I swear Carrie Brownstein smiled at me.

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I really wish I could write an eloquent piece of all the things that have been swirling around in my head. I’ve had several ideas for a follow-up blog to my last one, but nothing has seemed right so I’m just going to word vomit all over the place about everything.

I finished my book…I mean really finished it. I made all the changes I wanted, added the characters I wanted, made sure Walt didn’t sound like a fruit, change some locations around, made sure all of the locations made sense geographically, I made sure everything was spelled right. I took out all of the semi-colons because the entire manuscript was peppered with them (it’s my favorite punctuation.) I made sure that when you – the reader – closes your eyes, you can see everything; taste it, practically touch it if you wanted.

I struggled with determining whether or not my final sentence was conclusive, if it conveyed everything I wanted to say. I asked myself 91436574125 questions and finally concluded that if no sequel was ever written, that The Anchor could stand alone. It can. It is a project I am beyond excited about and proud of. It tells a story about two people who completely changed each other. It defies time, seamlessly. I think the story of Walter and Bridget is one that can stand up to popular love stories, perhaps surpassing. I feel like I may be overly confident about their love, but it’s a love that resides so close to my heart. Writing the sequel is proving interesting so far because it is incredibly removed from where their story ends in the first novel.

My plan now is to re-read the book, cover to cover, and decide what move to make next. In my perfect literary world, I would post the first chapter somewhere and some fabulous book agent would read it and fall in love with it. Of course, that’s not likely when you take in to consideration how many submissions every agent out there gets per year, so I’m poised to take another approach: self-publishing. THIS TERRIFIES ME. I’m not really sure what to do with it, who to use, how much to price my book, etc. It’s thrilling though; to know that each and every step of this process is going through my hands. I have friends that have been excited and willing to help me with graphics for the cover (still just in the talking stages here) and to help me with anything else that I may need. I can’t possibly say enough for the friends who have read the manuscript over and over and over each time I’ve re-drafted or added something. I’m so over the moon that anyone else besides me has read it and liked it. That’s right…positive feedback. I couldn’t have imagined that either, really. I’ve always felt confident as a writer, but not like now. This sense of accomplishment is REAL!

I finished this book in under a year….which I can’t get over. I never in a million years would have imagined successfully finishing this kind of project, especially considering the year that I’ve had. The Anchor saved me in ways I can’t explain. It took me out of the world I was stuck in for a little while every day and lead me to Beulah, a place that is so real in my mind I wish I was there right now. In the beginning, during the worst of 2014, I was able to write about all the things I was feeling at the time in the form of a story, the best form of therapy, for me. The process was constant. I was constantly daydreaming about what would happen, what the characters were going to say or wear or where they were going to go. I guess as a writer I’m always doing that without knowledge of it. It was a constant cycle of making decisions and putting them in to action, something that was not happening in my every-day life. I loved watching them fall deeper in love as the cursor moved along the document. I enjoyed including personal moments in this book and how writing about them made me feel. There are so many people in my life in this book; my friends and family have colored and breathed such life in to it that otherwise wouldn’t exist. I feel that this is what makes it so special to me…the story is real, the characters are tangible.

I am pleased to finally officially announce that as of April 17th, 2015….17 days before it’s anniversary that The Anchor by Audrey J. Parks, is complete.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
inspiration is everywhere.  

aside from finishing up my first book ever, which is ridiculous and exciting and something I only ever dreamed, I’ve been working to form a pop-up yoga group, aptly named YUP. I am loving sharing my practice with my friends. It’s definitely bringing a fresh aspect to something I am already so in love with.  I made a group on Facebook and started inviting my friends, at least the ones that I’ve seen doing yoga in the gallery on Tuesdays and the ones that have mentioned that they’d like to know more about yoga. I figured if anything I could just bombard the group with all of the yoga and ayurveda articles I read obsessively.

