Writing Update

A few weeks ago, I posted on Instagram that I FINALLY finished a manuscript I had been working on for four years. It started out as collection of my blog posts, then it turned into personal essays, and finally into a collection of short stories. After writing personal essays and blog posts for so many years it was a nice change to be removed from the center of the story.

Bringing together stories inspired by my Italian and Portuguese roots, the manuscript is a collection about feminism, family, mental health, and chasing dreams. Each story follows a path to pain and explores the strength required to get to the other side. I know that the word count for this manuscript isn’t enough to land an agent or get it published, but the collection feels finished to me.

Instead of shoving the stories in a drawer to be forgotten forever, I’ve broken them up and started submitting them to magazines and online platforms. Oh, one of the stories was published on Thought Catalog in their LIFE/FICTON section. There are two stories that I want to work on as longer works of fiction – ideally turn them into novels. If I’m honest, the idea seems incredibly jarring. Since finishing my manuscript, I haven’t written or planned out much of anything. All I really feel like doing is going for drives with my husband or grabbing coffee. Thanks to lockdown 2.0 and working from home (which I both understand and am thankful for) I feel a bit awkward when I’m out of the house. The last time I went to The Roost Cafe, I couldn’t figure out where to tap my debit card to pay for the coffee. I got flustered, my face turned red, and the person behind the counter had to show me a few times how to pay.

Stepping out of the cafe with my coffee in hand (and pulling down my mask to breathe in that crisp winter air) made the awkwardness totally worth it though!

The Bride’s Diary – The Bridal Shower

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Words I never thought I would put in a sentence (and actually mean them):

I loved everything about my bridal shower.

Let’s be clear, this is not because I didn’t think we could pull it off, but because I have never been a huge fan of bridal showers. Although I’ve had fun at all of the showers I’ve attended in recent years, I never quite understood the point of them. In fact I’m sure I mentioned once or twice that I didn’t want to have one. They’re A LOT of work, and super time-consuming; especially when your mother and florist are keen on the littlest of details. From making Mad-Hatter hats to cutting the corners of every piece of paper, to flowers and cookies, no detail was left out.

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The theme I chose for my shower was Alice in Wonderland – it’s a book, one of my favourite Disney movies, and after looking on Pinterest I realized that there was so much that could be done with the theme. Over the last year my mom and aunt (who is also my florist) scoured all kinds of stores for the perfect props. With boxes and boxes stacked in the basement I nearly forgot how much was collected until we had to lug it all out again.
After months of planning, collecting, and prepping for the shower I asked my bridal party, mother, and aunt if they could decorate the restaurant without me so that I could see everything put together for the first time. And so they did…

Needless to say I was floored and completely overwhelmed by how nicely everything came together. They created my own version of Wonderland where everything is beautiful and just a little bit weird. As the guests made their way into the restaurant, they were handed their very own hat and asked to play some table games. All of the guests obliged and seemingly enjoyed all of the décor, food, raffles, and games throughout the afternoon. I made my way from table to table to welcome everyone and have a chat or two. I have to admit that I cried. More than once.


When the dessert table opened and everyone was full, I got up to say my thank-yous. Halfway through my written speech, I broke down. I felt such an incredible amount of love and joy in the room that I couldn’t contain myself. All of my family and friends showed up to celebrate Alex and I and the love we have for one another – it left me with a feeling a can’t quite describe. It’s somewhere between undeserving and ridiculously thankful, mixed in with utterly happy and exceedingly overwhelmed.

Thank you again to everyone who attended, to everyone who was there in spirit, and to everyone who helped out. It was a blissful day in Wonderland and I couldn’t be happier.

 

The Bride’s Diary – The Bachelorette

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Another wedding milestone has come and gone. On Saturday my sister hosted my bachelorette party at Lula Lounge in Toronto. My sister struggled with the planning because I’m kind of weird. I don’t like clubs or big groups, I go to bed early and send my spare time in bed reading. I would rather go to the ROM or the AGO then to a busy nightclub. However I highly doubt my best girls would want to spend their evening in a bookstore or library. After intense Googling, my sister found something that we’d all love; something fun but very me.

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We started the evening with dinner and drinks, laughter and drinks, gossip (and did I mention drinks?). The meal was decent but I don’t think you go to Lula Lounge for the food. You go there for the awesome decor, the vibe, and the incredible music. After dinner we headed to the dance floor where we took up an awkwardly large space and danced our hearts out.

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Although we were all pooped by 11 PM I had an amazing time. It’s not often that all of us can get together. We all have hectic lives and most of them have children, so when we do get together we make the most of it. I have an amazing group of women in my life who are super crazy, funny, and down-to-earth. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my bachelorette with anyone else!

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