5 Lists of 4 Things


4 notebooks I use the most

1. (first from the top) I have no idea what to call this notebook, so on the inside I wrote, “This notebook is a lot of things and does not wish to be labeled.” I use this notebook as a kind of sketchbook, but it’s also where I write down my favorite quotes. Or write out random thoughts that don’t really fit anywhere else. It’s also where I stick all of those post-its that I write random things on.

logbook12. I wrote about logbooks before. I got the idea from Austin Kleon, whose post on the subject is a lot more interesting than mine. It’s essentially a daily list of things about that day. I am terrible at keeping journals, but I’ve been fairly successful at keeping logbooks. You’ll notice that this one says “2011/2013” and that’s because I stopped writing in it at some point in 2011, and in 2012, I got one of those Moleskine daily planners and used that one as a logbook (though I utterly failed at maintaining it for very long that year). And then I picked this one back up back in February, and have been more or less consistent with it.

3. This TBSOL notebook is actually the second TBSOL notebook I have because I filled the last one up. There are four tabs to this notebook: outlines & notes, possibly include, future scenes (outlined), and to type up. Outlines & notes is essentially just that. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’m awful at outlines, and have to force myself to do them (because they really do help). In ‘possibly include’ I have a lot of random scenes or conversations that came to me at some point or another but that I’m not certain will make it into the book. In “future scenes (outlined)” I have scenes that I came to me, and I know will make it into the book, but won’t happen until much later. And in “to type up” I have the current scenes/chapters that I’m in the process of writing. I find it easier sometimes to write things out first, especially with scenes that are giving me trouble.

4. The YA Project notebook is in its infancy, but here is where I’m putting together all the building blocks of the YA series I’ll be writing after TBSOL. The other day, for example, I started working on a secret code the girls will use to communicate with – which was a lot of fun. See if you can decipher this message: 9QN01YQ // V1 // VJQ // DQVM // VQMY.

keep reading…


10 reasons I’m in a good mood today



If we were to run into each other and you were to say, “Hi, Ingrid! How are you?” I would say, “No, no, let’s talk about you first. Tell me about your life.” And then I would sit there and listen intently to everything you had to say. (Contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually enjoy talking about myself and would much rather listen to other people talk). Once you were finished talking you’d probably remind me that I hadn’t answered your original question, at which point I would say, “I’m great!”

I’m in a really good mood today for several reasons:

1. I ordered a pack of new dry erase markers because the ones that came with the whiteboard are, I think, depressed. They’re just very sad, emo markers. I felt as if I were forcing them to exist and that’s not pleasant for any of us. Maybe they don’t wish to be markers. Maybe they wish to be paintbrushes or pens and who am I, really, to stand in the way? So I ordered new ones and these are awesome. They’re bold, colorful; they write like they mean it. These are markers who love being markers. I wish to learn from their enthusiasm.

2. Coffee! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

3. I finished Chapter 14 last night. Yay! Special thanks to the lovely people on Facebook who gave me the idea for Kris’ Halloween costume. I think Kris makes a great Hermione Granger.

4. My printer is totally out of ink. I tried to print out some of TBSOL and the pages came out looking like skunks. This isn’t a good thing, but it means we get to buy a new ink cartridge! How exciting! Yeah!

5. CoFFeeEeeeeEEEe! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

6. So you know how I’ve been focusing very hard on dropping TBSOL’s word count? I sat down today to compare the word count on the NEW/FINAL(ish) draft to the second. As in, plot progression wise. And I realized that I’d cut over 35,000 words. Then I created a file called “FRANKENSTEIN_TBSOL” and copied and pasted the NEW stuff, removing the old stuff, so that the NEW stuff would connect to the OLD stuff I haven’t edited yet, and the total word count is now 158,000. That means so far I’ve removed/reworked/revised/rewritten over 40,000 words of content. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m very happy.

7. Today I get to start Chapter 15, which is when J & K meet for the first time in person and I’m MUY excited about reworking that whole thing. But first I’m sitting down with a highlighter and the printed pages of Chapters 23/24 of V2 to see what needs to be kept.

8. SPAGHETTI!!!! WEEeeeEeeeeeeeEEEEeeeee!! I have some leftover spaghetti. I’m very excited about it.

9. You know what I just discovered while writing “wee” like a crazy person? I discovered that if you hold down a vowel key on the Mac it pops up a menu of alt-symbols. Like ÊË …and then you can just…select one. I DID NOT KNOW THAT. That changes MY LIFE.

