beach or mountains more?
UGH Can't I have both? I want Seattle with rocky shores and miles of canyon to drive through. I live in the mountains so I see them all the time. I love them to bits but I'm missing the beach. It's been far too long since I've been.

9. How many siblings do you have?
Ma sister Leah. She is 31 and lives in Texas. She's a jerk and I love her. I have a smattering of step siblings too.

10. Describe your personal style in three words.
Moody, eclectic, feminine.

11. Tell me some of your favorite song lyrics.
THIS question is phenomenal. Lyrics can say so much can't they? Oof ok. I'll pick a current three.

1. When you talk it's like a movie and  you're making me crazy/ cause life imitates art./ If I get a little prettier can I be your baby?/ You tell me life isn't that hard. - Lana del Rey, Gods and Monsters

2. When our lives are over and all that remains/ are our skulls and bones let's take it too the grave/ And hold me in your arms, hold me in your arms/ I'll be buried there with you./ And I'll hold in these hands, all that remains. - Bastille, Skulls (Just this entire song.)

3. And I'll never go home again/ (place the call, feel it start)/ favorite friend/ (And nothing's wrong but nothings true)/ I live in a hologram with you/ Where all the things that we do for fun/ (And I'll breathe and it goes)/ Play along/ (Make believe it's hyper real)/ But I live in a hologram with you. - Lorde, Buzzcut Season

YAY! Now for Rachel's questions!

1. Let's hear your elevator pitch. Who are you and what do you blog about?
Hi I'm Emma Jane and I write a lot. I share a lot of personal stories. I love poetry and pretty words. I always strive for honesty and I'd like to think that I always remain brutally honest. The best blog comment I've received about my writing was "There is something almost uncomfortable about reading these things of yours- as if I've stumbled upon a private journal but can't stop reading. In a good way. I mean that in a really good way." I like that. I want it to be private and revealing and moving and me.

2. What inspires you?
People, pain, art. A lot. Those three are big. My interactions with other people.

3. Where are you from and what are your favorite things about that place? 
I'm from Salt Lake City, Utah and I adore it. I love the mountains, I love feeling them around me on all sides. It makes me feel protected. I love the streets in this city. I love that it feels like a big city but it is so manageable. It's not sprawling like New York, but it's big enough to explore and play in. We have good bars and a great indie theater and bookstore scene. And some great curry and coffee shops. I love SLC.

4. What is your biggest indulgence?
Fooooood. And people. Males. Of the seven deadly sins, mine is lust.

5. What are your thoughts on soul mates?
I think it's a wonderful opportunity for word play. Soul vs. sole mates. Do I believe in a one true love? Yes. Do I think they necessarily match up with each other at all times? Not at all. I believe that someone could be YOUR true love but it doesn't mean you are theirs. But love is so consuming. People who care can make it work if they try hard enough and want it. But also. Sometimes it dies. I have a lot of thoughts on this.

6. What music do you have on repeat lately?
Bastille Bastille Bastille. For months. Flawless. Flawless Flawless.

7. Do you believe time travel is possible? If so, where would you go?
Well I believe in books so that is technically time travel. I would go to 1920s France and write. ALSO I gotta pop by Tudor England and chill with Anne Boleyn.

8. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement thus far?
Everything I've ever written and seen a response to. I've been so lucky to have my writing so well received and supported. I've tried to always write something I will be proud of and I'm proud of everything. I work hard damn it! I consider that an achievement.

9. Who or what will you be in your next lifetime?
A ballet dancer, please.

10. What blogs do you recommend? 
See my left sidebar. I love love love all of those and I cannot speak highly enough of those girls or their words.

