Hi!

Hey guys–this should’ve been up yesterday but I honestly didn’t have any time, so here it is now, the weekly check in:)

I hope you are all enjoying the A to Z challenge. I’m certainly enjoying writing it! I have pages full of notes on how to connect the characters and letters, what themes go where, and how the bagpipes fit into all of this. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m glad you seem to be liking them too:)

The most interesting thing that has happened since we spoke last was a self defense course I took Friday and Saturday. It’s called RAD (more info here) and focused on basic ways to get out of a dangerous situation. It was actually really empowering.

I usually hate that word, empowering, because it’s usually used in a pretentious context. Like feeling “empowered” after walking a 5K, or while wearing heels. It’s almost always used in a feminine context. Empowered, as if you were powerless beforehand. However, when it came to the self defense course, it feels fitting. I am newly empowered with tools I can use in dangerous situations—tools I didn’t have before. I feel more confident.

The best thing about it was that it reversed my thoughts that I wasn’t strong. I don’t work out as much as I should, sometimes I can’t open water bottles or open heavy doors, I must not be strong. But being taught how to use my body to my advantage rather than seeing it as a hindrance, or as a vessel for my mind to live in, allowed me to feel truly strong and powerful. Connecting to one’s body and allowing it to be used like it’s made to be is a wonderful thing.

Plus it’s really fun to punch foam pads.

I recommend it to everyone! Not just to feel safe, but to feel confident and happy with yourself.

What else? Colin comes back Sunday, which is exciting, and I move back home in two weeks, which is also exciting. I have finals soon, which is less exciting.

I saw my old high school’s musical, The Sound of Music, on Saturday. All the kids who were sophomores and freshmen when I graduated are now juniors and seniors, running the show. They were wonderful, and made me miss high school and theatre as well as their friendships. I miss the excitement of being part of a team, the rollercoaster of emotion, the bright lights and smudged make up, snacking on pretzels and Twizzlers since they didn’t mess up lipstick. Mostly, I miss my old friends, and I’m glad to get to see them again in only a few weeks.

I’m also determined to start learning German again—I’ve been so busy that it’s been pushed to the back burner, but I have my mind set on it.

So, yes. Self defense, German, and The Sound of Music. And, of course, huge bouts of creativity brought on by the A to Z Challenge. I’m really glad I followed through with the challenge. It too is giving me confidence, in my creative writing rather than my body. I haven’t completed writing a novel in a long time, and these little bursts of fiction are helping me feel like a valid creator again.

I’ll also soon be separately posting my book review of Maus and Maus II, so look forward to that today, as well as the letter “I” in about 2 hours. That’s about all I have–enjoy your Monday!