2018: Year in Review

As 2018 comes to a close, I thought I’d post my year in review. I cannot believe how quickly the year flew by, although every year seems to pass quicker than the last. It’s scary, yet it doesn’t stop me from constantly looking forward to something in the future rather than making sure to appreciate each day as it comes. Alas, that is a subject for another blog post!

This year came with a lot of changes. For one, my diet changed significantly since I was unofficially diagnosed with IBS at the end of last year. For the most part, I’ve given up wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, and lactose and all the foods and beverages that contain them. There are a lot of them! I’ve learned how much and how often my system can handle certain ingredients and how to portion control to avoid an outbreak of symptoms. It’s been a challenge but for the most part, I feel SO much better than I did this time last year. The constant full/bloated feeling has subsided by about 80%. Going out to eat (and sharing appetizers) is trickier, but my friends and family have been so supportive in this regard!

I broke ties with the group of women I’d socialized with most often over the last few years. I have a lot of other close friends but since most of them aren’t local, my social life took a bit of a beating. To be honest, I was 100% okay with that. Because of the faith/love/support shown to me by my other friends, and knowing they were a phone call away and always had my back, I didn’t mind losing the company of women who no longer provided that level of friendship or wanted it from me. I still feel a pang of hurt over the way things went down, mostly because my argument was with only one woman and yet I somehow became persona non grata to several more. I shrug it off because I obviously overestimated the strength of the other relationships and you can’t miss what you never really had. I am happier now and more comfortable and confident in my social circles than I’ve been in a long time. I also have a greater appreciation of the ease of friendship I share with my other pals—some for two decades—and the freedom to be myself.

I made significant progress in my writing this year. My seventh romantic comedy was published in April and I completed another one, including rounds and rounds (and rounds) of revisions and edits from outside critique partners and beta readers. Until now, I’ve had publishing contracts in advance of completing a book and set release dates. That is not the case for my newest novel. I don’t know when it will be published because I’m seeking a different path this time around and it might take a very long time. In the meantime, I’ve started plotting out my next book and can’t wait to lose myself in another fictional world.

I attended three writer’s conferences this year, both to hone my craft and network. I became more involved in my local writing community and spent more time attending (and participating in) book signings and readings, and dining with other authors/bloggers/publishing professionals.

According to Goodreads, I’ve read 100 books so far this year! Favorites include One Day in December by Josie Silver, The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, Limelight by Amy Poepell, On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Ried.

I’m dating here and there, but there is nothing monumental to report on that front as of now 😊

Thanks to AncestryDNA, I connected with a cousin I never knew I had. Her great grandmother and my grandfather (on my father’s side) were sister and brother. The discovery had me shedding happy, sappy tears! We’re going to meet for dinner after the new year.

I’m still at the day job and happy to report that there is nothing to report there: I still have a job, a steady pay check, health insurance, and a 401k. Yay!

I don’t take the good health of my parents and other close relatives for granted and I’m happy to say that everyone is doing well.

With 16 days left on the calendar, that is my year in review for 2018 so far. Best wishes to you all for a merry and healthy holiday season.

Build me up Buttercup

Every so often, I get down on myself and I vow to be more positive, accepting, and appreciative of who I am. I considered writing down the qualities I like about myself, much like people jot down “grateful” lists. And then I decided to not only write the list, but to post it as a blog. So, here I go: Some things I like about myself:

I never completely lose hope. Even when things are going wrong—in the world, with my books, in my love life, with friends—I’ve never yet reached a point where I feel completely hopeless. I’m a bit like Little Orphan Annie in that I know things might royally suck today, but “the sun will come out tomorrow.” If I’m wrong, at least my “glass-is-half-full” outlook got me through the day.

When I love someone, I really, really love that person. I’ll admit that while I *like* a lot of people, the list of individuals I love is smaller, but I would do anything for them. I think it’s just as wonderful a feeling to truly care about someone as it is to know someone truly cares about you. (Of course, this does not include toxic, abusive, or otherwise “unbalanced” relationships.)

