January, why you leave so fast?

Today is the last day of January.


Have I made a new friend this month? (I’m racking my brains, trying to rewind the month like a youtube video in my head… and I can’t think of one. That means I have to talk to a stranger today. Ok, now I’m nervous.)

Have I taken one photo of one awesome place? NO!

I have exactly 15 hours left to do both of these things. Can I do it? Yes. Will I do it? I don’t know! I think I need a pep talk:

Kid President, I think you just stole my heart. Why cry about it when I can dance about it?! In fact, while I’m at it, I think I’m going to start training for the April half tonight! And maybe I’ll go shopping for my vegetarian diet! (Whoa there, I think that pep talk got me a little too peppy. One step at a time, Shelby, one step at a time.)

But yes, I can make a friend today. And I can take a photo of an awesome place. I’m surrounded by them here in Nashville. But how to choose!? I guess you’ll find out tomorrow!



21 Days Later

I just sent off my first letter for the year 2013!


Technically it is the second piece of mail I sent, the first being my brother’s birthday card. But that one just said “Happy Birthday, here’s a check.” I don’t think it counts.

The January letter to my friend C, the same C from my last post. Hope she gets it soon!


Caveat: On my original, handwritten list (the one I thought I lost on the car ride home from Texas and thus created a new one from memory, as seen in Post 1), had an important item on it that I forgot to include in the revised edition. That would be to write one letter to a different person each month. So even though it didn’t make the final cut, I still thought it might be a good idea to try and keep up with such an admirable communication goal!

And therefore…

This calls for a celebration!



Cheers 🙂


The title of this, my first blog post*, is fitting for two reasons. The first is that I have a mere five months and a scattering of days left of truthfully claiming to be twenty-five years old. Such fleeting time for the life of a graduate student who holds the title “mid-twenty-something” very near and dear to her heart. But secondly, and more importantly, the number 25 is the taproot of this year-long endeavor. The story is as follows.

One week ago, as my partner S and I made the twelve hour trek back to Nashville from my family’s Christmas, I was having a telephone conversation with my good friend C. C was telling me of her and a friend’s of hers idea to create a list of twenty-five things to accomplish for 2013. This is not your ordinary, everyday, run of the mill New Year’s Resolution list however. For C and her friend, this is a list of writing prompts. A burgeoning young writer is forever in need of writing prompts, as life has not yet yielded much practical experience to a person in her mid-twenties. By creating 25 “to-dos,” to be spread throughout the year at one’s own leisure, a writer is provided with ample opportunity to hone her craft. My heart thudded as I considered the possibilities. I tried to tactfully mention my interest in such a project, but instead heard myself saying, a little too desperately to be considered tactful, “Can I do it too?!”

And thus began the creation of Right Writing. On this day, the fifth of January in the year 2013, I am beginning a journey which will hopefully lead to a better understanding of myself and my writing ability. Cheers to that.

So here it is. My list of 25 things to do this year that will hopefully prove just as thrilling in the retelling of the events as the events themselves. Friends, do not judge me harshly for my choosings. I am a beginner, after all. Here it goes:

  1. Begin a blog to document my experiences this year. (Aha, we’re off to a great start here!)
  2. Learn to play Debussy’s Clair de Lune perfectly, from beginning to end. (I think this one gives me more anxiety than #3. I foresee hours and hours of effort.)
  3. Go skydiving. (I had planned to do this last year for my 25th birthday, but chickened out. So my 27th year of life will start off with an adrenaline rush.)
  4. Write (and actually finish) a short story to be published here for your pleasure and feedback.
  5. Train for and complete a half marathon. (Several options abound, more info to come.)
  6. Hike 20 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
  7. Take 12 photos of 12 amazing places. (One a month, I can do that!)
  8. Complete 1 round of golf… no cheating. (I’ve only ever played 9 holes before, twice in my life, cheated like an old western card shark both times.)
  9. Go deep sea fishing.
  10. Begin learning Spanish.
  11. Rock climb at Climb Nashville.
  12. Gamble in Las Vegas.
  13. Tackle the Titan. (The Titan is a frighteningly large roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas, the theme park of my childhood, of which I have been phobic since it’s inception in 2001. This is the year I will face my fear and ride it!)
  14. Consume an all vegetarian diet for one month.
  15. Picnic on Love Circle.
  16. Create a backyard vegetable garden.
  17. Dye my hair an unnatural color.
  18. Be an extra on ABC’s Nashville. (Living here should make this a little easier, I’ve already declined the offer once!)
  19. Eat fish and chips in England this summer. (Thank you Vanderbilt Divinity School!)
  20. Learn how to make paper.
  21. Make a t-shirt quilt.
  22. Make and carry homeless “care” bags in my car. Each bag will have necessities and a list of resources that I can hand to neighbors who might need them. (Why haven’t I done this earlier?)
  23. Read the entire New Testament in one month.
  24. Boat down and camp on a Tennessee River.
  25. Make one new friend each month.

There you have it. Don’t think I will be trying to tackle this list chronologically my dear reader. I think I will let the Spirit guide my steps with this project. Now, as I wrap up this first post (my coffee has grown cold since I first began), I can tell you that I am looking forward to a glorious year of challenges and excitement designed to test my strength and courage as a writer of experience! If, heaven forbid, it turns out I have zero talent, you will let me know, won’t you? But let me down easy, friend. I’m a sensitive soul.

Cheers to you, and Happy New Year!

*In the spirit of honesty, I must admit to you, dear reader, that this is not my first blog post. As an undergraduate student as yet unfamiliar with such worldly concepts as “blogging,” I admit to having an active livejournal account for several years, though I treated it as more of an online diary of sorts than an attempt at any actual communication with the blogosphere. That being stated, I have reviewed some posts from these formative years and have determined the bulk of them to be horrifying and myself to have been embarrassingly vain. In some years time, the same may be said of this, my second attempt. But for now, as always, I remain blissfully unaware of my future thoughts about myself.