1. The only acceptable mess to have in your home is a neat stack of books. Or articles. Or magazines. Actually, almost every surface in your home should be jam-packed — but not overflowing — with reading material.

2. Life is often contradictory. ACTUALLY the only acceptable mess is in your junk drawer. You know that drawer I mean. Every home needs one — the catchall spot for miscellaneous odds and ends that you will need…someday.

3. Life isn’t fair.

4. Life is basically all a competition.

5. …soooo never, ever show favoritism among your siblings. Or parents. Or children. Especially your children. …

Inspired by Jaime’s blog post on phone notes, here’s an exploration of the photos currently kept on my phone. I wonder what it will reveal?

Yesterday — Paper hand turkey. First pic is of my roommate’s turkey, second is mine. Texted it to my sister earlier to brag. Really proud of how they turned out — much more artistic than I remember my hand turkeys being when I was a kid. Who knew you could take a juvenile concept and turn it into something really artistic? Also rather proud of how I inspired my roommates to get crafty. …


I can’t do this. it’s too much. why is college so hard? it shouldn’t be this hard. I OBJECT!!! ugh, but probably the problem is me. but really, I can’t manage that giant essay. and then the essay due two days after that. and then the project after that which my prof has given really vague directions on so clearly it’s all his fault and how on EARTH am I going to manage that I can’t it’s a research paper I absolutely suck at those there’s no way I can


if I don’t do homework tonight tomorrow is going to be soooooo hard because I will have way too much writing to do but I will try to be really productive and ultimately fail and probably if I’m not going to study I should at least go to sleep but if I do that then tomorrow will be here in like approximately three seconds and I don’t want it to be tomorrow but I know I should sleep BUT NETFLIX ugh man my sleep schedule is so bad why don’t you take better care of yourself? you never sleep enough you should really just go to bed…

I didn’t really believe my sister when she said something vague about how commuting to school on foot/by bike would be a valuable experience. At least, I didn’t really believe it to the degree she rapturized.

But after two months of tramping around my small college town, completely car-less, here’s a summary of how awesome it’s been. Don’t worry; while I might subtly try to convince you to try it, I’m not going to bore you with the usual talking points about saving the environment…

Cute houses. At the risk of sounding like a total ditz… my favorite thing about urban areas is sightseeing among the one-hundred-year-old cottage-y houses. Probably because I grew up in a suburb where almost every house (except in downtown) was either new (boooo) or 70s ranch-style (blah). So one of my favorite things about walking around Newberg is seeing all of the cute old houses, wondering how big they are inside, keeping a mental ranking, and changing my mind on which I want to buy. Older areas of Newberg actually remind me a lot of older areas of Portland — except there’s the perk that you don’t have to live in Portland. …

And yes, I’m writing this as a junior. Am I a college expert? No. Do I know what I will regret not having done in college? No.

But what I DO have is a fabulous college bucket list with my friend! And unlike bucket lists I’ve written in the past, we’re actually checking things off the list, which makes me feel greatly accomplished. Possibly more accomplished than any homework assignment I’ve completed this year…

This is the part where I stop and have an artistic crisis, trying to think of a creative name for that list. “Bucket lists” are so called because they include things you want to accomplish before you kick the bucket (old people’s phrase for “die”). So would the college version be…a walk list? A diploma list? …

Greetings, incoming students! Welcome to Collegic Park. Please read below for the descriptions of the various wildlife species you might encounter today as you drive around the park. Remember to keep your hands inside your vehicle at all times, as some specimens can be quite savage.

Homo Artistaprof

General description: Homo artistaprof are a surprisingly advanced species, using complicated tools such as machinery and computer programs that you might not expect a species of their hunting habits to use.

Females: Shy and so difficult to spot that you will wonder if there are any.

Males: Not shy at all, will casually saunter up to you in their native habitat, the art lab, and watch over your shoulder as you work. Can be quiet about offering feedback, but when fed with questions, will become quite friendly. …

(Welcome to a crazy, confused debate inside my head…)

STORYTIME: So the other day I was sitting in my social media class listening to my prof rant about how we (students) need to take social media seriously as a responsibility. As in, don’t live inside an echo chamber. Fact-check things before you retweet and like them and pass them on. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, fake news spreads like wildfire online — see this story of a mentally disturbed person taking a gun to a pizza shop to find the pedophiles supposedly hidden in the basement — a conspiracy theory he learned about online. …

Ok, so last time I talked about the beginning, characters, setting, and dialogue. But I still have a lot more thoughts, especially about plots because that’s my personal favorite — a fabulous, super complicated, surprising plot is what I LIVE FOR in novels. So…brace yourself, I guess.


· Does the narrator’s voice sound authentic? Usually, people talking inside their heads don’t speak formally. Does the dialogue sound realistic? Is there clumsy wording that people wouldn’t use IRL out loud?

· SHOW the reader, don’t tell. I’m not a five-year-old — please don’t spoon-feed me information. This means you should be revealing who characters are and their motivations through description of action, not by telling the reader exactly what the character is thinking. …

So the question is, how do you get published? Here are some things to think about when drafting and revising your masterpiece. Or at least, this is what I think about when I evaluate manuscripts:


· The beginning is super duper important!!! Is the opening line memorable/make a splash? Think about it — even if you’ve never read Jane Austen, you’ve probably heard her famous opening line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

· Does the first chapter grab the reader? …

So you want to get published. You have a fabulous manuscript beautifully typed up and you’re about to submit it to a publishing house. But you wonder — is there some handy-dandy list somewhere of how not to do this?

Well, after interning for a publisher over the summer, I decided to create that list. That’s right — the first test your manuscript will have to undergo is getting approval from some unpaid, poor, hungry intern typing on an old laptop somewhere hundreds of miles away from the publisher. That’s how publishers screen through the hundreds and thousands of manuscripts they receive — using college students. Not millennials anymore — Gen Z. …


Genevieve Wolf

Writing a blog for a class…it’s going to be an adventure! Follow me on Twitter @ggracewolf or send me a note: gwolf18@georgefox.edu.

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