I am willing to work really hard for what I want. That’s not to say I don’t accept help when it’s offered (or ask for it), but I’d rather do the heavy lifting to make my dreams come true, even if it’s painful and tests my patience, than accept something less than what I want because the journey is easier or will take less time. (Someone please remind me of this in the coming months as it relates to my next book being published…)

I’m funny. I’m not Tiny Fey stand-up-comedienne funny, but my particular brand of sense of humor is appreciated by many. (And it helps with my writing.)

I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong and own up to my mistakes. I can apologize. Think about the people in your life. I bet you can find at least a couple who never say they’re sorry or even acknowledge their role in anything negative. I’d rather be wrong and admit it than always think I’m right. And by admitting when you’re wrong, you learn about the other person—how willing they are to forgive or meet you halfway.

I don’t take my loved ones for granted. I’m not sure I was always this way, but losing someone I loved more than just about anything or anyone else in the world opened my eyes to how quickly things can change.

I know when to let go. I tend to hold onto things for a long time because of the aforementioned “glass-is-half-full” mentality. Because of this, I’ve stayed in relationships (platonic and romantic) for too long because I gave someone the benefit of the doubt or assumed things would get better. But I have a threshold and once it’s met and I realize things are shitty and not likely to change, I acknowledge that I deserve better and I move on without looking back (much). On the one hand, I wish it didn’t take me quite so long to reach my limit, but on the flip side, I never want to get to a point where I’m easily able to turn my back on someone I once cared about without even trying to resolve our issues.

I possess the ability to forgive. People, even really great ones, screw up sometimes. It’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.” I don’t believe in unconditional forgiveness, as there are some things that are unforgivable, but I’ve found that I am a happier and healthier person when I don’t hold onto my anger. This is especially true if a person has expressed sincere remorse, but it’s also possible to forgive someone in your heart without them even knowing.

I’m easy to please. Just treat me kindly, show me you appreciate and accept me, listen when I speak, make me laugh, laugh with me (and at me in a kindly manner), allow me to respectfully disagree with you sometimes, have my back, and trust I have yours, and we’re good.

I’m not a follower. I try to form my own opinions about people rather than blindly take someone else’s word for it. I try to understand that a person’s negative feelings about another is based on their own experience with said person and that there are three sides to every story—person A, person B, and the objective truth.

I prefer understanding and kindness over making fun of others for entertainment value.

I’m a work-in-progress. I embrace learning and becoming a better person.

Well, that’s all for now. If you know and like me, feel free to comment about how great I am! Kidding! But, if you’d like, share any qualities you appreciate in yourself in the comments.

My thoughts on Book Club

I saw Book Club this weekend. As a writer and a voracious reader, a movie about a book club is immediately appealing to me. Throw in some of my favorite actresses, like Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda, and no additional incentive is required. That being said, I do have my own issues with aging, especially the discrepancy between how an aging woman is treated versus a man. I worried about how the women in this movie would be betrayed, and if it would trigger my own fears about aging.

 So, what did I think about the movie?

In a nutshell, I loved almost every part of it. I smiled, I laughed out loud, I choked up, I applauded, I swooned. I’m a big fan of romantic comedies with happily-ever-after endings. The fact that the couples in this movie were at least twenty years older than me had no bearing on my feelings. Here’s why.

The friendship shared by the four women was supportive, hilarious, and honest, akin to Sex and the City. They teased each other endlessly, but they had each other’s backs. The personalities were somewhat clichéd (there was the “promiscuous” one (Fonda), the “prude,” (Bergen) and the idealist (Steenburgen). There were jabs about one of the male leads needing Viagra and one of the female characters having plastic surgery. None of this bothered me because the characters were developed beyond these stereotypes. And, the truth is, many men of a certain age do take the little blue pill and many women of a certain age (and even millennials) get plastic surgery! And while erectile function was an issue for one of the couples, the other romantic story lines developed like any other romance. I’m a fan of grand gestures in romantic comedies and this movie had them in spades, and it was wonderful.