11. Where are you going?

but a word is a bottomless pit

Monday, March 24

Everything evaporates slowly in an unseasonably warm spring. Firetrucks aren't as red as they once were. Pain isn't nearly as incapsulating in the physical realm. But the pain of the tattoo gun pressing against your cerebellum is what traps you and makes you scream. They'll all leave eventually. They'll leave and you'll be stuck here, glowing finally but glowing alone. You're a neon sign with one letter flashing in helpless murder of a perfect word. Closed becomes close. Close becomes lose. It's all breaking apart just as it's coming together. Syntax and diction are crawling under your nailbeds and what are you doing instead? You nap and you cry, you drink and you fuck. You scream, you laugh, you finally leave your bed just as everyone else heads home. He was British and he wanted you. He was British and you left him standing on a street corner with your dreams clawing at his belt buckle. Home alone on the kitchen floor, that small ice cream drip from last week is sitting right beneath your cheek but you're too drunk to care. This warm spring took all of the fight right out of you. What's left? That lonely drip of ice cream on the unwashed kitchen floor. That smell of him dusted on your clothes. The bloody hope that all this isn't for nothing.

via *

22 today

Thursday, March 20







All age 22 photos by beautiful Shelby Richins

How I've changed. Happy birthday, little girl.

pour me a drink and pour your eyes over me.

Sunday, March 16

You've always been the dangerous one. First I was your secret, your play thing, your high school taste. I was a risk you took, a risk to your cool factor, the image you'd molded of yourself as a bad boy, the streetwise one. If I was such a secret, doesn't that make me the dangerous one? I know you more than you'd like me to. But you never stayed away.

Your hair was always long, but even longer now. You moved closer to me and I breathed you in: the smoke, the liquor, the past. Fogged up windows, hushed breath, so much history. And years later I still feel your hands, the first hands. 

I was hazy quickly. You called it forward action, I called it liquid luck. I watched you from my booth, I pressed myself agains the wall, I let my eyes bubble up the length of my straw until I saw you looking back. 

That band is loud.
That band is shit.
That band gets better the more you drink.

You slid into my booth again and I slid my hand across your back, down your leg. Your hand found my thigh. Don't let them see. Maybe this isn't such a game after all. 

I'm told your eyes were on me when you sang. I know I was staring right at you. You were eating me alive. Everything burned, like guitar strings against calloused fingers. 

As we left, there you stood smoking. Or talking. It didn't matter. I grabbed your face. I kissed you like I knew I would. I couldn't even tell you why. 

I can only write about you with an elevated heart rate. With bass lines piercing the silence. When I dance in a dark room all alone. Maybe it's because I only feel you when my heart is racing and my nerve endings feel alive and tingling. You are the dangerous boy, after all. You make me feel dangerous. 

via *

tag, you're it!

Wednesday, March 12

Beautiful Lacey tagged me to do a fun sort of getting to know you tag. I feel as though it's been a little while since I've "introduced myself" to all of you so now feels like a wonderful time to tell you a bit more about the girl behind the words. Let's do this.

1. What's your motto?

"Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over." - F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I like the idea of being vital. Being able to carry on through whatever struggle you are facing, not just leaving everything behind and not learning from it. Starting over, getting a blank slate, and facing it like a hero. That's vitality.

2. What's the first memory you remember having?

Oooh this is a good one. I remember taking a bunch of styrofoam hunks from out of a package my parents got and making them into movie theater seats. I sat all of my stuffed animals in the seats, shined my nightlight at my TV screen, and had a private showing of the movie Titanic. Pretty ingenious to make a movie theater in my bedroom, complete with projection light. Genius little girl. Titanic is the first movie I remember watching when I was around three. You can say me and Leo have been meant to be since the very first day.

3. Is there a word you seem to say a lot?

Literally. Nope. (Let's be realistic. My most used word is for sure Bitch. I am Jesse Pinkman.)

4. If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?

Anywhere in England. But also Seattle. Anywhere rainy and lovely and inspiring with beautiful bearded men.

5. What's your favorite indulgence? 

Oh there are so many different kinds! Netflix marathons, buying a stack of new books, chocolate covered strawberries. There is a chocolate factory about a block from my house and I went last night to get some chocolate berries. Guess what they told me? Saturday night. 50% off chocolate strawberries. This is dangerous knowledge.

6. What's a song you have repeatedly stuck in your head? 

Lately? What Would You Do by Bastille. He is everything and more. I cannot with him.

7. Think of something soft? What's the first thing that comes to your mind?

My baby blankets. Step off. I'm 22 and I still sleep with them every night. Like a straight playa.

8. When you were a kid who did you look up to and why?

Always my teachers. I thought they were so astounding and did so much. My home life was constantly full of shocks and surprises but when I came to school my teachers were able to wrangle all of these kids with what looked like ease. And they always loved me and supported me. I have always had the best teachers.

