What is Drastic + Dramatic

Saturday, December 28, 2013

From Degree to Career: A UVU Success Story

I started my UVU education with a decided Creative Writing interest and over the years, thanks to the excellent English Department staff, I developed a great passion for language in all its applications. In addition to my creative courses I received a Technical Certification which ultimately made all the difference in my career path. I graduated April 2013, participated in a post-graduation, paid internship, and started searching for a job September 2013. 

Here's proof that I graduated ;)
When the stress of two solid months of job hunting, resume revision, vast networking, daily monitoring of job sites, a dozen applications submitted, a few flop interviews, and abrasive self-polishing culminated with a month-long illness, I finally realized I was experiencing what they all said I might—the real world. For an English major who views herself with average skills and average gumption, the real world is initially ugly and destructive to the confidence. It's far more romantic when viewed from within those poetic university walls. 

Despite dwindling confidence, still I knew I had highly applicable skills, admirable creative powers, and I was confident in my real-world experience gained from five separate internships. However, when November arrived I was, in every way, down, to say the least. But I kept pushing myself, if for no other reason than I had no other option. In my searching I came across an article whose author expressed similar difficulty to find a job and he gave some tips. I followed one tip: Ask everyone. You never know who doesn't know they have a lead for you until you ask.

While I had thus far been beefing up my LinkedIn profile and reaching out to professors for leads, I had neglected one very obvious resource: Facebook. It's so obvious I just hadn't seen what it is (a social networking site) for what it could be (a job networking resource). While I had used Facebook to toot my graduation horn and to tell people about my great internship, I had for some reason neglected to share my job-hunt woes with my Facebook adherents. I took a humbling moment to undress in front of my peers, tell them I was struggling and in need of any leads, clicked "post" and hoped for the best.

Within minutes a friend (who had just had a baby, mind you, and had so many other important things she could do) took 3 seconds to reply to me about her sister-in-law who had posted about an open position at her work place, a sales copywriter, someone to write about food. Hello, perfect. I researched the company, delighted when I saw it wasn't an MLM company, tweaked my resume to represent my most applicable skills, and sent in an application. That was Saturday night.

Knowing full well they wouldn't see my resume until Monday morning at the earliest, still I couldn't resist dropping by the following Monday and asking to learn more about the company. I talked to the main HR lady and we had a very pleasant conversation. She mentioned how the Director of Marketing would be looking into interview during the week. I left with great hopes.

I didn't hear back. By Thursday my hopes had turned to panicked desperation. I had to do something or this opportunity would simply, quietly, agonizingly pass me by and my life would continue just the way it had been. I had to take my fate into my own hands. I got the number for the Director of Marketing and called. She didn't answer, so I left a message that essentially said, "Hi, I've applied for your available writing position and I have been hoping for just such a position for so long. I haven't heard back from any of my recent applications, but I really want this job, so I'm calling to fight for a chance to interview for this position. Thanks."

Later that day she called me back. We set up an interview for the next day. My insides twisted with every imaginable feeling between desire and despair, but when the interview came, I was confident, spewed naturally with creative passion (that I'd built at UVU, that's the truth!), and what would you know, instead of making me wait until Monday to hear back from the HR lady, the Director set up my second interview with her right then for the next Monday. She would decide whom to hire after she got back into town. She would be leaving after my interview and getting back Wednesday. Wow! Did I ever get the last-chance interview or what?

I did research for the average Utah salary for sales copywriters, did a little interviewing practice with my brother, and I showed up Monday armed and ready. I was so confident . . . and then she told me it was down to me and one other candidate. I think I may have preferred not to know that. To come THAT close and lose out would hurt. But I knew I had been myself, prepared myself, and had nothing to regret in my initiative to go after a position I REALLY wanted.