 As I watched the film, it occurred to me that the women could have been any age and have almost the same conversations. In nearly every group of friends, there’s someone who is afraid of getting hurt, not happy with her body, holding a grudge against a family member etc. Women of all ages commiserate over bottles of wine and seek guidance on what to wear on a special occasion. I liked that these women were portrayed as vulnerable despite being old enough to qualify for Medicare. With each decade of my life, I become less obsessed with what others think of me, but at the heart of it, I’m still made of flesh and blood and can’t imagine a time when I won’t seek some sort of reassurance/validation/advice from friends, even over things some might consider frivolous or immature.

 The female characters were successful women. One was a Federal judge, another owned a hotel, and another was a well-known chef. Yet they still craved romance and attention from the opposite sex. What’s so wrong with that? I’m tired of watching television and movies where it’s the woman who loses interest in sex and not the man. Or the divorced man or widower gets right back in the dating scene, usually with a younger woman, and the divorced woman (or widow) focuses only on her career or her children. Why can’t she have both? I don’t think women lose their power because they want romantic love. I haven’t read many of the reviews, but I’m sure there are some who think the movie is anti-feminist because it focuses on women needing a man. I didn’t get that vibe at all. All four women had proven that they were completely capable of taking care of themselves. Admitting that they wanted sexual companionship and romantic love doesn’t change that.

 I had small issues with the film, for instance, I wished Keaton’s character had more of a spine a little earlier with respect to her children, but I walked out of the theater with a smile on my face and the warm and fuzzies in my belly.

Fun facts: One of Candace Bergen’s online dates played her love interest in the last season of Sex and the City. My friend also pointed out that Don Johnson, one of the male leads, is the real father of Dakota Johnson, who plays Anastasia Steele in the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey, the book they’re reading.

Come on, get happy

Back in the olden days, like 2015, I wrote a blog post almost every week. Then my life—my publishing life—became too chaotic to maintain that frequency. I was busy writing, editing, promoting, and releasing—wash, rinse, and repeat times seven—and blogging took a back seat.

For the first time in a while, I don’t have any writing deadlines, aside from the ones I self-impose. I’m busy writing my ninth book, but for now, that’s all I’m doing with it. I miss blogging, and so I’m focused on doing it more often—much more often. Not so frequently that you’ll see my name show up in your feeds and groan, “Not her again,” but enough that when a new post is sent to your email, you won’t think, “Meredith Schorr?” Who the bleep is Meredith Schorr?

Today, I wanted to talk happiness and what it means to be happy. I have many hopes and dreams, some of which will come true and others that won’t, but all I truly want is to be happy——not ten years from now, but today and in this moment. So, what makes me happy?

Feeling loved, whether in a romantic, platonic, maternal, or other type of way. I’m at my best when I’m with someone who 100% adores, accepts, and appreciates me for who I am. (Or at least 95%.)

Loving others. There are many people in this world who have filled my heart with loving feelings. Individuals for whom I wish so much good fortune, and whose needs I’d easily and eagerly put ahead of my own. The ability to love others is something we often take for granted, but we shouldn’t.

Waking up in the morning (or going to sleep at night) with something to look forward to.

Waking up in the morning (or going to sleep at night) with nothing to dread or stress over.

Looking in the mirror and feeling pretty. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of my reflection and I appear tired and frumpy, my hair frizzy from a rainy day or high percentage of humidity. Maybe I’m sporting a PMS zit on my forehead or my jeans do nothing for my butt. Sometimes, however (and not only when I’ve been drinking), my skin is glowing, my hair is smooth, my smile is bright, my legs are slim and toned, and I look…wait for it…happy!

Writing, especially when the ideas (and words) are flowing.

Catching up with a really good friend face-to-face.

Laughing because something is undeniably hilarious.

Hugging my mom.

When my nieces and nephews refer to me as, “Aunt Meri.”

