By MBPDLPayday Loans

Category: The Moxie Chronicles.

Nov 16

{Surprise!}

Let me just start by saying, Hello, loves. I’ve missed you. We’re back from vacation, and there’s all kinds of deliriously great things happening over in this household, and I have all sorts of fun nuggets to pass along now that we’re in a full-blown ascent to the holidays.

But. Your regularly scheduled broadcast is being interrupted today because I, ladies and gents, have a trump card to play. :) Ready?

I have this fun new game, wherein I try to find new earmarks for the progress I see in My Life. It’s an excellent little passtime, and gives me lots of things to think about aside from what I should be focusing on– like that dang novel I only have 14 more days to complete.

But just try to imagine it. For example: My Life in Coffee. 15 years old: “I hate coffee.” 20 years old: “Oh, this stuff is vile, but hey LOOK! I’m wide awake after one cup! I never need to sleep again!” 22 years old: “I’d like to dedicate this thesis to the pot of coffee I had for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner, every day for the past two months. I need to sleep more than anything else on the planet.” 25 years old: “I gave up coffee because my doctor said something about a bleeding ulcer. Get your mitts off that gallon of tea. That’s MINE!

Or, another classic: My Life in Shoes. 15 years old: “I love my clunky American Eagle hiking boots.” 20 years old: “I love my Italian leather boots with that dangerous stiletto heel.” 22 years old: “I work for a sneaker company, but I’m buying these strappy mary-janes anyway.” 25 years old: “I work from home. I live in my unglamorous UGG slippers.”

This past week, though, at a surprise turn of events, I found myself instead pondering my life– specifically the last five years– against a very different standard.

My Life in Babies.

20 years old: “Kristin keeps talking about having a baby. I think she might be serious. Also, I think I might need to vomit.” 21 years old: “I can barely hold my liquor. I nanny, but I can’t imagine having to worry about a baby. Also, they always need to vomit.” 22 years old: “Kristin was totally freaking serious. Jonas is cute, but she never shoe shops anymore and oh my GOD if I hear one more story about poop…” 23 years old: “… What do you mean you’re going to have your second child? Kristin, my mother just stopped asking me when I’m going to have my first.” 24 years old: “You know what? Maybe my friends having babies isn’t the end of the world.”

That last turn of events caught me completely by surprise. Kristin is uterus-deep in developing her second baby, and as excited as I am for her, she and I are very different pages of our lives right now. So, I understand her pregnancies in terms of how-they-relate-to-her, and why it’s all so exciting. Kristin has always bravely gone forth, into the Great Unknown Domesticated Life. She did things like Marriage and Babies and A Mortgage before I was even down to drinking less than a pot of coffee a day or blowing 80% of my paycheck on my Italian men– Dolce & Gabbana.

And it was all fine and dandy, because you know what? I still had Maxine and Christine. Maxine, Christine and I ran around Pace U our senior year, scheming to graduate with honors and then jump immediately into Taking Over The World. Christine, though the youngest, was always the most mature. Maxine, though the middle child, always seemed like our adorable little baby, who said adorable things like, “I’ve never seen a drive-in movie theater.” and “I’ve never had an American Thanksgiving.” I was nestled there, right in the middle, the nerdy, artsy girl who created all sorts of energy wherever she went– sometimes great, sometimes awful. But, whatever. When I was with them, everything seemed fine because we were each others’ perfect balance.

It’s just what we did. The three of us, apart, were a handful. The three of us together were whole. It was– and is, still– a friendship of legends.

When I first met Maxine, I thought she was horribly down to earth, and also breathy and glamorous. When I first met Christine, I was convinced that she would one day run every single major corporation on the east coast. She said she was going to go to law school, but I knew better. She was going to graduate and Donald Trump was going to call her and make her terribly important the second she had her degree in her hand. Operationally, there was no one who could top her– whether the task at hand was sitting in a third-floor corridor, organizing a project for the Pace Pitch competition last minute or running the sacred Kappa Delta chapter the three of us had so much to do with starting.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love all my girls. But even other sorority sisters would likely agree that Maxine, Christine and I lived in our own little world. {They’d probably also concede that that little world existed somewhere between the laptop cubbies in the Pace Library and the 24 hour reading room, which were the two most frequented places the three of us could be found, giggling manically over our theses, bringing each other coffee and generally making sure that no girl died on her way across that undergraduate stage.}

There was just something about the three of us– something really bulletproof.