Wednesday came. I was trying to keep my mind busy by writing on one of my many blogs when I heard my phone chime. It was the chime tune that meant I had received an email in my professional inbox. My heart leapt, time slowed, and I calmly reached for the device that held the literal fate of my life. The moment I saw: 

"Hi Emily,
Attached is a job offer from Food For Health International...."

I thrust my phone into the air like a victor's trophy and burst into tears. ha ha.

I now have a salary position as a sales copywriter with Food for Health International. I have been there a month and a half and have recognized with surprising clarity where so many of my skills learned at UVU are being applied in the "real world."

In school, we often don't think these movements we mimic to fulfill assignments will in fact become legitimate skills used to accomplish a professional need. In my job now I see even some of the earliest movements I learned at UVU in real application. Writing in different voices to different audiences—I use that every day. Revision—oh, if I could have realized how crucial that practice is in the real world, I would have taken paper revision so much more seriously. These aren't just assignments to give us work that earns grades, they are practice to give us skills that earn paychecks. I'm glad for a constant push for revision in school, because as a professional (!) writer now, I'm constantly revising, and it doesn't scare me because I already knew how hard it was to revise academic papers, so I knew I could do it.

I'm so grateful for my diverse and well-organized education at UVU (and above all, for my generous Grandma who made it all possible!).

I want to pitch two cents into the internship collection tray. As early as 2010 I started looking into getting internship credit. Worried I might not run into enough applicable opportunity, I actually created my first internship. I proposed to revise and edit the tour guide commentary manual for the company I worked for during summers. The proposal was approved and I used my spare time that summer to hone my research, revision, and writing skills.

From there I went on to apply for internal and external internships, securing two of each in my remaining years at UVU. The on-campus opportunities are so awesome. The English advisory staff wants us to expand ourselves AND the opportunities. I have watched the Touchstones Editor-in-Chief internship evolve and expand in graceful fashions in the years I was involved with the journal. It is supremely satisfying to know I was a part of that movement during my time at the university.

My external internships gave me professional world experience that was truly invaluable. I found out about the first, an editing internship with Deseret Book, through a UVU professor's connection to BYU. The other I found just following signs on campus, up to the meeting room where they talked about the opportunity. I know that I secured these internship positions because, through my UVU education, I gained experience in the field to qualify and confidence in myself to interview. 

I even modeled for a cover during my Deseret Book employment. So cool.
To those about to face the real world, I say, be ready to keep working hard! Expect resistance and don't give up, especially on what you want. To those still discovering what their passions are, I say, don't just mimic, absorb! You will use the skills no matter how small they may seem now. There's plenty to fear in our economy, but education is worth every effort and penny, and it will prepare you for a beautiful ride into the professional scene. No matter how much education you get, make it count. It will pay off if you use it.
Glasses aren't function, they're metaphorical: The Future Is Bright!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I took a personality test and just wanted to keep the results handy. More a post for myself.

About the test: Based on "Big 5" factors of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. OCEAN. The numbers resulting from my survey answers are the percentages of that quality in my personality. So I'm highest in agreeableness and lowest (phew) in neurosis. I agree with these findings. My only neurotic tendencies probably come from witnessing grammar abuse.

My results:
I'm a O76-C69-E18-A87-N7 Big Five!!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Unexpected Life

In the spirit of Halloween, a revised short story!

“Do you even remember what it was like to . . . grow?” William whispered into the darkness. He knew they should be quiet, pretending to sleep, but his worries galloped through his mind tonight.

“Well . . . kind of.” She rolled onto her back to stare at the same deteriorating ceiling that his gaze circled. “It was like full . . . and stretchy.”

“Stretchy?” He chuckled. She swatted his chest.

“Yeah, I don’t know how to describe it. But we were aging, we were going to grow old together—” she stopped before regret sounded. “Back then, there was past and there was future; the memories and dreams breathed to make the present stretch. But now, it’s just . . .”

“Dead,” he said.

“Dead,” she whispered. Then burst out, “Why on earth would anyone leave a living, growing child on our front door? Us? They must have been blind or they would have noticed the lifeless neighborhood, the limping houses lining the broken sidewalk?”