Great reviews of my novels, or when someone gives a shout-out of one (or all) of my books on social media.

A sweaty workout complete with inspiring and uplifting music

When my late best friend, Alan, visits me in my dreams (he does!) or otherwise sends me signs that he’s still with me.

When my stomach feels almost as normal as it did before I was inflicted with IBS last summer.

Feeling understood, reassured, and validated. Perhaps we’re not supposed to seek these things from outside sources, but I do, and it makes me happy when someone listens to what I say, hears me, says she understands, and agrees with me. (I’m looking at you the most, Sammy!)

Going to bed on Friday night knowing I don’t have work the next day.

I could go on, and that, too, makes me happy. But what about you? What makes you happy on a daily basis? Whatever it is, I wish you oodles of it!

the good, the bad, and the “I’m not ugly.”

With two months of 2018 behind us, I thought it would be an appropriate time to update you on my year so far. I’ve dealt with a lot of changes lately, some of them good, some of them bad, and some of them bittersweet.

The good. In the beginning of January, I flew to California to spend a week with my writing tribe: Josie Brown, Eileen Goudge, Francine LaSala, Samantha Stroh Bailey, Jen Tucker, and Julie Valerie (see pics below). I call them my writing tribe because we are a group of seven authors (“the Beach Babes”), but the friendships we share are about way more than our professional successes. We are friends, almost sisters, in the truest sense of the word. I feel so comfortable around these women, just being me, because they truly “get” me and, not only do they accept me for who I am, they adore me. I don’t have to try to be their friend. I don’t have to worry about saying the right things and when I say the wrong ones, they always know the sentiment came from a good place. I’m simply myself and it’s amazing—the way it should be. The trip came at the perfect time as I’d just said goodbye to another friendship (the “bittersweet”) and even though I knew it was for the best, I was struggling with self-doubt. This person lashed out at me for being unsupportive and selfish. I’d never been in a position before where my friendship skills had been questioned, and even though my version of the facts didn’t match hers (and she ignored my suggestion to talk about it), I was stung by the accusation. The Beach Babes reminded me of the value I add to all their lives and reassured me of the kind of friend/person I am and have always been. As hard as it is for me to let go of the past, I wasn’t happy in the present for a very long time. I spent way more time stressing, walking on egg shells, and trying to say the right things than I did having fun, feeling supported, being kind to, and simply put, “being liked.” At the very least, friends should like and be kind to each other, right? I consider myself lucky to have plenty of people in my life who truly enjoy and seek out my company, who take interest in my life as well as appreciate the attention I give to theirs, who don’t let the opinions of others sway their feelings for me, and who see the good in me while accepting my imperfections. Those are the relationships I should nurture and so I am. I’ve been spending time with some old friends I didn’t see nearly as much as I should have over the last few years and I’ve made a lot of new friends as well. I’ve signed up for two writer’s conferences this year, attended several really fun events for book nerds like myself (see pics below of R.L. Stine and Judy Blume), and I’m more comfortable, authentic, and content in my personal life than I’ve been in a very long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “I’m not ugly” – With a small part of my social calendar now open, I’d really like to fill it with a healthy, happy, mutually satisfying committed romantic relationship. My luck with men has been so bad lately, it’s getting kind of ridiculous, but I keep trying. I met someone in early January and I thought we hit it off. We texted while I was in California, and when I got home, made a date to go out again. He got sick and we rescheduled. He said he was still sick. I told him to let me know when he was feeling better, he said he would (and assured me he was not giving me the gentle blow-off—yes, I asked! I’ve been at this too long to play games) and then…radio silence. Since I’d already initiated contact several times, I cut my losses and moved on. I’d only met the guy once, but I was hopeful—not for our future nuptials, obviously—but for a second date. I’ve been on two other dates where we laughed, talked, seemed to share a physical attraction, and then crickets. I had nothing vested in either of them, but can’t help but wonder why they didn’t want to go out again. They obviously liked my profile and pictures (yes, both were online) enough to meet in person, my photos are current and I was my charming and engaging (and humble…) self when we met so…what? Is it me or is it them and what they’re looking for? I remember the days when my second date ratio was pretty much 100%, so to find myself a one-date-wonder now is disheartening and giving me a complex. I actually had to ask a third party if I looked like my pictures because I was afraid I was uglier in person. I’m not ugly!! Ugh. The struggle out there is real, people, but I’m not giving up. I will write my own happily-ever-after eventually.

