Change It Up Challenge

Change It Up – A Different Kind of Date Night

Before anything else, Happy Easter everyone! I’m grateful for the fact that we all have a Savior, even Jesus Christ, who died and was resurrected so that we might all live again. As we heard today in our stake conference, ‘If it weren’t for Easter, there wouldn’t be a Christmas.’ So very true!

This week’s Change It Up wasn’t originally planned to be such but I think it worked rather well as one, considering that it broke up the routine and helped me get at least a centimeter closer to the kind of person I want to be. Since getting engaged, Matt and I have had very little time (or money) to go out on cool dates like we used to–when we first started dating again after my mission, Matt took me to the zoo, to the State Fair, to art shows, and to all sorts of fun stuff because we had all the time and money in the world. Or so we thought. I mean, we still have a blast together (and better yet, we’re together almost all the time now), but I’ll admit, our dating life has been overtaken by wedding appointments and homework obligations. So this last weekend, I thought we might change it up a bit. We still don’t have a lot of money, but Logan is always offering tons of free activities (especially for students), and this weekend I found the perfect one–an author night sponsored by the Logan Library.

Now, you’d think since I’ve always loved writing and reading that I would have been to scads of author nights and traveled long distances to hear some of my best beloved writers spill their secrets. The truth is that the few times I’ve heard “real” authors speak is through school-sponsored activities, almost always in high school. Additionally, I have lacked motivation to do writing of any kind after my mission, so I was hoping that hearing the passion of other writers might re-awaken my own.

So hand in hand we went to the Logan Library’s Author Night on Friday, to hear a panel of authors which included: Allie Condie (author of Matched), James Dashner (author of the Jimmy Fincher saga), Jessica Day George (author of the Dragon Slippers series), Shannon Hale (author of Goose Girl), and Brandon Mull (author of the Fablehaven series). So basically, five of the most popular young adult authors were all coming together in one location to talk about their writing and do a free book signing. And did I mentioned the event was free?

Matt and I both enjoy writing; Matt’s even written a novel. So we both really enjoyed this panel–the authors were entertaining, witty, and inspiring (without even trying too hard to be). Something I really liked that was said, in response to the question, “How do you get the ideas for your books?” was this: “Just live the life you’ve always wanted to live, and it will go from there.” Sometimes I think that my life is so ordinary that I would have no idea where to even begin a novel. But hearing about these writers’ very ordinary lives (and being incredibly impressed that Shannon Hale, who gave birth to twins not too long ago and has two other children, has not let up on her writing at all), I fet like it was time for me to pick it up again. It was time for me to shut off the voice that tells me I have nothing extraordinary to say and just start writing. Because you know what? Even if it’s not extraordinary writing, it’s still extraordinary that I took the time to do it. And I’ll accept that. For now.

Change It Up Successful? Yes. Both Matt and I had a lovely time doing something non-wedding-related and something that re-sparked the passion for writing in both of us. Oh, and the fact that we got Aggie ice cream afterwards didn’t hurt either 🙂

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