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I was thinking of starting this blog post with the ol’ …holy crap I haven’t blogged in three months and this is what I’ve been doing and isn’t it interesting and here are some links for you to click on and AHHHHHHHHH!
That would be as bad as me asking a co-worker in the elevator how their weekend was, followed by us dying of the most boring conversation ever.
Oh wait…I AM going to tell you how my weekend was, because it’s pertinent, highly pertinent!
It starts with a vision of how I’ll be in Paris in 2013, and ends with me shedding a single manly tear, because I never take the time to appreciate the city that’s influenced so much of my writing.
And that leads me to my Toronto List. This is not exactly a bucket list and I’m not exactly a large-foreheaded man with a crazy smile who starred in a movie called “The Bucket List.” This is about a woman who spent so many hours inside a Starbucks WRITING about the Toronto she used to experience, she kind of got too busy to stop and enjoy it in the last year or so.
And so, armed with two BFFs and a pair of ear muffs (it was cold outside), off we went!
First we needed to have breakfast at one of the best (if not best) breakfast places in Toronto. I had been here once before, but only this weekend did I realize it was voted the best breakfast place in Toronto. It’s called Auntie and Uncle’s, and boy does it give you that down-home feeling. I loved the vintage feeling of old signs on the wall, but what I loved even more were the oatmeal and banana pancakes which are the best pancakes I’ve ever had in my life! You must go.
I just remembered the coffee place we went to before breakfast (this is what happens when I write my blog posts on the fly, it’s like a real conversation..what fun!). This place was called “Manic Coffee and Gelato,” and it was so NOT a Starbucks! They make a mean cappuccino and people play intense chess at the back table. I think the guy with the beard was winning.
Another thing I’ve always wanted to do was ride a streetcar to a bunch of different places. I know that sounds weird, but I always take the subway underground, so going off the beaten path and taking an above-ground streetcar was an adventure! What I learned from that adventure is that crazy people have crazy-loud conversations on their cellphones. Like YELLING conversations about paying child support to your various bastard children and about how can this chick not afford to buy a couch with her welfare check?! Couches are not that expensive. And some instances of “DAMNNN girl” thrown in. I guess this is the difference between not having cell phone reception on a subway, and…madness .
After that we headed to the famous Christmas Market in Toronto’s Distillery District. I hadn’t been here in the longest time, and had never before seen the Christmas Market. This place is full of old-school charm which makes me happy, and it’s one of the few big areas where no cars are allowed. My highlights here were riding a ferris wheel as a grown up, singing along as Toronto tried to break the world record for most people caroling at once (if I figure out how to post the video on WordPress I’ll add it here), and trying what was voted Toronto’s best hot chocolate at Soma Chocolate (it was divine!). There was also a big outdoor beer garden with outdoor couches and fire bowls, the perfect place to snuggle up with a first date (or a fiftieth date if you’re trying to re-kindle the flame, everyone has different needs).
After that my most awesome friend cooked a bunch of us girls a fabulous dinner, and with our bellies full of fat we did the most magical Canadian thing of all…
…We went ice-skating!
I’d been ice-skating at city hall before, but never at the Harbourfront Centre by the water, so this was a new experience for me. I was starting to catch a cold that day, but it didn’t matter, because as soon as I got on the ice I felt like an Indian kid discovering ice for the first time…what magic! I wasn’t that great, but I didn’t wipe out even once, and sometimes I skated at speeds that scared the hell out of me; it’s good to get scared sometimes.
Speaking of being scared, my intentions on appreciating Toronto in the present have a lot to do with how huge and crazy my dreams for the future really are. YES, I want to go to Paris in 2013 for some undetermined amount of time, and YES I need to keep writing new things to be challenged. When I thought about that, I realized I hadn’t written anything since “Last-Minute Love” came out, and that made me feel uncomfortably…comfortable. I got so caught up in promoting the book and the business side of things, that I forgot about spending time writing and wondering if it’ll turn out as crap and did I waste all this time and what if nothing I write is ever funny again and ahhhhhhh….I LOVE that fear! I sort of lost my connection with that when I focused on being “finished” with a project, but now that I’m coming up to 5,000 sales (around 4,900 now…can I round up?) I realize that this milestone means something. It means that I’m a writer for LIFE. I mean last December I was celebrating 1,000 sales, so coming up on 5,000 a year later is a big deal for little ol’ self-published me.
But I’m not ready to make myself a cocktail and bask in it. I’m ready to be proud of myself and forge ahead, to the next thing that people will secretly laugh at when they realize it’s my dream:
-I’m adapting “Year of the Chick” into a screenplay
People always told me the first book felt like a movie, and now I’m going to see if that’s right. Even though I wrote a screenplay last year and it advanced in several contests, I’m still a real novice, but will that stop me? NO! I say this out-loud to myself, whenever I think about how all the big publishers rejected me, and now I’ve reached almost 5,000 sales on my own. It was just as impossible a goal, so this is my next impossible goal. Once I get feedback on my screenplay and edit it, I’m going to submit it to The Black List, where your screenplay gets rated for potential reading by one (or a few) of the 1,000 industry professionals that use the site. Even though the average rating is 5.23 out of 10, and even though every website and every screenwriting guru and every successful screenwriter and every other hopeful will temper your enthusiasm with the cold hard facts that you’ll probably never make it…that’s okay. There’s a certain part of being a dreamer where you take in all that info and all the realism, but you STILL practice your Golden Globe award speech in the shower with the shampoo bottle playing the part of the trophy. That’s really strange for me since my shampoo bottle is round and doesn’t look like an Oscar or Golden Globe, but I have a pretty good imagination (and now you know what shampoo I use…why don’t I just give you my address and phone number too?). I guess what I’m trying to say is…if you never take the time to imagine your impossible dreams, you’ll only ever get what you already have.
And I’m not a 5.23 out of 10.
So do the hard work and learn all the rules, but remember to make the most of your time in the shower (feel free to interpret that in the usual gross ways).
Keep smiling and keep making people feel uncomfortable by pretending you’re the first all-female pairs figure skating team in the Olympics….see you in 2013!
Romi, I am so proud of you and who you have become. It’s funny though … you haven’t really changed. You still send me friendly messages, you still write in your cute not so girly (yet super-girly) satire and you even made a MOVEMBER donation to me. What I mean by “who you have become” is your level of success. You have come a long way. I always knew you were a talented writer. I was a fan from the first time Paul introduced me to your page. Although my writing has halted I truly admire where yours has gone. I am proud of your achievements and accolades. I will always be a fan of your writing and of you. Cheers Romi! Good luck for the upcoming year… I sense an interesting one.
Justin….this is one of the sweetest, nicest, most encouraging, smile-creating and best comments I’ve ever received. I don’t want to ruin it by saying too much more, but thank you! :-)
Good luck conquering Hollywood, Romi! If any hot, talented, intelligent chick can do it….
I can’t believe you’re living in TO! You’re one-and-a-half hours away from The Hook! TO is lucky to have you; you’ll really class up the joint!
I think you should launch a campaign to get yourself booked on The Steven and Chris show. Then, once they have fallen in love with you – and they will – you can mention a certain bellman/blogger and how incredibly talented and cool he is!
Sound like a plan?
Thanks for the unwavering faith in me! We’ll see what happens!