The first meeting was at Big Island, this gorgeous, open area next to the rec softball fields…and people actually showed up. I was so nervous to use my voice to lead the practice, since I usually practice solo and don’t make a habit of talking myself through the vinyasa. Once we were warmed up and ready to start, I randomly found the words and it wasn’t terrible. I was over the moon! Teaching your first yoga class to your friends? Nothing better, except the second time you throw a pop-up and more people come. It makes me practically giddy to share my experience and talk to the group about what asanas make me feel strong, sexy and free.

The third week predicted to horribly rain and I was concerned. “I don’t want to get off track, so where are we going to practice?!” I posted in the FB group and asked if anyone knew of any spaces that could hold 10 or more people, just in case the rain really ruined things and within SECONDS YUP had a place to practice, indoors. The Loft on Third is hands down one of my favorite places in my city as it is, but to host a yoga session there was unreal. The group number stayed the same as the week before, but with some different faces and I am thrilled. I love spreading the yoga love, regardless of how granola that sounds. Personal practice has completely changed my life and I want to share that with as many people as possible. I can’t wait to see what YUP does next.

Just to clarify: I am not interested in having a polyamorous relationship. 

I have absolutely no problem with people who do participate in this type of relationship, but it isn’t for me. I know in my post entitled, “the lebenslangerschicksalsschartz curse,” it may appear that that’s what I was trying to say, and I’m here to make the correction that I am not. I don’t have issues with jealousy, but I’m not a huge fan of worrying with that many people, especially emotionally. I think perhaps I should have used the phrase, “explore these separate relationships,” versus stating that I wished these kind of relationships – emotional, physical and familial – could blend.

I constantly teeter on whether or not monogamy is right for me, I always have. I realize that this divorce has poisoned my thoughts about it, only adding to the reason why I question the idea. I know I said it in some form in the post, and I’ll take this time to say it again: I am a-okay with my friends being the loves of my life. I am also fine with having all kinds of different kinds of relationships throughout my lifetime, but I meant one at a time. I can’t imagine balancing several people in a relationship. If you can manage to do that, well…you get a gold star. I can barely divvy up my time between work, work engagements, trying to stabilize my yoga practice, reading/writing and maintain a semi-social life. Don’t get it twisted, I still dream about, “the one,” only its a different dream now. No documents, no white picket fence, no perfect house, no perfect-perfect. I’m not worried about the timing of things or commitment as far as marriage is concerned. My concerns now lie more with connection. How does this personal stimulate me? Is it artistically? Emotionally? Physically? Do our souls find satisfaction with each other, or are we filling voids?

I feel totally happy and justified with my decision to be unmarried and to spend my life exploring the wonderful world of relationships. Maybe one day I’ll find Mr. I Love You Even Though You’re Weird and we’ll be happy and raise adorable, dysfunctional children with amazing fashion sense and killer music taste. Maybe I’ll adopt and be a solo mama and travel the world with my sidekick, sharing him/her with my friends and family. Maybe I’ll live alone in Paris among stacks of books and coffee cups and seven cats. Either way, I won’t apologize for any of it because those choices are mine to make.

  
To top alllllllllll this off – as if I haven’t been blissed out enough, what with the wrap of my novel and kick starting a fun yoga group – I got to see Sleater-Kinney LIVE in New Orleans on Sunday with one of my bestest gal pals. OHMIFCKNGGAAAAAAD. I was completely blown away with how much freaking girl power was packed in to one show. Aside from Corin, Carrie and Janet being total babes and ridiculously talented musicians, they provided the audience with a perfect set list, perfect venue. The crowd was completely mellow and they deserved to be slapped for that. I MEAN THEY PLAYED LETS CALL IT LOVE and the crowd remained calm. What the hell?! I mean, I know it’s not my fault that the youngsters think that Carrie is famous for Portlandia and that, “her new band totally rocks,” but come onnnnn. SK is one of the most legendary riot grrrl bands EVER, how do people end up at their show and not know this?

Regardless, I was in riot grrrl heaven and so happy and did not care that the group of trees dressed as sorority girls didn’t know who they were seeing. I mean, I swear Carrie Brownstein smiled at me.

How much better does it get? If you’re going to pull the rug out from under me, at least warn me.

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