Needless to say, I was shocked when Christine told me that she wanted, more than anything, to be a mommy. Married young, with babies!

Babies! Everyone, with the crazy, and the babies. I didn’t think much of it, because when she told me this, we had just gotten out of Bridge to Terabithia, wherein we had both bawled our eyes out. Along with every grown man in that theater. We were at Max Brenner, shoveling chocolate into our faces to alleviate all the sadness, and she just knocked me right off my chair, our of left field with that reveal.

But then we grew up. All three of us got Grown Up Jobs {I quit mine, but whatever}. All three of us got Grown Up Boyfriends {Maxine went to Spain to find hers and I ended up agreeing to marry mine, but whatever.}

We work.

We love.

We laugh together whenever we can. We’re still the trifecta of friendship.

So it’s only appropriate that Christine called me when I was upstate with Maxine {visiting my parents, doing our Type-A bests to do nothing but eat and sleep and drink wine in front of the fireplace, snuggled up with my mother’s smelly dog}, and gave us the good news: She’s going to be a mommy!

Now. Hold your applause. I’ll give everyone a second to pick their jaws up off the floor, and run through a quick FAQ for you.

Wha– she’s pregnant?

Yes. She’s pregnant. As in, she and her lovely boyfriend Brandon had one fun romp that will leave them with a lifetime of parental bliss!

You’re sure it’s Christine?

Yes, yes I am certain that it’s Christine. Here, I have pictures to prove to you that I know which Christine I’m talking about.

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… And, wait? … She’s happy?

Yes! The couple is through the roof over this surprise twist of fate. It’s not necessarily the planned-for order that they were going to leap to this step in, but Brandon and Christine were in a serious, committed relationship that was heading down the aisle and over the threshold and into the nursery sooner or later. They hadn’t worked out the fine details of their timeline, but they’re taking this little curveball in stride. Actually… it’s more like they’re prancing over it.

So she’s going to marry this guy? Who the hell is Brandon? None of us even know this guy?

Brandon works with Christine, and gets the Psychotic Best Friend seal of approval from me. He’s doing nothing but showing love and support and giddiness along with our Mama-to-be. They love each other with respect and joy and they are each others’ better halves. He takes damn good care of our girl, and plans to do the same with their little baby :) .

As for their nuptial arrangements… Jury is still out. Christine will keep us posted on whether or not she’s going to let Brandon make a Momma or an Honest Woman of her first. ;) Regardless, know that she’s happy and they’re stable as a couple and she’s in good shape as a baby-carrying-device.

When’s she due?

Late June or early July. I have already nicknamed the baby The Little Junebug. Whenever s/he joins us, I will continue to call him/her that. Even when s/he leaves for his/her first date at the age of 16, s/he will have to deal with me Skyping in to holler after them out the door, “Mind your manners and make good choices, Little Junebug!”

So… we’re excited?

We’re EXCITED! Get EXCITED!

What if this is still a little confusing for me? I mean… Christine?

Yes. Christine. If that’s still confusing, or troubling, give me a call or shoot me an e-mail and I’m happy to fill you in on anything that’s not already in print here. :)

… Fair enough. So, is there like, a sonogram?

Hell yes there is! Who wants to see Christine’s Uterus!?! {I have been informed that it doesn’t look like much of anything yet, but that in a couple weeks, the baby will have a heartbeat and a little more mass to it. As soon as I get further news and photos, I’ll keep you posted.}

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You can keep closer tabs on Tine and The Little Junebug over at Little Baby | Big Surprise.

It might not be what they had planned, but it’s a joyous celebration nonetheless. I hope everyone will join me in congratulating Christine and Brand on their little Bundle-of-Joy-to-be. :)

-MM.

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Nov 10

{Respite.}

Nothing makes me appreciate leaving home more than visiting my parents.

We’re one of those oddly functional families that love each other dearly and do really well living far apart and visiting one another after long absences.

