Monday, March 18, 2013


To be fair, this is my excited face in Iceland, not right now. It looks very similar, except I am in my office and not in front of a snow-covered lava field. My excited face right now is accompanied by no-makeup blotchy skin and frizzy hair so I figured this snowbunny-esque one might be better. It's the day after St. Patrick's Day and despite the fact I stopped early and got plenty of sleep I'm still feeling the effects of an overabundance of alcohol that comes with the celebrating.

But why am I excited?


If I can make it through the next two rounds, I will basically win a literary agent for my book, who will help me flesh out my proposal and pitch it to publishing houses. Basically, it would be a huge step in accomplishing my dream of publishing a book.

My idea: well, basically the idea for this blog. Life advice and foodoir (food memoir) about making it through your 20s in one piece. How to survive the "quarter life crisis" with food, and I don't mean binging on Ben and Jerry's. What to cook for a first date, what to cook when you get laid of from work, homemade ice cream for breakups, the best party hors d'ovres whether you want to host a drunken rager or a classy dinner party like the adult you are, cheap meals when your boyfriend has just broken up with you and you spent your last $10 on emergency wine... with some fun and quirky memoirs from yours truly.

Quirky anecdotes because I am quirky even though that word is SO last season
and SO Zooey Deschanel

Writing a book would be a dream come true. Since the time I learned to read and write I've had a pen in my hand and ideas in my brain. Sadly, my writing has taken a backseat to more "grown-up" things like a job or whatever. To be able to have the opportunity to publish a book? To see my name in print on a hardcover at Barnes & Noble? I would probably faint. And cry. I don't even care if it ends up in the dollar bin in a week (oh please, no though), it would be my greatest accomplishment.

At age 6 I won the annual Jane Yolen Writing Contest at my elementary school for my story about a magical flower the size of a house. I was hand-picked by a famous author to win a prize! My little-kid brain was hooked--I AM GOOD AT THIS! it screamed, and I was a gonner. I filled composition notebooks with stories based on my Lisa Frank stickers (Marky the Unicorn deserved a novel!), Animorphs books (fanfiction much?), and the antics of my friends and fantasies of how our lives would turn out.

At this age I was writing about unicorns

 As I got older I became the star student in English class, and a few amazing English teachers convinced me that this was MY THING, writing. That this is what I should pursue, this is what I should do. As I crossed the stage at graduation I received every writing scholarship they offered, and set out to earn my BFA degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College.

High School graduation

College is where, as most of us do, I really came into my own. I discovered a type of fiction I could write well and loved (Magical Realism) and published a story in the school's literary magazine before becoming fiction editor the next semester. I impressed my professors with my unique style, but also learned how to write nonfiction--memoirs, magazine articles, scholarly papers--and developed a love of that too. My trip to Europe, my two years as a vegetarian, my first apartment--all of these things began to develop my passion for fiction into a fully rounded love of writing, as well as plant the seeds for my sudden love of cooking.

Love of cooking and fashionable aprons

I love writing fiction, but I also love this blog. These past few years, since graduating, this blog has been my saving grace. Despite working in a field that offers little creativity in the written word, I've been able to come here and escape. To put my words out into the world and see what people think. To develop a love of cooking I never knew I had, a love and passion that would save my sanity countless times as I realized your 20s are not always smooth sailing. The opportunity to turn this blog into something physical, a real book that could help or at least empathize with other lost 20-somethings, and share my "secret" to surviving it all by messing up my kitchen?

And on a career note... publishing a book could help me become the writer I've always wanted to be. I know it's not the cure-all for a struggling writer's bank account, and it's likely any advance I'd get would be small, but it would be something. Perhaps enough to pay off a little of this "expensive writing degree" I grumble about paying for so much. Or maybe enough to jump start my dreams of moving to California. Who knows. But it really could change my life, and that is both a terrifying and thrilling idea.

If you're going to be lost, the apple orchard MIGHT just be the best place

What's making me nervous is the fact that I seem to really be the underdog here--my competitors all have HUGE followings on Twitter, as well as their blogs. I love my blog and I love my followers, but I've never gained a very huge following. It's never really been important to me. If I have a few favorite blogs that I regularly interact with, a few blog friends that matter to me, that's what I want. However, that doesn't convince publishers you could hold a book deal. This is where you, my lovely readers, come in.

Please follow me on Twitter if you haven't already, and Like me on Facebook. Simply make yourselves known! It would be a huge help and I'd really appreciate the support! Share anything you feel like sharing, any new eyes to my blog would be appreciated. This could make my dreams come true, and I'm not even begging for Kickstarter handouts ;)

Books behind me = Image of a Writer, yes?

Now, to figure out how to ace the next step of the competition. Wish me luck!! Much love to you all <3

New Here? Want to know more about me? Why not check out my About Me page, 100th Post Favorite Recipes, My Review of Icelandic Cuisine or Bahamian Cuisine, How I Got Over a Really Dumb DumpingThat Time I Got a Cat And Boyfriend in the Same Week, Admitting I Like Fall in the Valley, Posts About My Dad/Grief, How I Lost My Gallbladder (on, My Love of Theater, and the Best Meatballs You'll Ever Eat.


  1. Congrats Ashely! Your concept sounds great and while I'm ahem out of my twenties I'd still read your book. :-)

    1. Hopefully I can make it interesting enough to appeal to a wide audience ;) That's hoping I get through to the next round!


  3. Wooohooo! Good luck girl! Just followed you on Twitter (not sure why I wasn't already!) I will totally buy your book :)

    1. Thanks! :) And let's hope it somehow BECOMES a book, hah.

  4. I just stumbled onto your site and wanted to say good luck!

  5. I'm SOOOO excited for you!!! Let us all know if there's anything we can do to help!

    1. Thanks so much! :) Just the liking and the following is a big help, feel free to share my blog with friends if you want, but I just appreciate the support :)

  6. This is amazing, Ashley!! I'm wishing you all the best :)

    1. Thanks! You totally should have entered, too. I love all your Paleo recipes! Once my leftovers from my last party are out of my fridge I'm seriously going to look into this cutting carbs thingie, I have a bikini to fit into in just a few months...

  7. Huge congrats!!! And good luck!! I recently turned 30, but definitely still feel like I'm in my 20s, so I would totally read!


  8. Where have I been? This is awesome! Congrats and best of luck!!