Tag Archives: grad school

My favorite parts of North Carolina


Sometimes, it takes some time away from a place to truly appreciate what it was and what you enjoyed about it.  When I left Fremont, I longed for the place that I came from, and I still look at it with a nostalgic eye.  When I left Ashland, the nostalgia set in immediately and I looked upon my college years fondly, even though they were mere hours behind me.

But Wilmington, NC–I loathed it while I was there, and for about three years (OMG it’s been 3 years since I finished my Master’s), I couldn’t see why anyone wanted to go back.  I think I hated Wilmington so much because I didn’t like why I was there.  I hated grad school and I didn’t get on well with the people around me.  I felt so different than everyone else–and I really was.  I am Midwestern and fairly conservative (but socially liberal), and I thought they were all a bunch of crazy hippies.  There were maybe 5 students I connected with, and I only made about 4 true friends down there.  And that’s good enough for me.

But now one of my coworkers is on a cross-country road trip, and mentioned on his blog that he was on his way to Wilmington, NC.  I immediately had the urge to tell him where to go.  It was then that I realized a small SMALL part of me missed CERTAIN PARTS of North Carolina.

So to those of you who are going to Wilmington, NC, here are my Midwestern suggestions:

You MUST eat at Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn (on Oleander).  You must big the Big Jerk or the Thai Me Up.  And you must must must try every salsa, especially, the pineapple jalapeno.

Go to the Battleship North Carolina.

Go downtown and walk the streets (mainly Front, Market, and Water).  

Go to the Barbary Coast on Front St. It’s the oldest bar in Wilmington.

If you make your way to Carolina Beach, go to The Fat Pelican. Just walk to the back of the bar and into the cooler and pick whatever beer you want. Pay at the register and then wander around the bar and look at the walls. You’ll ALWAYS find something new. And if you see a black lab, his name is Atta Boy and he loves Cheez-Its.

And if you’re really feeling adventurous, go a little further south to Fort Fisher–old war monument. The trees are gorgeous, and if you look hard enough, you can find the bunker of the Fort Fisher Hermit


Proof that I didn’t hate Wilmington as much as I thought. 🙂



Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Daily Happenings


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On Why I Will Not Publish My Book

Yes.  I wrote a book.  Yes.  You’ve read portions of it on this blog (ahem Jessie Simmons and the first part of my Writing Samples page.

The book is about 288 pages long (I believe including some of the front matter and thesis literature) and it is all about working at the Whirlpool plant in Clyde, Ohio (which I did for 6 summers and on breaks from college), as well as growing up in Northwest Ohio in Sherwood Anderson’s own Winesburg, Ohio.

But I will not publish this book.  I have good reasons for it, too.

I don’t want to.  It’s mine.  I do not have to share it with the world.  I learned from writing it, and I learned from putting it down.  I got what I wanted out of that book, and I do not feel that it should be out in the world.

I’m farking sick of looking at it.  I stared at parts of the damn thing from my sophomore year college at Ashland to the day I turned it in to the graduate school in North Carolina.  Since then, I haven’t even THOUGHT about writing more of it, adding, subtracting, changing it.  I haven’t opened the damn thing.  Time away from writing is a good thing.  It gives you the distance and clarity of mind to edit it later.

Publishing Process?  No.  Don’t understand it.  Don’t want to.  Don’t care.  Publishers?  Agents?  Bunch of bologna if you ask me.

Book tours.  In order to appropriately publish and promote a book, you must do a book tour.  I am not leaving my job.  I love my job.

Privacy.  Now why on God’s green earth would I want the world knowing that much about me?  I’m not even sure I’ve processed it all myself.  So no.  It’s much more telling and intimate than this blog…which is fairly open in my mind.  But I know most of the folks that read my blog, and I’m okay with them knowing things.

“You can’t go home again.” – Thomas Wolfe  I write nonfiction.  The book is a memoir.  I talk about real people and real situations.  And because I am a purist, I refuse to “fake” anything in my writing.  It is all true, and I will not compromise the truth.  It’s all we have to make sense of the world, and our ability to discern between fiction and nonfiction is important.  And the truth is that if I published, there would be a crazy amount of legal crap, I’d have to get a million people to sign off on it, and I would still offend someone.  Thomas Wolfe is right.  You can’t go home once you publish something about your hometown.  Remember October Road?  And his book was fiction!

