Long Time, No Read…

Is anybody out there? …

I repeat…is anybody out there?

Bueller?

Bueller?

Ha.  It’s been a long, long while, but just wanted to pop in to say heyyyyyyyyyyyyy!  Oh, and to give you the link to an essay I wrote, which was featured on HelloGiggles today.  Hooray!  Very excited about that.

And just so you know, I miss you guys like candy…or candaaaaaaaaay (insert Mandy Moore’s twangy voice.)

I promise I’ll be talking to you soon!

http://hellogiggles.com/ode-long-lost-granny-sweater/#read

xo

Sarah

 

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I’ve Been Working on the Rewrite…

I just wanted to pop in to let you all know that I am working on the final edits of the young adult novel I started last year.  I mentioned I was writing a novel in my New Years Eve post back at the beginning of this year.  I am getting ready to query agents in about a week, so it has been crunch time.  Not to sound pretentious, but I had writers block for about two months straight.  There was a part in the plot that had to be re-written, but I couldn’t figure out the best way to bring it together.  It all started to work its way out once I got over the hump, so I’ve been writing every single chance I can get, which has meant no blog posts.  Sorry about that!  I PROMISE I have a post coming soon (I already started writing it) but I have to crank this novel out first.

Anyway, I thought I’d leave you with a song I have been listening to inspiration while I finish up my novel.  Gotta love Paul Simon.

Listen here to –> 04 Rewrite

The Results Are In…


Here we go!

1. What is your favorite book and why?

This is a hard one, because there are so many books that I love.  I would have to say Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen because I like to think of myself as a Marianne Dashwood, Middlesex by Jeffery Euginides because it takes place in Detroit where I’m from, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte because I could read it over and over and never get tired of it.

2. Favorite place to be? Why? 

My favorite place to be is at The St. Regis in Kauai with Matt at the huge buffet breakfast eating our brains out. <- Pure heaven.

3. Where did you take the picture that’s at the top of your blog?

This picture was taken at my bridal shower given by my BFF Reagan.  It was on a rooftop of an apartment building on the Upper West Side in New York City.

4. What was your favorite acting job? What was your least? 

Hmmm…I think my favorite was when I was in Les Miserables.  I toured in the Broadway National Tour for two years when I was a kid, and I met so many awesome people from it.  Most of them remembered me all these years later, too, and I am friends with them on Facebook!

My least favorite was when I was in an Italian Opera called Tosca, because I had no idea what anyone was saying!

5. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

This is a hard one, considering I am not really a daredevil.  I think the craziest thing I’ve ever done is moving back to New York when I was 23 with only two suitcases and a dream.  Also, anytime I’ve ever put myself out there to be scrutinized and/or rejected, including when I studied musical theater in New York when I was 18, any audition I’ve ever been on, writing a novel, going back to school, and starting this blog!

6. If you could meet the cast of one television show, who would it be? 

Definitely True Blood hands down.  I am obsessed with almost every character on that show, and am in awe of all the incredible acting.

7. If you could look like any person, who would it be?

I would have to say Penelope Cruz, but only in Vicky Christina Barcelona.

8. What is your current most favorite celeb gossip?

I think consistently my favorite celeb gossip is anything to do with Jessica Simpson.  She is the perfect combination of being completely clueless, annoying, yet endearing in some odd way that I can never seem to put my finger on.

9. Which Disney Princess would you be and why? 

I would say I’d like to be any Disney Princess that doesn’t have to give up her old life and family at the end of the movie, but that wouldn’t leave any princesses left to choose from! Has anyone noticed that trend, or is it just me?  All kidding aside, I think I would be Belle, because she looks the most like me (brown hair), she has the most beautiful singing voice out of all the princesses, and she gets to live in an enormous mansion with dishware that talks…Um awesome!

10. If you could play any role in any show on Broadway (musical or not) what would it be? 

Oh, easy!  Elphaba in Wicked so I could belt out “Defying Gravity” at the top of my lungs.  I would also love to play Glinda from Wicked, which would probably suit me more, because she has more quirks and such.