Maxine and I spent a “Weekend” {Sunday- Tuesday, because we have no sense of time} visiting my parents in Upstate. I’ll be home all of 30 hours before James and I head out to Washington DC for our two year anniversary, which happens to be tomorrow.We’ll be gone through Sunday, and I’m putting everything on hold for the long overdue getaway– even my novel.

I broke 20,000 words on Saturday of last week, {Day 7} so I don’t feel much guilt over it. {That and I’ll likely add another 10K today, before James gets home.}

I’ll see you next Tuesday, and next week I promise lots of photos and a summary of NaNoWriMo thus far. Have a safe next-few-days, folks. :)

-MM.

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Nov 04

{NaNoWriMo Writing Station}

I tried my best not to overthink how I was going to navigate NaNoWriMo and all it entails. I did outlines and made goals and stole all the extra Halloween candy and hid it under my desk. I made sure we had enough caffeine to keep me human in the house, and I gave Elephant a lot of snuggles and explained I’d be back to play with her on December 1.

She appeared to understand, though it’s hard to tell when she’s chewing on her own feet.

The only thing missing from the equation was a peaceful work station at which I could spend my days procrastinating. {Hello, Blog!}

With a little help from James and Papa V, a bouquet of amazing You’re a Writer Now! flowers and a guest visit from Elephant… I can officially declare that my work center is my new favorite place in the whole house, and it’s very much a space all my own. Check it out. :)

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Somebody rally the Pulitzer committee. It’s go-time.

-MM.

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Oct 28

{A Day In The Furry Life}

This is my 199th blog post. I know it’s a small milestone, but who would have ever thought I’d have 200 different things to say? Well… my mother, probably. And I’m sure James could have wagered as much. Regardless.

Regardless. Working from home has proven to me one thing, and one thing alone above all others: I am dangerously close to being The Cat Lady. And not in the good way. In the I-dislike-cats-but-still-always-seem-to-have-one-around-me sort of way. Case in point, Elephant is sitting at the open window, arching her  back and growling at the neighbor’s landscapers.

I am pretending that she’s just practicing being scary because she’s a black cat, so Halloween is really her only night to shine. No, but seriously, she’s a total mess.

The beautiful thing, though, about the fact that people read my site {Hi, Dad!} is that I no longer have to be a Cat Lady all by myself. You’re here to be Cat Ladies with me!

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Now, in this one, you must know… Elephant is sound asleep
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And just in case there was every any doubt over whether Moose really is Devil Spawn:
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Hurray for being crazy Cat People! Saturday is post 200, so I had better get to work thinking up something horribly clever to tell you, and Monday starts NaNoWriMo which means posting will probably be cut back to twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and one of those posts will be all about my pain. Or, all about James’ pain as he lives with me, for the first time, when I’m in serious Writing Mode.

Pray for us both.

-MM.

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Oct 26

NaNoWriMo

On Saturday, I wrote about my {Life List}. … Here’s the thing about Blogging. I get to be the edited version of myself. If you can believe it, I’m actually a huge, raging, chaotic mess in real life. Online, I get to be the edited version of myself. I promise, it’s a relief for you guys.

Except, here’s the thing about editing. It takes all the gritty reality out of life, and offers an excellent tool for procrastination: It’s not ready yet… I’m just going to give it one more pass.

I’m starting to catch onto something about being in my mid-20s. I am never going to feel like I’m ready yet. It’s just that simple. I’m never going to be more creative or more confident than I am today if I don’t take steps to that end, especially with my writing, which I quit my high-paying job to do and then let fizzle out, pathetically.

You know what I need? I need a clean slate. I need a kick in the pants. And I need some fire under my ass. I need to stop talking about writing and just start writing.

So, in a moment of either blind stupidity or insane clarity, I registered for National Novel Writing Month {NaNoWriMo}. NaNoWriMo takes place during the month of November, and the idea is to use the 30 days to just write, write, write. It’s not about editing, it’s not about quality, it’s about taking a new idea and just braindumping it into your computer. The goal is to write a novel- 50,000 words- between Nov. 1 at midnight and Nov. 30 at 11:59pm. You can make it pretty in December. You can hone and tweak and scale back or bulk up as much as you’d like after you’re done, but 50,000 original words in the 30-day time-frame is what will win you the NaNoWriMo badge and a boatload of personal satisfaction. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered for me.