“Quiet, dear. You’ll wake her.” He couldn’t help but smile, though. That Lucille was always so lively, even after all these years apart from the living.

“Sorry.” She buried her face in his shoulder.

“Well, ours were the only lights on that night, as we ‘enjoyed’ a nice glass of wine.”

“Oh, I swear I could almost taste it!” Her whisper shot to the ceiling.

He smiled seeing the moonlight catch her pale, outstretched hands. He grabbed her left in his right.

“So we must have looked like an ordinary, loving couple. Totally understandable for someone to mistake us as living if they saw us drinking wine in a lit, furnished dining room.”

“I suppose. But it makes me wonder. What sort of person even comes into this neighborhood, and with a child no less? I mean, I haven’t seen more than a mangy cat chasing a skeletal mouse in—what year is it now?”

“2010, dear.”

“My goodness. Has it really been sixty years already? Time flies when you’re not living in it anymore, doesn’t it,” she sighed.

“It certainly does. I don’t know what would have inspired anyone to come this way. There must be some reason.”

“I’ve been thinking about it every moment since she got here. It scares me to death—okay well, it terrifies me—to think I’m responsible for the life of another person, so small, so unaware of this ghastly world! How can she be anything but ruined by everything around her?”

“I’m scared, too, dear. But, oh, how I almost feel my heart beat again when she smiles at us. Don’t you just love that?”

“I do. I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I’d die again for her.”

“Now we’re just starting the life we never had. Well, sort of.”

She smiled. He knew she smiled because she always did when he said “sort of.” Just enough to where her lips etched a moon-shaped dimple into her cheek that caused a reflective sparkle in her eye. He lived for that smile. Or died for it. Yes, he had chosen to die for that very smile.

“It’s hard work pretending,” she continued. “Like eating, breathing, sleeping. Gosh, sleeping is perhaps the most dreadful of all. I mean, not that I don’t mind lying here with you, dear, but there are just so many other things we could be doing right now.”

“But we can’t wake her.”

“Yes, I know. Not that reading, for example, is loud, you know.”

“I know, Lill, but we’ll get careless if we don’t have some sort schedule and stick to it. Children need schedules. It’s going to be a big change for us. Everything has changed and will just . . . keep changing. That’s what life is, change.”

“Except we’re not changing anymore, Will. We don’t stretch anymore. Our hearts stopped and our blood stopped and we don’t age. How long is she going to fall for that, do you think?”

“Oh, I didn’t notice my parents getting older until I was out of the house, I think. Parents hold some sort of ageless charm while kids grow up, too busy with their own growing to notice those already-grown, adult figures making any changes. I’d say we’ve got a good sixteen years before she suspects anything. If we stick to pretending.” He poked her ribs.

“Ayy!” She squirmed and wrapped a fist around his culprit finger.

“Parenthood,” she breathed. “We’re parents. Finally, after . . .” She looked down at her stomach.

“After all these years,” he spread a hand on her lower abdomen. When the doctor told him his son hadn’t made it and that his wife wasn’t expected to make it either, he had done this same thing. He lay down in the bed next to his wife, held her feverish head to his chest while he spread his other hand over her tired womb.

He cleared his throat to scatter the haunting memory and moved his hand to her cheek. “You are going to be an amazing mother,” he said. “You can do all those things you loved doing—cooking and preparing lavish meals, sewing and mending clothes—living again, for this child.”

“Yes, I will. I will do my best to pretend that I am as capable a mother as any living woman.”

“Oh, you won’t even have to pretend, darling. You’re a natural, I’m sure of it. The world is scary, but there is so much love, too. Think of all the marvelous things this one child could do to change the world? She has changed our world so much already.”

“We’ll have to move, won’t we?”

“She’ll need to have friends; we’ll have to make friends.”

