Today marks the official first day of the new season which, as you know, I’m a big fan of for its cooler weather, delicious food and FOOTBALL. That said, it was a rather exciting final few days of summer. I’m glad you all enjoyed my lighthearted post on being scared out of my mind. Stay tuned for the end of that story later on in this post. 😉 First, let’s talk Wisconsin.
Ahhh, Wisconsin. Land of Papa Bender’s Papa (as well as many an uncle, aunt and cousin), cheese and the glorious Green Bay Packers. I was fortunate enough to travel there on business this week, first to Madison with Jill on Wednesday to speak about job happiness in front of the bright minds of the UW-Madison Association for Women in Communications. We had an amazing time talking with these women about our personal experience, as well as hearing from them on the issues and questions that matter most in their own job searches.
The following morning, Jill and I grabbed breakfast at Madison’s Gotham New York Bagel. Honestly, if this place is even one quarter of what a bagel place is like in NYC, I fully understand why New Yorkers love them so much. I chose the whole wheat honey bagel with walnut raisin cream cheese.
On our way back down to Chicago, we arranged for several meetings in Milwaukee, all of which ultimately led us in one way or another to the incredible Milwaukee Public Market.
We arrived at the market early in the morning for a coffee date with Jenn, a good friend and name twin of mine who I met at the agency I originally worked for. Jenn and her husband recently relocated to the Milwaukee area and she suggested the public market would be a great place to grab coffee and gab.
Jenn clearly knows me and my blog well. 😉 This market was filled with vendors of every food and flavor, everything from fresh seafood to fresh guacamole, from gourmet sweets to gourmet herbs and spices. And, of course, there was the coffee.
The Cedarburg Coffee Roastery could best be described as friendly, both in terms of their staff and in terms of their fall-friendly menu, which immediately caught my eye.
Of course, once I saw they had pumpkin lattes, my choice was easy.
Jenn, Jill and I had a great time catching up over our respective hot drinks. It’s always a treat to see her and hear about all the great things happening for her and her husband. She has been and continues to be an immense source of support for me, both professionally and personally.
Shout out to Jenn if you’re reading! I look forward to the next time we meet!
The rest of our morning took us out to Menomonee Falls for a POP! Social Media business meeting. Eventually, we found ourselves back in the city and looking for a spot to meet again, this time for lunch. It wasn’t a tough decision – we found ourselves back at the market! This time, we went for that fresh guacamole I mentioned earlier, found at a vendor called Margarita Paradise.
Both the chips and the guac were outstanding and flavored just right! I also tried the chicken quesadillas, which were made with shredded meat. I liked their consistency much better than the quesadillas I’ve had in the past with chopped chicken. Everything seemed to meld together better, which made for a more cohesive taste. Obviously a good thing with a melted, cheesy quesadilla!
Once we were finished with our lunch, we couldn’t help but walk around the market for a while longer. Ultimately, I found myself indulging my sweet tooth and affinity for fall when I came across…mellowcreme pumpkins!
But Kehr’s Candies didn’t stop there. As you can see in the photo above, they also had gummy sour pumpkins. I snagged a half pound of each, which should hopefully last me
through the weekend a while. Although since I showed them to Bobby, they may see an even quicker end. 😉
The remainder of our afternoon was spent in another great business meeting, in which we met with an awesome design company and discussed ways of potentially partnering in the future. All in all, it was a wonderful day to be in Milwaukee!
Earlier this week I spoke about the fear factor, and how very nervous I was for Bobby to read the first third of my novel. As expected, there was plenty for us to talk about once he was finished.
First of all, I am so glad he felt he was able to be brutally honest with me. In general, he said he felt the writing was great, that he was entertained and was left wanting to read more and learn what happens next. All good things. But there was also a part of him that felt I was staying very surface level, almost as though I was afraid to delve deeper into certain emotions and plot developments.
I knew immediately that he was right.
In previous posts, I’ve touched on the importance of thinking about and, to a certain extent, writing what you know. What I realized after hearing Bobby’s perspective is that I’ve been relying too much on this concept. It’s a very easy way to get words down onto the paper because you are essentially pulling from memories and personal history, but changing them in such a way to best benefit your fictional characters, scenes and settings.
What I’m realizing is that that’s not enough. I need to take more risks and allow myself to create new realities, new memories – I need to not be afraid to write descriptively and passionately on areas that I am not as experienced in, in order to create a better overall experience for my readers. J.K. Rowling (my idol) is not a witch from Hogwarts. Suzanne Collins does not live in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world. George Orwell published 1984 in 1949. You see where I’m going with this.
We talked through ideas on how to bring this to light within the context of what I have already written. It’s by no means going to be easy, but I’m up for the challenge, and I will obviously be keeping you updated along the way!
So though it was not the happy ending I was hoping for (“this is great, no changes necessary, a publisher would eat this up immediately”), it was an honest, real ending to this first part of my journey, and I am happy about that.
Onward and upward!
Hope you are all looking forward to the weekend! Any fun plans on your end?
I’m looking forward to hanging out with a friend and, of course, that other “f” word.
No, not that one, you potty mouths. 😉 This one.