My mother laughed when I told her. It’s sort of a running joke that I have zero follow-through power. I get this really great start-up burst of energy, and then somewhere between This is going to be AWESOME! and Wow, look what I did! I totally fizzle out. It’s disappointing, and it’s ugly, and unedited, and it makes me wish I were different.

And you know what? It ends here. Or, it starts to end here. Because, damnit, I wrote on my Life List, in Spot no. 1 that I’ll have my first novel written by the time I turn 25, which happens on December 12 of this year. And, so help me God, I am going to finish this project, on pain of complete public humiliation, because if I don’t sit down and force myself to do this now, I very likely never will.

As a perk, I’ll pull my head out of the horribly-overthought novel I’ve been working on for two years with very little progress, and I’ll have something that I can polish into a writing sample for Graduate School– finally.

And it’ll be a fresh start, which I’ve been craving. Needing.

30 Days. 50,000 words. A new story. My first novel.

November, I am totally going to make you mine. My username is MalloryMurphy and you can track my stats (once it starts) {here}. Wish me luck, cheer me on, hold me accountable. This is it. This is the tipping point for me. All-in!

-MM.

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Oct 23

Life List

From what I can tell, Maggie Mason is the epicenter of the Life List world. I think it started {here} {where she made the list} and then grew into {this} {where she got corporate funding to execute the list} and then, before you knew it, everyone had one, or was making one, or was contemplating one.

I myself started one, and true to Mallory Murphy Form, did not get around to finishing it. I’m only 24, though. I have lots of time to add on, right? This is what the list looked like when I left off:

Mallory Murphy’s Life List:

1. Write my first novel by the time I turn 25.

2. Have lunch with Nora Ephron.

3. Have lunch with Kyran Pittman.

4. Be able to go up on pointe {ballet}.

5. Live in California for a year.

6. Live in France for a year.

7. Get a doctorate.

8. Build a legacy that sustains itself.

9. Write a comic. {Left general on purpose.}

I know. It’s nothing I couldn’t have complete in the next ten years if I play my cards right, but it’s a start, if nothing else. I’m putting it in writing so I don’t wimp out. I figure, it’s time to refocus my life a little, right? Right. And what better place to start than with the goals I’ve been carrying around with me, half-complete, for the past ten months?

There isn’t a better place to start. That’s the answer.

That’s the next step.

-MM.

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Oct 14

Comic Relief

I’m having a hard time.

I’m having a hard time lately because I seem to have accidentally wandered down the wrong path, educationally, and professionally. Or… Maybe not.

Regardless, I can tell you this much. My life needed an infusion of two things: Academia better-suited for me, and more delight.

I wrote last week about The Return of the Dapper Men, the trailer for which I encourage you to watch:

I attended the New York Comic Convention this past weekend… Now! I have to admit that this all started because of a half-dazed, conversation at the end Saturday that I had with Dapper Men artist Janet K Lee. She’s fabulous for a thousand reasons, but her take on comics and all they have to offer… It started me thinking: Comics has it all.

Stop laughing. I’m right, and I’ll tell you why. I love, above all else, good story-telling. Say what you’d like about the fans at ComicCon, these people are dedicated aficionados to a story well-told. And comic books- good comic books- can be absolutely artistically stunning as well as narratively challenging. They’re good stories, and what makes them distinct is their use of both language and art to divulge their plots.

Most people know, but in case it was missed somewhere along the line, I studied Film Theory in Undergrad. Film Theory is all about analyzing the visual components that comprise an image and deriving meaning based on what’s coded in there. Color, perspective, line weights, contrast… the list of things to look at goes on and on and on. And my lifelong love has been wordsmithing- a story captured and woven and immortalized in language.

Comics offer up both – still I admit that at first I was skeptical. There’s such a stigma associated with comics, if you’re peeking in from the outside. And if you don’t know what you’re talking about, it can be intimidating and humbling and disarming, especially if you’re accustomed to feeling secure in your knowledge. I got lucky, because all the people I ask my ridiculous questions to are both patient and kind. But I still find myself self-conscious a lot of the time because, at the end of the day, I don’t know my comic ass from my literal elbow.