9. If you could communicate with any animal, which would you choose?

You know, I was going to say my dogs but then I realize nope. They've seen some things that I don't want to hear about from their perspective. They know a little too much about me. So I'm gonna go with birds. I want to hear about places I've never seen and views I'll never have.

10. What do you like to do on rainy days?

Nap with the windows open so I can feel the freezing breeze while I'm in bed. Then I'll wake up slowly and pick up a book and lose myself completely. Also... if a pretty bearded boy wanted to show up with Curry for two... I wouldn't be mad.

11. What do you hope to achieve this year?

I want to live and write and think for myself and no one else. I don't want to make any solid goals that can be measured, like finishing any big projects. I will know if I've written for myself and lived for myself. And by God I will.

I loved this tag. I tag Shelby and D for this tag! And also anyone else who wants to participate!

to the artists

Sunday, March 9

Let me be your muse.
Let me breathe inside your mind
and wrap myself in technicolor.
I want to drive you mad,
make paint bleed from your fingertips
and watercolors drip from your pores.
I want you to taste me as you dream,
Taste my aqua gaze,
my tangerine tongue.
Run your fingers through my hair
and sculpt every strand in clay.
I'll live in canvas and dance in marble.
I'll be your Nike, your Sistine Chapel.
Whisper my name to Van Gogh,
let Manet long to have me as you do.
Never let me die or fade.
Let me be your muse.

via *

words words words

Friday, March 7

Last night was the second in my series of four Young Adult writing workshops. But mostly, last night was the night I shared the first chapter of my book. Thom and Piper made a grand debut! I've never shown people my book (except you all seeing the little clips from November.... but you all aren't people. You are wonderful wonderful little gems who I love.) But last night I showed the first chapter to a successful current YA author and my writing group.

I have loved this writing group because we are all writing the same genre. There are a lot of variations in WHAT we are writing, but it's all YA. It's so helpful because you are getting criticism and feedback from people who know the genre and who are legitimately trying to help you. In my creative writing class at school, it's just an intro class so a lot of the people aren't literature majors or they are writing very different genres. Because the genres are so different, sometimes it's hard for them to critique my pieces because they are coming from entirely different worlds. But this group was tailor made for me. I really hope we can all find a way to keep writing together even after the four sessions are over. Input is so valuable.

But, I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. Let's talk about the first week of the workshop. The first week we had an editor and literary agent come and talk with us. When sending out query letters to agents, most often all you are sending to them is the first five pages of your novel. And. That's. It. So what if your writing in chapter three is flawless, all they are seeing is the first five. Anyway, one of the first things they said to us was that prologues are NOT a good way to go. A lot of readers don't even read them (which ASTOUNDED me. If someone has written something in a book, I read from 1 to the end.) This was a crap sentence to hear because guess what my book starts with.... a prologue. Shit. They also said you can really tell when words are a writer showing off and which are for the characters. THIS. This was important. I can name so many books where writers are merely showing off.

All of this was a huge wake up call. I knew that I wrote the prologue because I felt the first chapter of my book wasn't strong enough on its own. I need to pad my first five pages so an agent would read it and see that I really do have talent. That's not right. It should all feel strong. I should feel proud of all of it and not try to sneak scenes through the cracks, hoping they won't be noticed.

I also realized that my prologue was so self serving. This book is based on an experience I had. And when I wrote the prologue, I wrote it as me, not Piper. It was me mostly saying, here's this story "not about me" and here's why it matters to ME so suck it. It was more like a diary entry. The farther into the book I got the less that part even sounded like Piper. It was pretty words but it was all for me, not the reader or the characters. That's not my job as a writer.

So this week before the session when I knew I'd be sharing my first five pages, I rewrote the entire first chapter. I kept a few snatches of conversation but I rewrote all of it. And the group really liked it! The visiting author (who was very cute and talented) said it felt like a John Green novel!! Getting a small comparison to my favorite author is something I'll take lovingly! The majority of the comments were about how authentic and real my dialogue felt and they liked the characters. I'm on the right track everyone!

