Thursday, September 29, 2011


When I was in eighth grade I had an awesome English teacher who I adored. She was younger, outdoorsy and a great teacher. She was quite the writer and really pushed us to improve our own writing skills. At that point, I wanted to be a writer, so she was the perfect teacher for me!

Each semester she gave us the daunting task of submitting something to be published. I wrote my little eighth grade heart out and wrote and rewrote some more, in hopes something of mine would actually be published. It seemed so unlikely anyone would publish a fourteen year old girls work, yet I secretly hoped. Even after my first piece was rejected.

Second semester, I submitted a poem, titled "Stars" to the New Era. A few months later I received a check for $20 and letter saying they wanted to publish it! I was ecstatic! I was going to be a published author!

However, there was one catch. In the letter, it said that they were not positive they would use it, but would keep it on file. For years, I checked the back of the New Era, hoping to see "Stars" there. But it never was. Of course after a while, it stopped mattering if it was published or not. I was just curious if it was actually there.

Fast forward to last week. Last Thursday, I was stitching curtains together for backstage of the Babcock theatre, when my phone rang.

"Hello?" I said.

"Hi, is this Valerie?" said the voice on the other end.

"Yes it is."

"Oh good! This is so-and-so from the New Era..."

(At that point I knew what it was. And I was shocked.)

"...I have a poem you wrote some years ago."

"Oh yes! Several years ago," I replied.

(Eight years ago I later realized.)

"Yes, well we'd like to publish it in the January New Era. It's not 100% certain, but we most likely will. Are you still alright if we publish it?"

Of course I told her yes, and I told her she could change the title a bit and add a line so it'd go with the picture better. I don't really mind at all! Ha I wrote that poem when I was fourteen. I don't even remember what it really said (luckily she read it to me)!

Who'd have thought that eight years later, my poem would actually be published?

So the moral of the story, my friends, is to never give up. Just when you think something will never happen, hold on! It may be closer than you think! Then again it may take eight years to get there, but the journey and lessons learned will be well worth the wait.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A day in the life of Valerie

5:45-6:45 Work on talk for Sunday
6:45-7:15 Get ready for the day
7:15-7:45 Eat breakfast and pack lunch
7:45-8:45 Read "King Lear" while riding the bus to school
8:45-9:30 Research Byzantine costume for my Historic Costume project. (I found some awesome books I might add)
9:30-9:40 Walk to class
9:40-10:30 Precalc. Find out I didn't do as well as I hoped on my test, but there is hope for redemption.
10:30-10:45 Walk to class
10:45-11:35 Survey of Historic Costumes. Learn about metal corsets, huge ruffs and other crazy Renaissance fashion.
11:50-1:10 Research for Theatre History
1:10-1:45 A wonderful lunch break and a moment to breathe. It was quite the productive morning!
1:45-3:00 Work in the costume shop ironing fabric.
3:00-4:30 TA for costume construction. (Super fun! There are a lot of great people in that class and I have such fun helping people learn.)
4:30-5:15 Back in costume shop ironing fabric
5:15-7:00 Eat dinner, finish costume budget project and read more "King Lear."
7:00-7:30 Talk to friend
7:30-9:30 Watch a the preview for "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Loved it, but it was the craziest version I've seen. NOTHING like Utah Shakespeare Festival. Definitely a modern interpretation.
9:30-10:15 Read "King Lear" as I wait for my mom to pick me up, because the bus doesn't run that late.

And now I'm home and blogging when I should be going to bed. Hmmm...sleep sounds glorious. I have another busy day tomorrow, so until another day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My New Book

Yesterday I was gifted the beautiful book, Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century from the Kyoto Fashion Institute.  I am in love with this book.  I've been wanting this book and a kind lady in the costume construction class I TA for offered it to me, because she had two copies.  I was so excited!

Let me show you why.  Here are some examples of the gorgeous costumes shown in the book: 

And these aren't even the best pictures. So many gorgeous things to look at. It makes me want to drop everything and try to recreate one of these beauties.

Being a sewing TA sure is working well for me. A new book, relearning good technique, inheriting a dress form (so it's a girls size 10, but it's better than nothing!) This crazy, busy semester happens to also be wonderful!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Secretly I want to be...

A marathon runner!

I think it would be the most incredible and empowering experience. Such discipline, strength and mind-power.


For now, I'm sewing 26.2 miles.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sometimes I think I'm a little crazy...

So it's only the second week of the semester and I already feel slightly crazy. Actually, I thought I was doing just fine, until my eye started twitching and I noticed the eczema developing on my hands. Yep, definitely signs of stress.

Pretty sure I need to learn to handle my life better.

Then, once again I am taking 15 credits and working a whole slew of jobs. Yes, a whole slew. Not only am I a sewing TA, I work in Pioneer Theatre's costume shop sewing, I teach two girls voice lessons, and one girl sewing lessons. Oh and I because it was too fun to pass up, I took on some free-lance sewing jobs - one making a prom dress for my cousin and the other is making costumes for a girl in a high school production of Oklahoma. Wow. All my jobs take up about a paragraph. That's kind of frightening. It's a good thing I love my jobs!

Now I just need to figure out how to balance work, school, and a social life...

One last note: Thank you for reading my vent. Sorry to complain. I do love life and am grateful that I do have a way to pay for school, and I get to work in things I love. I am very blessed.

1 Nephi 2:1 is my favorite. Sometimes the Lord says, "You are blessed. Oh and by the way some people want to kill you," all in one breath. But really we are blessed. I believe the Lord when He says "you're blessed" even when it may seem crazy at the time. He knows what He's talking about. Righteousness leads to blessings beyond compare. I'm counting on those.

One very last note: I just realized I'm complaining about my crazy schedule and I'm blogging. Perhaps I need to be a little more careful of using my time effectively...