And then there’s the bad. I’ve never had a very sensitive stomach. Sure, I got a belly ache if I ate too much. I’ve been hungover to the point of major puke-fests, and I’ve experienced food poisoning two or three times. But basically, I’ve eaten whatever I wanted without issue. This all changed last July. I know it was after Independence Day because I had gone away with some friends and ate and drank like it was a religious experience. But shortly after, I became bloated to the point of acute discomfort. I couldn’t sit at work for more than a few minutes before needing to get up and walk around. During lunch, I’d find an empty office and sit cross-legged on the floor while eating because it was the only position remotely comfortable. The bloat led to back pain and I did yoga poses, but there was no relief. In the shower, I would bend over and feel like I needed to push a brick out of my stomach. I was in pain literally every waking minute of my day aside from when I was exercising or sleeping. I got full after only a few bites and found myself losing weight, something I didn’t consider a positive since I wasn’t trying and my clothes were falling off. I was so afraid. What if I had stomach or pancreatic cancer? People thought I was overreacting, but who wouldn’t under the circumstances? I went to a few doctors and had tests done—CT scan of stomach and pelvis, stool sample (just…gross!), and cervical/PAP exam. Everything was fine. After discussing my symptoms and eating habits with my GI doctor, she suggested I try the Low Fodmap Diet because it seemed like I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (“IBS”). I’d always thought IBS was about constipation or diarrhea, which I experienced occasionally, but I had no idea that acute bloat, cramping, and even lower back pain were common even with normal bowel movements. (Sorry for the TMI…) Still, I was grateful it wasn’t life threatening, thanked my doctor, and told her I would try the diet. I won’t bore you with too many details, but it’s a diet that eliminates certain categories of foods that trigger the pain and discomfort of IBS (lactose, fructose, and wheat flour are some of them). The idea is to remove these triggers, reset your body until you have significant relief, and then reintroduce each category one at a time to see what sets off your pain. It is a long and lonely process, and one I’m still working my way through. I’ve failed several of the tests so far, which does not bode well for my future eating options. I joined a Facebook support group with a coach who walks us through the testing and provides us a forum to commiserate. The good news is that when I follow the diet, I feel so much better. I haven’t felt 100% since I’ve been afflicted by this condition, but on a good day, I’m 85%. Today is a good day!

But although this condition isn’t life threatening, it’s been life changing for me. I’ve always considered myself a foodie. I live to eat. My social life has always revolved around going out to restaurants, which since I’ve been on this diet, has caused me so much stress. What used to be a no-brainer fun night out can often be depressing, and I worry about annoying my dining mates with my dietary restrictions. I’m often hesitant to instigate plans out of fear that wherever we go will require me to go off the diet. I can’t share small plates and appetizers with the ease I used to, and I need to first check a menu has something on it that I can eat before I confirm plans. My friends have been great about it. They say they are with me for the company and so wherever we eat is fine, but it makes me feel very high maintenance (something I’ve never been, at least with respect to going out) and sad to know that I will probably never be able to enjoy food the same way unless I want to suffer for days afterward. The condition appeared so suddenly and I hoped someday it would disappear just as fast. Sadly, I was informed there is no real cure for IBS and it’s a chronic condition that doesn’t go away. I try to be thankful it wasn’t worse, but I feel as if I’m mourning a life that no longer exists.