10. Wàïõú … it means I love you.


EDITING to ADD an 11th thing:

11. So this morning I went to make coffee only to find the bag empty. “OH MY GOD WE ARE OUT OF COFFEE!” is what I yelled out — because … well, it can’t happen. It’s like oxygen running out. I slid down slowly to the floor, clutching desperately at nothing, holding my arm up in a final act of supplication — and then K was like, “There’s a whole bag of it in the hallway.”

“There isn’t! I looked!” I managed to breathe out, with what remained of my life-force (but also loudly, because we were in separate rooms).

“Then try the kitchen counter.”

Oh, I thought. For I had not looked there. I looked there. And there it was. A BAG FULL OF BAGS OF COFFEE. I revived instantly. The sun came out. Angels sang a chorus in my ear. It sounded a lot like Jessie J’s “Do It Like a Dude” — it was beautiful.

AND THEN! After I hit publish on this post, I went to get some Ginger Ale and I was like, “OH MY GOD WE ARE OUT OF GINGER ALE!” only I didn’t actually say that because that’s not as tragic as running out of coffee (I’m not ridiculous) … so it was more like I thought it, quietly, to myself. And then I walked into the hallway and noticed A BAG FULL OF BOTTLES OF GINGER ALE!

“IT’S THE BEST DAY EVER!” I yelled to K, who laughed.

And then I went to put the bottles of Ginger Ale away.


I discovered that the grocery store had given us some free stuff!

1. A bottle of hand-sanitizer.

2. A pack of anti-bacterial wipes.

3. Cookies.

Anti-bacterial wipes!!!! Best. Day. Ever.



20 Things You May Not Know About Me (Even If You Think You Do)

I decided that my other list of 20 things was starting to get old and crusty, so I’ve decided to create another one. How exciting.

The List

1. I know this may be hard to believe (if you follow me at all), but there was a time (not that long ago) when I didn’t drink or even like coffee.

2. So, I still don’t have that driver’s license. I do, however, have a driving permit. That means that whenever I’m in the state of Florida, I’m allowed to drive a car. As long as there is a responsible adult sitting next to me. And it’s not past 10PM at night.

3. I truly believe that light brown M&Ms taste better than the others. A lot of people have tried (and failed) to convince me that this is irrational.

4. My first girlfriend once made a list called 100 Weird Things About Ingrid. When she got to 100, she kept going.

5. Back when I was 14, I wrote a song called “Birth of a Chicken.” When I was 19, my friends convinced me to record it so they could hear it/make fun of me. Yes, you may listen to it. Yes, I was slightly demented as a teenager. Yes, I know I sound twelve. No, I don’t hate chickens. Also, I’m looking for someone with singing/musical talent to record themselves singing this song so that I can stop having to link to my own crappy recording. So if you’re that bored, feel free to go nuts with it. Here are the lyrics. Do whatever you want with it. I will not sue you. Just send me a link.

keep reading…

Lists, Of Life & Randomness

This Wasn’t On My To-Do List But I’m Doing It Anyway

In the immortal words of Joey Tribbiani: “London, baby!”

Well, London tonight, anyway. Our flight is at 9:40pm and I keep forgetting that it’s happening at all. So I’ve created about six different lists: a main packing list, a clothes packing list, a fun stuff (read: gadgets) packing list, another clothes packing list (cause I forgot I’d already made another one), a list for stuff I need to get ready and done, and a list of essential stuff I’d cry if I forgot (like my Moleskine and my iPhone). Now I just need a list for all my lists and I’ll be ready for the Hospital Of Crazy People Who Love To Make Lists.



I’m really not a crazy list-making person, though. Really. Usually I have one list (if I bother with one at all) and then I forget about the list and then I find it 2 years later and go, “Damnit. I knew I’d written this stuff down somewhere.” But I am now New and Improved Ingrid and New and Improved Ingrid makes 300 lists because she finds making lists really fun. New and Improved Ingrid also likes to talk about herself in third person apparently.