Moreover- I have a hard time identifying with characters that aren’t strong, intelligent, independent female protagonists. It might be because my initial bias is toward Marvel, you know, James working there and all. I know from experience that it’s harder to to immerse yourself into a narrative without finding a key character with which to identify. So, a community that it’s hard to break into (for either personal or real hesitations) and no hard incentive characters in contemporary story lines… Why am I even bothering?

The Women of Marvel Panel at NYCC. I woke James up early on Sunday, and ran through the house yelling about being late and missing a train, and skipped my morning coffee all to make it to the only panel I cared about attending: The Women of Marvel. You can find the full write-up via CBR {here}, but there are a couple really key reasons why this panel changed the way I’m approaching comics, and those reasons are Sana Amanat, Colleen Coover, Lauren Sankovitch and Jeanine Schafer {who moderated}. These women are amazingly talented professionals; they’re strong, intelligent, independent women who are each individually and collectively shaping the ways comics are being made. They each hearken from different comic backgrounds- some were immersed in comics their whole lives, some followed in the footsteps of older brothers, warily. Regardless, they add a little something that I, as a reader, tend to find sorely missing… a woman’s touch.

They’re inspiring, across the board. If a comic book was written chronicling their lives, I could stop complaining about the lack of books with strong female leads. Regardless- my big take-away was this:

The missing link in comics is a forum for young, intellectual women with a desire to ‘get into’ comics to break in without feeling like outsiders. Continuity presents a challenge, as does the overwhelming amount of material out there in the market. Nonetheless- Comics have intrigued me, and I want to ‘get in’. With the help of my new friends in comics, my patient fiance and a lot of new reading, I’m going to chronicle that journey here, for your viewing delight.

I haven’t worked out the details regarding what this looks like for Moxie Missives, but I can promise you this: This is not going to become a comics-only blog, and this new installment is not going to be inaccessible for women who have no interest in comics. It’s about good storytelling, and my quest to find it across the media. It’s about art, and language. And everyone who navigates over here can appreciate both those things.

Moxie Missives is changing. That’s what it comes down to. It’s evolving like I’m evolving, and I want this site to remain a snapshot of what my life looks like. Right now, my life looks like the top of my desk: recipes, post-it note messages, movies and comic books.

It’s delightful. And we could all use a little more delight in our lives, right? You’ll like it. I promise.

-MM.

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Oct 12

The Inspired List

I’ve all but stopped doing this until today. Today’s post is a big-deal over at 11Eleven11, and if you’re a bride-to-be or work in the Bridal Community, I invite you to wander on over to the prettier half of my web-life and take a peek at Allison of Engaged and Inspired‘s new brain-product: The Inspired List.

It’s beautiful, and exciting, and built with today’s bride in mind. You can find a direct link to the post {here}.

-MM.

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Oct 07

Family Recipe Family Tree

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Fancy Response Paper {Kate’s Paperie} |  Response Envelopes {Kate’s Paperie} | And, they don’t seem to sell the exact cards I used for the explanatory note, but if I could start all over again, I’d use {these} and {these}, also from {Kate’s Paperie}.

xo -MM.

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Oct 05

Healthier Eatin’

We’re trying something new over here. I’m stepping away, admirably, from my Butter Obsession.

My Irish grandmother is rolling over in her grave somewhere – it’s the first ingredient I realized I loved. I might have been five years old, and Papa Murphy {Dad’s Dad} gave be Italian bread, toasted, with butter. Now, I’ve always loved my carbs, but the salty butter that my Mimi spread across the toast was all I showed interest in licking off the intended breakfast. Mmmm… butter. You taste like home.

That said, James is trying to svelte-up before we walk down the aisle, and I’ve agreed to Change My Buttery Ways and start making him healthier meals, specifically for lunch. Where I’d normally use 5-8 Tablespoons of butter in the following recipe, I scaled way back, to 3. {It tastes just as delicious}.

As we embark on this new adventure– I’ll be chronicling the journey here. It should be super exciting, as long as we don’t die of starvation and/or eat the kittens along the way. Up first, James’ lunch for the next couple days: Lemon Pepper Garlic Chicken Cutlet AWESOMENESS.

Bon Apetit!

-MM.

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