To end on a bright note, I’m scheduled to do a reading/signing in Connecticut on March 23rd and the lineup is amazing. I seriously do not feel worthy to be in the same event as Jamie Brenner, Lynne Constantine (half of the duo who wrote the bestselling The Last Mrs. Parrish), Fiona Davis and more, but am thrilled with the opportunity. The release of The Boyfriend Swap was probably my most successful to date and with it has come increased sales of my other books—finally. I’m not even close to being able to quit the day job, but a dreamer can dream.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief insight into the private world of Meredith Schorr, but I must get back to writing my next masterpiece!

New Year’s Resolutions—2018

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s been a couple years since I’ve made official New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m inspired to make some goals for the next 365 days. These are goals I hope to accomplish and principles I’ll aspire to abide by, but no pressure and no punishment for failure will be administered.

I hope to complete one novel and make significant progress on another (at minimum). I also want to continue to hone my craft so that each book is better than the last.

I plan to experiment more with cooking. Stomach issues have basically changed my life and made it really frustrating for me to go out to eat—one of my favorite pastimes. I aim to continue to learn more about what ingredients and combinations of food will/won’t trigger discomfort so that eating in restaurants will be fun again. I’d also like to broaden my menu at home. I’ve never enjoyed cooking—eating is much more my style—but I’m proud of how far I’ve come already. Maybe I’ll even host a dinner party in 2018 (but probably not…)

I will attend as many “writerly” events as possible, whether it be book signings, author panels, writers’ conferences, happy hours, etc. I enjoy spending time with other writers so much, so why not do it as often as possible? First up, my annual trip to California with my writing tribe is in less than two weeks!

I vow to nurture my friendships with those people who make me happy, accept me for who I am, and truly add joy to my life. I want the most important people in my life to know how much I love them and am there for them, and I am grateful to have friends and family who are there for me as well.

I do not want to waste time on relationships that require me to work too hard, walk on eggshells, or second-guess my own value/worth.

I will try to let go of the past, meaning I will hold hard to the good memories and try to learn from my mistakes, but also realize that change is inevitable and often meant to be.

I aim to truly open myself up to the possibility of meeting someone to share/spend my life with.

I plan to appreciate the quality time I spend with my family, my parents in particular.

I hope to stress the small stuff a lot less. I am definitely getting better at this one. I think it might be related to my entrance into middle age. Some things do get better with age, and letting go of needless worrying is one of them!

And there you have them. Wish me luck!

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? If so, feel free to share some of them in the comments.

 

Kim vs. the Mean Girl is FREE!!

Happy Sunday!

This is a quickie post to announce the exciting news that KIM VS. THE MEAN GIRL is FREE on Amazon and will remain at that low (can’t get any lower unless I PAID you to buy it) price through Thursday, December 14th.

KIM VS. THE MEAN GIRL is my only contemporary YA novel, but it’s also related to my adult romantic comedy BLOGGER GIRL series in that it features many of the same characters, but in high school—in the fall of 2000! This is before Facebook and smart phones. It’s retro!

For what it’s worth, my parents AND my sister told me this is their favorite of all my books. They said it’s adorable, clever, funny, and charming. My mom also used the word “brilliant.”

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These guys LOVE Kim vs. the Mean Girl!!

You should see for yourself. Did I mention it’s FREE?

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Advice I’d give to my college-aged self

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: “Youth is wasted on the young.” I often wish I could go back to my days as a college student at Suny Albany with the knowledge I have now and live those four years again. But what would I do differently?

Major

What I’d change: I didn’t discover my passion for writing until I was in my thirties. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I “grew up,” but it wasn’t a writer. I majored in criminal justice with a minor in sociology. Armed with the knowledge I have now, I’d go back and major in English with a minor in communications or journalism.

Why I wouldn’t: My interest in the law resulted in my career as a paralegal. Even though it’s not my passion, I am financially secure because of it. I’m extremely grateful for that. My day job at a law firm also brought people into my life I’d otherwise never have met, in particular my late boss, Alan. Over the course of eighteen years, Alan became my best friend, confidante, mentor, cheerleader, therapist, and comic relief. The thought of beginning my writing career right out of college and never experiencing a friendship I consider one of my greatest accomplishments makes my heart hurt. If given the chance to go back, I’d still sit through lectures in criminal justice if only to ensure I’d meet Alan again.