People keep asking me what I’ll be doing in London and the truth is that I have no idea. I’m mostly just tagging along so K has someone to ride on the plane with and sleep next to at night. I know, I know, I am so selfless. Going all the way to London. She’s so lucky to have me. Well, I suppose I’ll try and make the best of it while she’s stuck at work. Maybe I’ll go hang out with the Queen and show her all my iPhone apps. Or maybe I’ll go wandering around and get lost somewhere. Or maybe one of my Londonese friends will see it fit to rescue me from myself and give me a guided tour or buy me a drink or something.

But yes, mostly, I have no idea what I’ll be doing in London. I’m looking forward to it, though!


5 Lessons I Learned From Moving to France


From time to time, people ask me what I’m doing all the way in France. The short answer is: My girlfriend is French and I moved to be with her.

It was not a decision that I made immediately after we met. In fact, at first, I honestly believed there was no way I would ever move to France. It was a terrifying thought. I didn’t speak a word of French. I told K that I didn’t think I could deal with living in a country where I didn’t speak the language. I had all these flashbacks to being 10 and trying to learn English properly and kids making fun of me at school because I pronounced things funny and because I didn’t understand half the things that were said to me. I hated that feeling of not knowing what was going on and I couldn’t see how I could ever put myself through that again. So, I put the option to move to France in a little box and locked it away.

K and I spent two years flying back and forth to see each other. And a few things became clear to me during that time: keep reading…


20 Random Things About Me

A while back, the “random facts about me” meme was going around the web (and perhaps it’s still going around and just hasn’t made its way back). But I’m stuck for things to write about today. Well, that’s not true. I was going to write a post about religion and coming out but I fear that if I get into that subject I’ll spend the next four hours typing it out. So, I’ll save that for another day.

Instead, I’ve decided to come up with (an additional) 20 Random Things About Me, partly because lists are fun, but mostly because they tend to inspire other people to make lists as well, and I really like reading other people’s lists.

So here we go.


20 Random Things About Me

  1. I still don’t have my driver’s license. I intend to get it one of these days, but haven’t gotten around to it.
  2. I love (love) getting to know people but I’m terrible at it. I’m often too shy to ask questions, which I think makes it seem like I don’t care, when it’s actually the opposite.
  3. I don’t get angry easily or very often and when I do get angry, it doesn’t last very long.
  4. I am, however, really passionate about certain subjects and have been known to go off into ranting monologues about them. These subjects include: racism, homophobia, and general human stupidiy.
  5. February and March are generally bad months for me. I tend to retreat and I become less social than usual. Come April, I’m back to normal.
  6. When I was younger, I used to sleepwalk. I’d sometimes wake up in other places of the house. Sometimes I wouldn’t wake up at all but my mom would tell me how they’d found me elsewhere in the house doing one thing or another. The thought is kind of creepy.
  7. I hate flying. I am always convinced that the plane is going to crash.
  8. I have an office supplies fetish. I can’t stop myself from buying excessive amounts of pens, folders, notebooks, etc.
  9. The first book I ever loved was The Witches by Roald Dahl.
  10. I wanted to be a ninja when I grew up.
  11. English isn’t my first language, but we did learn some English in school. I was 8 when I learned the word “library” but I thought the teacher said “liberry” and it sounded to me like something delicious and fruity. The teacher took us to another building and a lady read to us from a book. I sat there impatiently waiting for them to pass out the liberries because I was really hungry. Suddenly, it was time to go, and I turned to someone in my class and asked them when we were getting the liberries. They looked at me like I’d grown three heads. It was then I understood that “liberry” was actually the English word for biblioteca. I was really disappointed.
  12. English was my least favorite subject in school before the age of 11. After the age of 11, it became my favorite.
  13. I used to be good at math, and then I met Algebra.
  14. Sometimes I wear mismatched socks. Not because I’m trying to make a statement about individuality, but because I am too lazy to pair them up correctly.
  15. I have never broken a bone. I probably just jinxed myself.
  16. I am very curious about the nature of friendship and where people draw the line between “friend” and “random person they met and occasionally talk to.” I used to agonize about calling someone a friend because I worried they’d think I was deluded or desperate. I don’t worry about this so much any more. If I call someone a friend it’s because they are special to me.
  17. I don’t know that I believe in love at first sight, but I believe that we’re pulled toward people and that there are people we’re meant to meet.
  18. I would really love to work on a TV series or web series some day.
  19. I love to laugh and am very easily amused. Very. Easily.
  20. One of my favorite things about having some of my work online is that it lets me meet people from all over the world. Since I’m shy, this works well. I always feel grateful when anyone tries to get to know me.