Silence met his ears. He turned his head toward her. Out of habit impossible to kill, her chest rose and fell with a characteristic sigh.

“You will do beautifully.”

“We will,” she said, squeezing his hand. “Thank you for sticking with me.”

“Till dusk and till dawn.” He pulled her hand to his lips and kissed it.

A baby’s cry echoed down the hall. Lucille leapt out of bed faster than a grasshopper from underfoot.

“I’ll go!” And she was wrapped in wails down the hallway.

William crossed his arms behind his head. A father. At last.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Land that I Love

I hiked partway up a mountain an hour before sunset tonight. The lovely display of nature yawning and sinking to sleep behind the far mountains was an idyllic setup for the firework shows to follow. From up where I sat I was able to see several dozen shows popping up around Utah valley. It was a game of whack-a-mole for my eyes, scanning up and back, a quick visual mallet-bonk on each erupting spark. I shut my eyes and yet behind closed lids they still reflexively chased the echoing bursts, pops, and whistles entering my ears from around the valley. These words danced in my head and even escaped on a tune from my lips:
the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air . . . but the flag was still there

Thought stirred with feeling as I sat atop the hill thinking of all those people celebrating.
So many people have filled this valley since those pioneers rolled in 160-some years ago.  
This is a great big world . . . small in comparison to some, but so very big. 
This country has supplied more than a fair share of glaring rockets and bursting bombs in other countries. 
So many dogs are scared right now.
Land of which freedoms, home of how many truly brave?
All those people having their individual celebrations—most are seeing only one show. I see them all.
Do I feel guilty about that? Nah.
All those spurts looks like that part in The Dark Knight Rises when all the manhole covers burst with flame, except these burst with sparkles. Maybe more like an active lava field where pressurized molten sparkles spray from the street-lamp-speckled earth. A herd of fairy whales surfacing, clearing their magical blowholes, splashing up and down and up from electric puddles around the baking city.
Everyone down there is celebrating because, probably, they believe in America. It's interesting that every single inhabitant of this country can believe in America without needing to believe in God. And that doesn't comfort me, but somehow it represents freedom to me, and if we can't be one nation under God, I'd somberly accept one nation unified at least in the belief of that old American hope.

As I later drove home to Salt Lake valley, even more shows exploded along the way. As I rounded the point of the mountain and saw the celebrations going on above the quiet prison, I thought, do prison mates get to watch fireworks? Surely no choice that lands you in there is worth losing the freedom to celebrate. There is no hero's welcome in prison for a citizen who gives up his or her life on the battlefield of impulse to steal a cheap replica of freedom.

For me it seems easy to love America. I don't know, maybe patriotism is just something you're born with, as with bones or strands of DNA. And America's become so normal to me I forget how great she is, how she could be if we let her. She's only as free as the feet treading on her. And when she's sick, hurting, bruised, I get sad. I get sad because it takes a lot of people to hurt such a large country, and so when it gets to the point where she's hurting, a deep lot of things have happened to get her there.

And yet she finds ways of healing her wounds, of drawing the attention of those who should be caring for her to step up and remember. Stand up and defend. Bend the knee and remember compassion. Reach out and help a neighbor.

And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me.

It is written and many believe that freedom, liberty, is an inalienable right. That means it can't be taken from the possessor. Did you know we also define it as the possessor can't give it away, either? This implies that freedom is a human right, not an American right. Only those humans, true patriots who don't hurt their given country and would that no country be oppressed, will gain access to practice that right.

The lyrics above give an insight to where one access point of freedom is found: men who died. How does death unlock the right to freedom? If we can possess it because others died to defend it, surely we must believe we could lose our access to freedom if others die in a pursuit to pump it into the unsuspecting structures of foreign societies. I'm not saying other countries couldn't use help to lift the oppression of their governing powers, but how can patriots be born if the citizens die at the hand that reached to help them?