11. If you had the choice to live anywhere on Earth (including low Earth orbit) where would it be and why? 

I would love to live part-time (meaning during the NY winters) in Hawaii.  Why?  Because I think it’s the most beautiful place on earth, and because I never feel prettier than when I’m in Hawaii (incredibly good hair days…)

12. When, and why, did you start this blog? 

I started this blog because I was bored!  I was living in Grenada while Matt was in medical school, and I needed a hobby.  My friend, Reagan, had encouraged me for a while to start a blog, and I finally just went for it.  I had no idea I would get any followers let alone hundreds!!  I would have been happy if one person read it!

13. Who are you? 

Who am I?!  I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.  Just kidding!  Julia Roberts’ words in Notting Hill (which I happen to be watching right now) not mine!  I don’t know how to answer this…I guess see “Who Is This Broad Anyway?”….

14. What is yours and Matt’s favorite hobby to do together? 

Our favorite thing to do is EAT!  We love to go out for dinner, particularly at Rosa Mexicano in the city, and eat our brains out.  We order appetizers, dessert, the works, and sometimes go and see a Broadway show afterward.  We also love to watch Boardwalk Empire and True Blood.  It’s our Sunday night ritual!

15. What are you studying in school? 

I am finishing up a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at The New School.  After speaking to my adviser, she has concluded that I have turned into a writing major.  It was completely unintentional, but I guess I ended up taking a whole bunch of writing courses, because I enjoyed them.

16. How would you commit the perfect crime? Would it be murder? Embezzlement? Or the perfect con? If you could, how would you get away with it?

Haha!  Good question.  Well, anyone that knows me, knows that I would never break the law, because I am way too much of a goody two shoes…but to play along with this…In a fictitious world, I would probably rob a bank…but only if I could get away with it.  Remember that movie called Sugar and Spice, where the good-girl cheerleaders robbed the bank?  Yep, that would be me.

17. What is your favorite food? 

My favorite food is an Italian dish called gnocchi.  I love it served with a rich, meat sauce, and a lot of Parmesan cheese on top.  I also love sugar cookies with frosting, and chocolate chip cookie dough blizzards from Dairy Queen!

18. What are your Kodak Moments from your time as a child on Broadway, your courtship with your husband, and now your time being married… and why? 

Best moment performing: Seeing the huge stages in each city for the first time when I was traveling in Les Miz.  There was always something so magical about seeing where I was going to be performing, before all of the monstrous sets were put up.  Some of those images are engrained in my brain to this day!  Courtship with my husband:  Probably our first two dates, because that was when we fell in love!  Being married:  Our honeymoon, because we finally got to relax for the first time after our wedding…and because we went to Hawaii!

19. If you could talk to anyone in your life that has passed on who would it be?? 

It would be my Grandma Barkoff, because sometimes I feel like she is trying to send me a message, but I don’t know what it is!  Hoping I run into the Long Island Medium some day soon…Here’s hoping…

20. What is your favorite healthy recipe? 

I love turkey chili with low-fat cheddar cheese on top, or banana bread made with apple sauce in place of oil.  Also, see http://pinterest.com/sarah_barkoff/stuff-i-eat/ 

21. Who’s your favorite parent…Mom or me? (asked by my dad…) 

Um, not answering that!

22. Are you curious about any of your readers that you don’t know? 

Yes!!  I am curious about all of you, because most of you (if not all of you) I’ve never met!  I appreciate all of you reading and commenting on my blog though!

23. What is your favorite meal and what celebrity chef would you like to prepare it for you? 

I would love to have Giada De Laurentiis make me some of her Winter Minestrone soup…and then I would ask her how she manages to have such a bangin’ bod when she eats all that pasta.

24. At what point did you know that Matt was the right one for you? 

Hmmm…I knew right away.  Our first date possibly…It was just a feeling…and I hate to sound cliché, but you really do “just know.”

25. What’s your favorite salad or salad dressing? 

My favorite salad is a Build Your Own Salad from Hale and Hearty Soup that consists of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red beans, croutons, and goat cheese, with oil and balsamic vinegar, and sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

26. What do you miss about living in Grenada?

I miss the predictable sunny weather every day, and the fresh fish market.  I’m surprised that I don’t have more to report in terms of missing GND…but I don’t think I’m far enough removed from it yet!

27. What is the most you have ever spent on a pair of shoes and were the shoes worth it?

Well, I love a good sale, so it’s basically against my religion to spend full price on anything!  The most I ever spent on shoes was around $150 on a pair of boots that I purchased in March, knowing I would only get use out of them for maybe another month or month and a half at the most.  They were full priced, but I bought them anyway.  Yes, they were worth it, because I still wear them four years later!