After I got home last night, I read through the critiques they left on my pages and rewrote the first chapter AGAIN. So now the first 8 pages have been changed. Three times. And while I was changing those around, I realized there is an entire plotline in the book that has to be taken out. I'm finally starting to understand how hard writing a book is. And I'm so excited. That's the biggest thing I'm taking away from these workshops. I feel so inspired to keep writing. Critiques aren't discouraging but encouraging! Readers see things writers don't and when I see some of their critiques it's like a huge duh moment of "why didn't I think of that? That's so much better than what I had!"

I always remember John Green saying that in Looking for Alaska his plot element about his main character's obsession with last words didn't make it into the novel until the 10th draft. WHAT. That is a main theme in the book; the book doesn't work without it! But knowing that excites me. If I'm this proud of what I've written so far, who knows what this book will become by the time it is published? We will have to wait and see.

Thank you all for supporting me and watching me grow. I cannot wait until the day I can share this book with you all. I love you all.

via *

a fictionalization of complete nonfiction.

Wednesday, March 5

I'm not saying it's as bad as it could be. I'm not even saying it's bad. It's just that I know they are talking about it and I know they see how different I am. As much as they say it doesn't matter to them, I know it does. I'm the odd man out. I'm the one who isn't rushing marriage, the one who doesn't want children. The one who believes in a good time.

There are only so many times humor can happen at the expense of another person. There are only so many times I'll laugh with you when you are laughing at me and judging me in my attempt to play it off before I snap. I'm the moody girl in the basement, you're the celestial trio. Believe me, I get it. I'll be burning in hell with the alcohol and the swear words and the bass lines that read to you like crack cocaine in a bathroom stall. Bring on the burn if it means I get to feel joy in life now. At least I won't be bored.

Keep your eye rolls to yourself and I'll keep my suspicions and anxieties buried. I love who I am. I do. It only gets hard to love who I am when you shove it back in my face against me. That's when I question myself. That's when my nail beds itch and my pores crack open. I try my hardest not to judge you. Allow me the same courtesy.

via *

erasure poem

Monday, March 3

In my creative writing class this week we talked about erasure poems, sometimes called found poetry. Where you take another work and find words among the sentences, crossing out what remains, and making your own poem from the ashes of the other work. I loved it so much. Here's my take on it. Excuse the picture quality.


Saturday, March 1

It's felt so quiet in the blogging world these past few weeks, hasn't it? Just me? February was upon us and it made everything feel quieter. Everything felt very tired and heavy this month, except the gorgeous weather that Salt Lake City has been treated to. When it wasn't a day sprinkled with springtime sun, it was sprinkling rain. My two favorites. I was even able to read outside for the first time of the year. I even felt a bit too hot in the sunlight. I stayed in the sun. I stayed hot. It was delicious and welcome. I'm ready to be too hot as opposed to too cold.

March is a favorite of mine and if the end of February was any inclination as to the wonder that will be March, I say bring it on!

Wonderful things coming this March and beyond:

  • I'll be 22 on the 20th! I've always felt so much older than I am and as I continue to pass birthdays I feel like I'm finally aging into my personality (Thanks for the quote Nick Miller.) 
  • Last Thursday was the first of my four workshop classes for a Young Adult Literature writing class. We met with an editor as well as a literary agent and got to pick their brains about writing and publishing. Next week I'm bringing in some of my own writing to be edited by the next guest speaker, a writer of Young Adult fiction. Cannot wait!
  • Even bigger news, this week I found out that both of the pieces I submitted to the National Undergraduate Literature Conference were accepted! Not only was I invited to the conference, but I will be reading both of my pieces at the conference! I'm overwhelmed and excited and humbled and all of the other adjectives. That conference is the first week of April :) Look at me, achieving things. Unreal. Still.
  • The novel didn't get finished in February. Surprise surprise, school has kept me enormously busy. So much reading. So much essays. So much studying. Not a lot of time for personal writing, especially the novel. I cannot wait for spring break so I can sink myself back into that pool and lose myself in that story again without that nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I should probably be doing homework instead. 
February came and went very fast, even if her presence was felt very heavily. I hope March feels the need to stay a while, have a drink with me, take me out on the town. 

How were your February days? I hope March is even better for us all. Big things are coming this year. My bones are buzzing.

via *