Because some covet oppression so much they cannot even see the value of freedom, countries war to reclaim their inalienable right to freedom. Our world has fished some real crazies from the ever-evolving seas of tyranny. And so patriots go, prepared to give their lives, to give the countries an opening to freedom. And I won't forget how I'm free.

My government would never die for me; it cannot give me the right to freedom. These days, true patriots who desire to be elected to an office for the pursuit of real liberty aren't often found. By their works we shall know them. But unfortunately, by the media are their works filtered, twisted, polluted, and glazed so that we hardly know real from script, authentic from special effect. The media likes reality TV, beauty pageants, talent contests, game shows, and that's what the political scene has become, nearly entirely forgetting the men who died who set up their rights to stand, speak, offer to serve in government.

So many have forgotten that government is a service. Some who seek a position in government want it to serve them. Few would ever die for their country if it came to it. There are a fading number of patriots elected to fill our government.

But what do I really know? I don't stroll through the separate world that politics has become in our nation. It saddens me to see America's own blood attack itself and weaken the immunity. She'd heal well with some unity.

And all that said, I still believe in America. I believe in my creator, God. I believe in the inalienable rights we're trying to latch on to like newborn babes. I believe that goodness prevails in the hearts of many, many Americans. I believe that many others are one kind gesture away from believing in themselves again. I believe we can revive our nation one treading step, one better choice, one sacrifice for the greater good, one person at a time.
“We don’t have to consider just statistics to be reminded that America is still good. . . . Most of them are honest. Most of them try to do their duty and live unselfish and responsible lives. Most Americans honor their commitments to their marriages, their families, their employers, their communities. Most Americans show compassion and courage to the needy. Most Americans still look at their children and see strength and optimism in their eyes.” – Seven Miracles that Saved America

What is a nation without a free people? A government. I love this land for what it stands for deep down: opening the right to freedom to all mankind. She's old, worn out, but still beautiful. Now if God were allowed to do a quick facelift to smooth out those few 237-year-old wrinkles she might just feel good as new.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Poetry Reading – Felling

What the judges said:
This poem is an enviable example of word as subject, displaying phonetic craft which utilizes onomatopoeia internal rhyme and assonance. The sounds in this poem are the strongest of the poetry competition, enhancing the author's idea, and moving the reader through the poem at a specific pace. Beginning with the title, "Felling" is a very poetic, language-centered, sensual journey.

What I said:
I never thought of sex before
as a sexy word. The hacking
hatchet chopping
trunks cracking splinters
splitting rings of life apart;
factories snatching branches,
whittling forests into firewood.

I hear the milling lyric making love
mixing hum and la from a pull saw
bending, begging—catching;
music wobbles, giggles when a handle slips
then grips again, mapping latitude
lines through layers of life, composing
honeycomb cradles in the moonlight.

Emily Fairchild 4/18/13
— at Utah Valley University.

Monday, April 01, 2013

April's Fool: The Hundred-Dollar Penny

Somehow I've been 24 years old my entire college career. Guys always guess 24/25 to be my age. And I still feel 24. I'm afraid as soon as I graduate, 28 will catch up to me all too swiftly.

Because I started college at 24, already the average age for dateable boys on campus was a bit on the low side. But the real problem was how as time went by, the boys kept getting younger, and I aged without really getting any older. They would always think I was 23–25, but those numbers didn't always stay. So because it happened so often that guys sort of reeled away and grimaced once they heard the number of years I'd been on Earth, I just made a habit of separating school and dating. Like church and state, dating and schooling just didn't seem able to co-govern in my mind. I expected the church setting to be my reliable dating source (ha), and the school to be my skills and education source.

This final semester, as a last-ditch effort, I decided I'd make an attempt at repentance and take the Dating and Courtship class. Might as well get some good prophetic advice before I leave the university environment and its ripe breeding ground for dates and marriages, which environment I neglect as often as I trudge straight through it. I've been learning a lot of good things in this class, and putting them into practice in life. Such learn+apply behavior has been making my dating life less pathetic, though my date quota hasn't increased one bit. So that's a nice side effect already.