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My late, great best friend and boss of almost two-decades. I miss him every day!

Work
What I’d change: I didn’t come from a wealthy family. Most of my college tuition was paid for with financial aid. (For a lot of people, student loan debt is a big issue. Refinancing your student loans through a company like Earnest can be a great resource for graduates who didn’t get as much financial aid. Check out more information here.) I also worked summers as a camp counselor and was fortunate to have a small allowance from my grandmother for my spending money during the school year. Despite having to stretch every dollar as far as I could, it never occurred to me to get a job during the year. I wasn’t prepared to balance my school work, my social life, and a part-time job. In hindsight, I don’t know how I didn’t starve. Two of my roommates had jobs at the campus bookstore. If I went back in time, I’d try to get a job there, as well. I could spend hours at a bookstore. To get paid would be the chocolate sprinkles on my ice cream cone!

Why I wouldn’t: The fact that my impoverished self was able to manage financially without a job is something of a miracle. The post-graduate version has been working continuously since she was twenty-three, and retirement is about two decades away. Knowing there would be forty-plus years of work in my future, I’d probably skip the job again and enjoy the freedom while I had a chance!

Romance:

What I’d change: I never considered using college to get my M.R.S., i.e. to find a husband. I was way too young to think of getting married. I didn’t even have serious relationships in college. I’ve had them since, but none of them have led to marriage. I often wish I had spent less time partying in college and more time making meaningful connections with the opposite sex. Maybe I’d be married now with a house full of children (or an empty nester by now). If I could go back, I’d be more aware of how much harder it becomes to meet attractive, interesting, smart, kind, and available men as you get older.

Why I wouldn’t: While I sometimes give myself a hard time over the romantic choices I made in my younger days to explain my single status today, if I fell in love at university, I doubt we’d still be a good match today. I’ve changed so much since college—my priorities, interests, etc. I don’t think I was ready back then. Besides, I spent those years making countless memories with my four best girlfriends—Jesse, Laurie, Christine, and Gina. We’re still friends today, and I wouldn’t give up any of my time with them.

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In closing, I’ve shocked myself with this post because I’ve realized that if given the chance to go back to college, I probably wouldn’t do things much differently the second time around. For sure, I’d drink a little less, study a bit more, have more confidence in myself, and not worry about the minutiae. But it’s comforting to discover that the eighteen-to-twenty-two year old version of Meredith Schorr would make the forty-something version very proud simply by following her heart.

weekend musings

After two different people told me this week how much they enjoyed reading my blog posts, particularly the more personal ones, I knew what I had to do—write a blog post, obviously!

The weather is sort of crappy today, but it didn’t bother me because I had obligations that kept me from enjoying the outdoors anyway. After a morning excursion to the gym, I spent several hours working on my eighth novel, the third installment of my Blogger Girl series. Now I’m doing laundry while I simultaneously write this blog.

Let’s continue where we left off last time. I’m convinced that online dating is not the way to go for me. I haven’t had any desire to meet the various men who have reached out to me. The one guy I was corresponding with before my vacation to Barbados disappeared before we could set up a date. The fact that I wasn’t at all surprised or disappointed spoke volumes as to my actual interest. The truth is, I’m incapable of getting excited about someone until we meet face-to-face and until that happens, I have nothing vested.

Since I brought up Barbados, let’s change direction, shall we? I spent six days there with five of my girlfriends over Memorial Day and it was wonderful! It was my third time there because it’s a triple threat—aside from an occasional brief thunderstorm, the weather is amazing; the seafood is fresh and delicious, and the people are super friendly. Rest, relaxation, cocktails in the pool, amazing food, and time with my besties? Yes please.