I love my hometown and I refuse to not be able to go home again.  Until all the people in my book are gone, or until I can get them to promise that they won’t read it, there will be no publishing.

Happy Friday!


Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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My Vice and My Blessing

I hate to hear the phrase, “You can’t do that.”  I’ve hated it since that show on Nickelodeon called, “You Can’t Do That On Television” and I hated it because they did it anyway.  This is not me raging against The Man or anything.  It’s just something that has always affected me in some way or another.

And then LOST came on.  And John Locke hated when someone told him he couldn’t do something.  Multiple episodes featured him chanting, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”

Now, I was never so angry that I yelled it, but it became more of a silent battle.  Let me explain.

When I went to college at Ashland, I was still dating a boy from back home.  He believed I could do anything; we just weren’t a good match.  A few months after breaking up (and I’m not necessarily proud of this), I began dating one of his friends (their friendship had fallen apart upon our break-up) and he was a bit of a…I don’t know what to call him.  He was a good guy, but he didn’t necessarily expect much out of me.  When I wanted to quit college around Christmas time and make my living at Whirlpool, he said, “I didn’t think you’d finish college anyway.”

That did it.  I was finishing college, and I was going to prove him wrong.  And like college kind of makes you do for a lot of things, I outgrew him and had to walk away from our relationship.

Something similar happened in grad school in NC.  I was fairly over it after the first year, and thought that I could make a living doing my own thing up in Ohio.  But the boy I’d left behind in Ohio echoed my previous boyfriend.  When I said, “I’m not sure grad school is for me,” he said, “I never expected you to finish anyway.”

And the thing is that when they said these things, they thought of it a victory for themselves.  They thought, “Yay, she’s coming home.”  “Yay, no more long distance.”  “Yay, we can be together now.”

But they didn’t realize that their doubt in me spurred me to stay where I was and to finish what I started…in terms of school anyway.  I’ve yet to officially “finish” a relationship with marriage and so forth.

Mike knows about this vice, and has tried to leverage it to get me to publish the book I wrote in grad school.  “I knew you wouldn’t publish it.  You wouldn’t be able to if you wanted to,” he says.  But I know he doesn’t believe it.  He doesn’t doubt me one bit.  He believes I can do anything.

In other words, it doesn’t work when he tries to use it.  It just makes me hunker down, intent on not publishing my book.

Wanna know why?  I’ll tell you…tomorrow.


Posted by on June 9, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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An Official Announcement: I Am Coming to Wilmington, NC

It’s official!  Officially I am going to  Wilmington!  I’ve had the travel bug for some time now, and I am still astounded to say that I miss Wilmington.

So when I get off of work on June 30, I am going to drive to Pennsylvania, pick up Mike, put him in the front seat of Delilah, throw his luggage in the back, and start off across Pennsylvania on our 12-hour drive to Wilmington!

And I’m not just excited about Wilmington.  I’m excited about a multitude of things:

Pilot Mountain

1)  The Drive.  I fell in love with the drive to Wilmington and certain parts of the way along with it.  I love the Sheetz in Breezewood, PA, and how all the gas stations sit in a tiny valley where huge roads intersect.  The cigarette tower in Richmond, VA, how dangerously close I come to Washington, DC and all its scary traffic.  I love Pilot Mountain in North Carolina, and the way I can convince myself that I already smell the ocean.   I love being in a car for 12 hours, drinking coffee and eating beef jerky, seeing the number of North Carolina license plates increase.  I love driving 75 mph and throwing my hand out the window to feel the wind rush through my fingers.

2)  Seeing friends.  Scott, Michelle, Harden, Jenny, Carmen, Erica, Amy, Loretta, Erin, Brent, the Stonewalls, Shane, Doug, Nick, St. John, and everyone else (If you want added in, let me know).

3)  FOOD. Flaming Amy’s, Mellow Mushroom, Indochine, gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

4)  Bars.  The Reel Cafe where I knew I loved Mike.  The Blue PostBarbary Coast, The Goat and Compass, Level 5, THE FAT PELICAN!

5)  Beaches.  Getting TAN!  And seeing the ocean.

6)  Driving around in the memories.  I’m so excited.

If you want to get together, please let me know!


Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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