Today, though, the dating class offered a lesson I never would have expected and still may not fully understand. We were talking about tips for selecting a good mate. At one point the teacher settled down in a chair and said he would need a female volunteer. No immediate hand rose. He said, a girl who likes money. I kicked my hand to the sky, joking about enthusiasm for the money part, but ready to climb on stage for the magic trick.

As I approached, he briefly told me that if I wanted more than I was given, I would need to give up what I had to get it. Those were the rules, that was the system. I sat down in the sideways-facing chair he pulled out for me. I faced him, the class faced us. When he reached into his pocket, we heard chattering coins. He lifted out a quarter and placed it on the table between us.

"Do you like that?"
"A nice quarter."
"What could you get with that?"
"I could use it at one of those bubble gum machines."
"Would you like something better?"
"What's the system?"
He holds out his hand.
"Have to give it up if I want something better," I say, placing quarter-George face-up in his palm.
He whips out a dollar.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Is Life

I read this poem for the first time the other day and just love it. It's not particularly religious or Easter-themed . . . but life itself is something of a pure religion. It expects a lot from you . . . all of you, really; it gives you whatever knowledge you seek from it; and you'll die for it—martyrs, all of us, for the faith of breathing.

Poem After Carlos Drummond de Andrade
"It's life, Carlos."

It's life that is hard: waking, sleeping, eating, loving, working and
        dying are easy.
It's life that suddenly fills both ears with the sound of that
        symphony that forces your pulse to race and swells your
        heart near to bursting.
It's life, not listening, that stretches your neck and opens your eyes
        and brings you into the worst weather of the winter to arrive
        once more at the house where love seemed to be in the air.

And it's life, just life, that makes you breathe deeply, in the air that
        is filled with wood smoke and the dust of the factory, because
        you hurried, and now your lungs heave and fall with the
        nervous excitement of a leaf in spring breezes, though it is
        winter and you are swallowing the dirt of the town.
It isn't death when you suffer, it isn't death when you miss each
        other and hurt for it, when you complain that isn't death,
        when you fight with those you love, when you
        misunderstand, when one line in a letter or one remark in
        person ties one of you in knots, when the end seems near,
        when you think you will die, when you wish you were
        already dead—none of that is death.
It's life, after all, that brings you a pain in the foot and a pain in the
        hand, a sore throat, a broken heart, a cracked back, a torn
        gut, a hole in your abdomen, an irritated stomach, a
        swollen gland, a growth, a fever, a cough, a hiccup, a
        sneeze, a bursting blood vessel in the temple.
It's life, not nerve ends, that puts the heartache on a pedestal and
        worships it.
It's life, and you can't escape it. It's life, and you asked for it. It's life,
        and you won't be consumed by passion, you won't be
        destroyed by self-destruction, you won't avoid it by
        abstinence, you won't manage it by moderation, because
        it's life—life everywhere, life at all times—and so you
        won't be consumed by passion: you will be consumed
        by life.

It's life that will consume you in the end, but in the meantime...
It's life that will eat you alive, but for now...
It's life that calls you to the street where the wood smoke hangs,
        and the bare hint of a whisper of your name, but before
        you go...

Too late: Life got its tentacles around you, its hooks into your heart,
        and suddenly you come awake as if for the first time, and
        you are standing in a part of the town where the air is
        sweet -- your face flushed, your chest thumping, your
        stomach a planet, your heart a planet, your every organ a
        separate planet, all of it of a piece though the pieces turn
        separately, O silent indications of the inevitable, as among
        the natural restraints of winter and good sense, life blows
        you apart in her arms.

Marvin Bell

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Victoria's New Secret

"Our main appeal is for women. We are not for men to look at but for women to feel good about themselves."

When a life-changing dilemma sprouts in a little girl's soul, she will think of little else until she works out a solution.