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I didn’t want to come home, but I softened the blow by taking a few extra days off from work. I caught up on the writing I didn’t do in Barbados, met up with the president of my publishing company, Henery Press, who was in town for the Book Expo America conference, and attended a cousin’s wedding with my family. I also got home just in time to watch the newly streaming third season of Bloodline. Anyone else watching it?

Back to dating. One of my author friends wants to set me up with someone—her friend’s friend. Apparently, he was very excited to get in touch with me. I gave my friend the go-ahead and haven’t heard a peep yet—shocker. Again, nothing vested. I’m also strapped for time right now due to writing obligations so it’s best not to go out of my way to add things to my social schedule. Which brings me to deadlines!

I have until September 1st to deliver my next book to my editor. I’m heading toward the end of my first draft and gave myself a self-imposed deadline of August 1st to finish. I already sent the first two hundred pages to my beta readers to give them a head start. I’m nervous because summertime always brings more social outings and I hate to miss out on excursions with my friends. I’m already stressed out about the plans I’ve made so far. My oldest sister is also visiting from Denver in late July and my close friend from Seattle in August. I need to reserve enough time to write in between my day job and all this fun stuff. On top of that, as much as I love being social, I’m an introvert at heart who is not only very comfortable with alone time, but craves it. I need it to recharge. It’s one of the reasons I’m very selective about who I date. I have very limited free time as it is and I need to enjoy my time with him as much as and hopefully more than my “me” time. That’s my test. Most men don’t make the cut, but I’m confident he’s out there. Maybe I already know him and we just haven’t crossed the line from friends to more yet. Anything is possible!

Before I bid you adieu, heads up that I will be announcing the title of my next stand-alone romantic comedy in my next blog, shortly after July 4th. I am more excited about this new release than any of my others so far. (Although I probably always say that.) Maybe I’ll also share my pictures from the mini-break I’m taking to the vineyards in Connecticut over the holiday.

Finally, my contemporary young adult novel, Kim vs. the Mean Girl, is currently on sale for $0.99 cents. If you haven’t picked it up yet, this would be a good time to get it
cheap. It’s a great read  🙂

Happy Release day! Kim vs. the Mean Girl

I’m thrilled to announce that my debut contemporary young adult novel, Kim vs. the Mean Girl, is now available!

Kindle (Paperback should be up any minute now…)

Nook

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High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?

Kim vs. the Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, set in 2000, but is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series. Told in the dual perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan), and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

Although the characters were plucked off the pages of my adult Blogger Girl series, the new book can be read as a standalone as well. I recommend to both fans of the adult books and readers of humorous and clean contemporary young adult fiction like Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian, Julie Buxbaum, and Rainbow Rowell. I consider this book a cross between The Carrie Diaries and Mean Girls with a little bit of Girl Meets World thrown in. It’s more Gilmore Girls than Gossip Girl.

I had a blast writing this book and hope my passion for the characters shines through in the pages. Stay tuned for future posts on my casting choices should Kim vs. the Mean Girl be made into a movie 🙂

I gasped in horror as I rummaged through my memory, trying to remember what I’d written down and which of my innermost thoughts Hannah might divulge to my entire class. I pressed my eyes shut and prayed she’d choose one of the lame, off-the-cuff comments I made about my parents and not … please not … something about Jonathan. Oh, God, I wrote about Jonathan in my diary—a lot—never ever intending for anyone to read it. The whole point of a diary was to journal private, personal musings. But as surely as I was the smallest girl in our class, my thoughts were about to be the opposite of secret.

I dared to turn my head a fraction so I could see what Jonathan was doing. He was staring at Hannah, his lips parted as if to speak, but he didn’t say a word.

I leaned forward in my chair, paralyzed. I knew I should stop her—stand up, say something—but I couldn’t will my legs to move or my mouth to open. And so, like a person who steps onto the tracks as a train is approaching, I prepared for impact. Maybe she’d show me some mercy and keep the Jonathan stuff between us. Even Hannah couldn’t be that cruel. Could she?