28. What’s your favorite crayon shade? Your favorite dress (and an accompanying picture)? 

My favorite crayon shade is Carnation Pink, because my favorite color is pastel pink.  My favorite dress was of course my wedding gown because, in my opinion, was the most beautiful dress ever and was so me!

With that…we will wrap up the 20 Questions game…uh, 28 questions, really…but who’s counting!  This was fun!!!

~The End.

On Taking Criticism….

So, apparently I have a lot to learn.  For starters, taking criticism.  I have to admit, I have never been good at accepting a sharp critique.  Anyone with me on that?  I could be wrong, but I think you have to be a really strong person to be able to allow someone to give you an honest opinion about something you really care about, and to be able to sincerely accept it with an open mind.  Sure it’s easy to receive judgement on something you could care less about, but when you have truly put your heart and soul into something, and someone doesn’t like it?  Well, it hurts.  It kind of feels like someone is bursting your bubble, or like someone decided to bring around a cloud to rain on your parade.  Now I know how Barbra felt.

Almost like she's saying, "Please, for the love, don't rain on my parade!!!"

Today, I got some critiques back from my classmates in a Writing For Young Adults class at the college I attend online.  I was anticipating the feedback all last weekend, because I knew that early this week I was going to get the verdict from my classmates.  The class is set up to be a workshop environment where each week a new student submits a few chapters from the novel they’re writing, and your fellow classmates honestly critique it.  Now, I probably set myself up for disaster because as some of the feedback started rolling in early Monday, I felt like nothing could bring me down.  I had some positive feedback, where one classmate even compared my writing to Judy Blume (which totally made my life, because I basically love her, and read all of her books growing up.)  I was feeling really confident, and even started fantasizing about the Pulitzer Prize that I might win one day.  Okay, so that’s really awkward, but if I’m honest, I think I did actually wonder at one point what the requirement for a Pulitzer Prize was.  Hello, delusional!

Later this afternoon I cheerfully signed on to the forum for the class to check if anymore feedback had come through on my novel, and BINGO, one new message.  Hooray!  I was extremely excited to receive the rest of my feedback, that would confirm my Pulitzer Prize writing future.  However, much to my chagrin, it was not positive at all, it was downright, devastating.  It was from a classmate, and she criticized everything about my piece.  This b*tch went cray cray on my baby (my novel) and destroyed everything in its path, from my use of parenthesis, to the main character whom she called “dry.”  P.S.  That character was basically modeled after moi, so I was a little offended.

I spent the next hour on the phone with my mother going off about her. I used an array of tactics to cut her down the same way in which she had done to me, (e.g. saying things to the effect of, “Hasn’t she ever heard of a prologue before?!  It’s like she’s never read a freaking book before!  She must read effing Harry Potter!” <–Btdubs, no offense to anyone who like the Potter-inator…I was just angry when I said that, and JK Rowling is amaze.)  So anyway, I basically just went off about it, until even I got sick of hearing myself talk.

After my rant was over, I thought about what I was really upset about.  I was let down.  I had a moment earlier in the week when I had received such positive responses that I felt like nothing could touch me.  My ego was hurt because someone didn’t like my work, and because I had put my full effort into it, she told me her honest opinion, and maybe some of what she said had some truth to it.  I retaliated by cutting her down to make myself feel better, but it didn’t make me feel better, it just made me feel worse.

It made me think of a quote that I once heard that says, “Whatever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.”  The part about congratulating yourself too much, is apparently the part that I need to take note of in the future, and obviously something I need to work on.

Also, something to remember for the next time…

I don’t know if accepting criticism will ever get easier for me, but I do know, I am going to work on it.  Apparently I haven’t exactly taken my own advice.  To those of you who have read, “Stuff I’ve Realized Recently,” well, you all know what I’m talking about.  Perhaps in some ways I really have stopped caring less about what people think since I’ve gotten older…However…

Maybe there are some things, no matter how old you are, what you proclaim to the world in a blog as gospel, or how much you say you don’t care what people think, are always going to sting and trigger something in that little place inside you, until you learn the right way to just Let. It. Go….

The End~