I was about twelve. Breasts were a shy, uncertain, recent addition to my body. My body had been so busy growing upward it neglected filling in curves until it seemed every other girl had a little something to fill the training bra. I was sidled up next to my mom on her bed. We were watching some family TV show that I wasn't paying attention to in the least. My mind reeled for squirming words in the rushing flow of thoughts obsessing about bras. It was time for me to wear a bra, I just knew it. It was strange; I'd never worn one before, so I'd never had to ask for one before. But when Mom buys all your clothes, and she's had enough breast to feed six kids, she's not only probably a good source, she's probably my only source for bra dealing. And trust me, Mom knows a good deal.

It seemed like hours that I sat there, my heart like a dryer loaded with soggy shoes, rounding up any available nerve and wrestling scattered words into a proper row. This was neither the time nor place to discuss lingerie, but like I said, once possessed by the problem, girls will obsess over a resolution or burst. As most men know, this never changes. 

When the words finally came out, they dribbled toward Mom's ear in a terrified whisper.

"Mom, I think I need a bra."

"What?" Her eyes stayed on the TV.

Oh horror! Don't make me repeat it! Then Dad might hear. Other siblings heaped on the bed might hear. . . . Oh humiliation.

"I think I need a bra." If snakes cry, that's what I sounded like.

"Oh honey, you don't need a bra. Maybe next year."

My heart shuddered down my spine and triggered a whole series of unpleasantries. A loud buzzing silence vibrated in my head. My face no doubt seared red, sending a steam thick with embarrassment toward my eyes. I blinked rapidly to keep the pricking fog away. 

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Today Is Lovely

largely because the sun is shining and the air reached up to it, finally collecting over forty speckles of warmth to stipple fresh freckles on my skin. It's a wonder what fragrant spell a mere dusting of sun can put me under. As though my heart was tossed in the dryer to get the wrinkles out, now hung neatly back in my chest the heat wraps me from the inside out. Like my lips were just pulled out of the oven, a crescent smile gently cools above my chin. Like the greatest vacation spent in bed in a book, my soul feels at home on holiday when my body is tucked into folds of sun cover.

My phone supposes cold will pull down the curved corner of this lemony quilt tomorrow till only bare sheets of snow fit the ground. The month is March, but the valley is Utah, so winter will still rule for a season. Tomorrow casts backward ideas into today, but tomorrow only might be; it might be flurriously cold, but no one can say for certain until tomorrow becomes today.

Today, the breeze paints my face with powder pastels; the buzz of a million blades of grass pushing to the sky carbonates my reservoir of blood; leafless trees point and whisper as I bounce along on my toes, and I feel so famous under the light of that high, bright spot I'm convinced they'll name a summer flower after me. Today is just that lovely.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Five Years Seen

We've all been asked before to consider the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Considering the obvious impossibility to look into the future, I never truly pondered and prepared a realistic futuristic answer to this question whenever it was asked. I'm one of those goal-shunning, flow-going life-livers. It's not that I'm aimless (I have passion that steers me in satisfactory directions), I just don't like to think I see myself deciding myself five years from now, let alone just tomorrow. Who KNOWS what could happen in 24 hours! Why determine the destination before the route is guaranteed to even exist?

I'm not being entirely truthful. I do have hopeful destinations in my heart and head and I project them into the pretend future, and those idea-destinations propel my daily motions, my day-to-day actions, and everyday choices. I just wanted to use three ways of saying the same thing right then.

Feb. 27

On this day in 2008 I walked onto the top step of the descending escalator then stopped. But it soon became the bottom step and Terminal 2 spit me out on the great salt lake city pavement. My family picked me up and took me home from my mission. Soggy boots walked the streets of France mere hours earlier. Airplanes walk the air so swiftly.

And time has now leapt five huge strides to the present, and what have I got to show for it?

How about an awesome Top Five of the Last Five list? Here is where those five years have seen me.


