Interview with Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

This is the first episode of the Bliss Tour! And I’m so excited!!

Thanks so much to Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. We talk about her transition from Cube Life to blogger, expectations of work life, and a little bit of romance.


Here are links to some of the things we chatted about in the interview:

The music was provided by Jamendo and this is Possibilities by Jasmine Jordan.

I hope you enjoyed this interview because I am planning on doing more. Woo! Hoo! With better audio! (Sorry, my fault).

Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks!

Marfa - Day 3 and Roadtripping

Somewhere in west Texas

Somewhere in west Texas

I left Marfa about 1:00pm. It’s a 6 ½ hour drive across west Texas back to Austin, and not a Starbucks to be seen. I was not looking forward to the drive. The landscapes were beautiful, if desolate, I drove 100mph in some spots, and I hit an exploding swarm of bees. But that’s not enough.

I hadn’t recovered from the drive to Marfa and I was driving back. I was exhausted and this was not fun. Sometimes the journey can overwhelm the destination.

During the drive I had time to think about my priorities for this sabbatical. Is it to travel? Write? Is this year only a temporary escape from cube life? Or can I use it to launch a work life outside the cube?

I remember telling a friend about my sabbatical, and saying explicitly, “I want to travel, but I don’t want to go from location to location, trying to see as many places as I can. I’d be exhausted.” True.

Initially, I'd thought about living in different places for 3-4 months each. It was more Eat, Pray, Love than the Bliss Tour. Writing in Paris would be awesome, right? And writing on the beach? Maybe I could write in Australia, or one of those mountainous states in the US?

Notice something about these? I’m writing. I always saw myself writing no matter where I was. After countless mornings of getting up at 5:30am to write before work, and getting that first draft ready a few weeks ago, I want writing to be my top priority. I want to finish this novel by the end of the month. Then start another one. And throw in some short stories too.

So, I’m changing again. It’s my prerogative. This is all trial and error. I’m pushing my traveling back to at least the fall, except for my family reunion. I want, need to get more writing under my belt before I hit the trail. Those locations will be there even if I go back to cube life. But this time I have to write won’t last forever.

The House

A year ago I sold my house.

I loved that house. It was happiness in house form, bright yellow, a big smiley face of a house. It was the house from which Sunny D emerged, filled with possibilities and sunshine. It was everything I could want in a house.

The House

The House

The anniversary passed without my noticing it.

Like any house, my house was an anchor, a leash that said “stay”. Stay where you are, same job, same life, a leash that would only let me stray so far before maintenance and repairs and home improvement projects pulled me back.

I had that familiar itch to do something else, go somewhere else, be something else. It was an itch I’d felt before, a seven-year itch for life itself, whether you’re married or not.

I knew I was making a sacrifice. I was giving up something I loved in hopes of getting something I could, would love even more. The sacrifice didn’t hit me until I’d closed. Until the shock of moving from a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, huge-gorgeous-kitchen-house to a 1-bedroom, 1-bath apartment in a large complex. I hated it. Like hate hate.

The Green Kitchen

The Green Kitchen

I’d made a huge mistake. I was bitter, I was angry. When I heard the first thumps and bumps and strains of other people’s music coming into my apartment, when I realized there were only two drawers in the kitchen that took up half the living space.

I hated circling the street level parking, packed after work with the cars of those who wanted to park near their own apartments too. And when I had to give up, dear god, when I had to give up and park in the garage - a solid two minute walk from my apartment - I felt a bitterness I previously only held for cube life itself.

The Yoga/Craft Room

The Yoga/Craft Room

God, I loved that house.

I craved my house at every moment of learning this new space. And then I didn’t. I can’t remember when I started to forget what it was like to walk in the front door, put down my bag, walk up the stairs. The airiness of it, the openness of it. I rarely think about it now. I do miss having a house, but I don’t miss that house.

Selling that house was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. Selling it allowed me to take this sabbatical, The Bliss Tour. Now I have to make good my escape, stay off the leash.

Sabbatical-Day 36: Longer Than I Thought

I gave myself permission to accomplish absolutely nothing the first week after my last day of work . I realized I needed a “detox” from cube life. I read and watched TV and met up with friends. That’s it. That turned into two weeks. And then… well let’s just say that I’ve underestimated how long detoxing would take.

There was a week of being sick in there (it was either some sort of sore throat/coughing virus or allergies. It is Austin, so I’m leaning heavily toward allergies). Then the third week, I started writing again. Fiction, not blog posts. Obvs.

When I said I was giving myself permission to do nothing. I really meant nothing. But I’m cutting myself some slack. Not beating myself up. Doing a little self-compassion. So the “tour” part of the Bliss Tour hasn’t begun; it’ll start soon. Really, it will start soon. There’s only so much nothing I can do. I’ve only got a year here.

But I cannot tell you how much… fun – yes that’s the word – it’s been to do basically nothing but sit around reading, doing errands when it’s not crowded, kidnapping friends from work, going to crossfit a couple of times of week, and watching TV!

There’s a certain bliss in just doing nothing after decades of working. That’s what vacations sitting on the beach sipping silly drinks are all about. Detox. De-stress. De… -work? Yeah. I’m going to go with that. De-work.

When I said I was giving myself permission to do nothing. I really meant nothing. But I’m cutting myself some slack. Not beating myself up. Doing a little self-compassion. So the “tour” part of the Bliss Tour hasn’t begun; it’ll start soon. Really, it will start soon. There’s only so much nothing I can do. I’ve only got a year here.

A Flurry at the End

For most of the day, Sabbatical Day 2 was much like Day 1 in that I did nothing. But then, a flurry of activity at the end of the day: crossfit (I am not good at it, although... I did 50 push ups. No not on my toes, but still, 50 freaking pushups! I won't be able to move my arms by the end of the day), and the Austin RWA meeting (really inspiring - Julia London talked about what she's learned in her almost 20 year career as a writer). Then I stayed up until 3am reading (so good!).

I realized this morning - Sabbatical Day 3 - that I've been afraid (is that the right word?) to sit at my desk at home. To sit there and write or do anything really. Too much like work, sitting at a desk? I've been doing everything on my laptop on the couch. Which is right next to the desk. But I sat here and wrote this. Then I went for a walk, in a park, in the middle of the day, on a weekday.