  • Dated and broke up with the last "official boyfriend" I've had. Wow. I've dated since, duh, I've tried; but no one's called me his girlfriend in 4.5 years...
  • Drove me some school bus.
  • Grandma Bonnie offered funds for school. God bless that woman forever. I took an Editing class at UVU and discovered my passions had professional application. Switched the track right under my wheels. Vision changed.
Center: Biker Bonnie ;)
  • Hiked to Havasupai falls. Joined facebook to prove it.
  • And, Uncle Scot added Vickie to my family.


  • Little bro left on mission to AZ.

  • Started up yoga.
  • Dad added Shawna to my family.
    • Sister gave me nephew #2
    • I finished Math courses forever more.


    • Drove buses for the Vancouver, BC Winter Olympics and met my best Merilee and Seth friends. Also drove during Paralympics.

    Swiss Wheelchair Curling Team
    • Went to Alaska for the third time, this time to work with Royal Caribbean Tours. Also bought a ukulele. Combined the two to win best safety speech ever award.

    • Treated my sister, my mom, and myself to a discounted 12-night Mediterranean cruise. Saw those pyramids in Egypt. And other things around the neighborhood.

    • Also visited Paris and its Eiffel and Louvre.

    • Got my first smart phone


    • Took a sculpture class, an astronomy class, and a biology class. Marveled at the sculpting of universes.

    • Went to Alaska again. Did some deep sea halibut fishing! 

    • Moved in with these dashing dolls.

    • Found out I was famously awkward...awkwardly famous? AFP (Awkward Family Photos) selected this sibling picture to appear in the 2012 Calendar, the board game, and a 999-piece puzzle. We're the prettiest awkward.

    • Went an entire month without wearing a bra. Sorta wrote about the experience on my blog; also wrote up the whole experience for my non-fiction writing class. Still don't know what I'll do with that work. In the meantime enjoy this from my Movember celebration that same month.

    Pin the stache on the Biebe


    • Became Editor-in-Chief of Touchstones journal at UVU. That rocked.
    • Had poems and an article published in V Magazine (now Hex), the arts and entertainment section of UVU Review newspaper.

    See text here
    • Scored the publishing internship for the summer at Deseret Book. Biggest miracle experience of the decade f'real. Met some new besties.

    • Took a Digital Document Design class. Built a website that had a sweet homepage and a secret page.

    I tweaked those buttons (except the middle one) in Photoshop
    • This beautiful lady got a degree! 

    She be my mama


    • Most recently my sister brought me nephew #3. Great way to start off a new year.

    The past five years have been full. Blessings and challenges, heartaches and triumphs, pressures and joys, miracles and miracles and faith and learning and love. Lots of love. I imagine if I'd sat and pondered about it, I would have liked to have "seen" marriage and kiddies in these five years...but knowing my ways, I would have forgotten to be specific; so, just as well, I have seen loads of marriages and heaps of kids all over the place in these five years. Just not my own. All in good time. As the plane flies.

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    Coping with Pain, Survey

    As humans, I believe we've all come to know a thing or two about pain. From heartaches to stomach aches, we all have different ways of coping with the sometimes indescribable feelings. I am compiling responses to the survey below about coping with pain.

    Depending on the quantity of responses, I will include as many of them as I can for my article which will be going into Hex magazine at my school, Utah Valley University.  The survey is set up to be anonymous and I hope to gather many honest, sincere responses by TUESDAY JAN. 29 at midnight. It should only take about ten minutes, depending on how deep you want to go into your philosophies! (but your response length IS limited because so is my time :])

    Once the article is featured, I will send out a link to the magazine's website for all to see.  This should be really quite interesting to get a panoramic view of the strategies our neighbors have of coping with pain. PLEASE share and forward this link to your friends and your friends' friends (the more varied backgrounds the better) and so on!

    If you need any more information, contact Emily at mlefair@gmail.com
    Thank you!!

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