Dear Reader,

One of my twitter drafts reads “I am terrible at life for the same reason I am terrible at beer pong: no follow through.” I’m not quite sure why I haven’t actually tweeted it but I guess that’s another prime example of me not finishing what I’ve started.

I’m hoping this is something that people can relate to, but more than that, I hope this is something that people could help me fix, because it’s honestly awful.

If you’ve been following me for a while, I’m sure you’ve noticed random projects here and there that I have just let die. I love making bucket lists. I love making resolutions. I love waking up on Sunday mornings and planning out a productive week. But every time the project is abandoned or simply not completed by the time the summer, the year, or the week ends.

I just can’t–or don’t–follow through. And it’s been a recurring theme since I was little. My brother used to make bets with me that I wouldn’t finish things like the books I started or the neighborhood newspaper I was trying to get going. I still have a vivid memory of having to pay him 50 cents because I bet him that I would finish my meal at a restaurant. Of all things it was the salad that did me in. (Sidenote: I know 50 cents is nothing but it was the principle of the thing that makes this memory such a standout in my mind.)

The reason why I’m writing about this today is because I started writing a new book last night. To be fair, the beginning is always so fun because you get to create all these different characters and you can spend tons of time going over names and possible symbolism (see yesterday’s post), but I’m worried that this is just going to derail me from other projects I have that I should be spending my time on.

My friend just shared her book with me–her finished, developed, edited book–and that alone is so impressive. It kind of inspired me this past week to revisit the book I started writing my senior year of high school (that I haven’t worked on since April 2015) and I’ve been really enjoying it. The main reason why it was abandoned in the first place was because of all the damn research I had to do for it. One of the characters was pregnant and another had Cystic Fibrosis so I was writing pages on pages of notes about symptoms and concerns and what it must feel like to be a teenage mom-in-waiting and a young girl who’s life consists of hospital visits. Then by the time the research was basically complete, I had abandoned yet another project.

But the thing about me isn’t only that I never complete what I start, but I always come back to it too. I’ve come back to half-written songs, half-written stories, half-edited videos, half-developed ideas, and I’ve gotten to work again. Still, probably about 80% of everything I start goes unfinished.

So I don’t know. Maybe this is just foreshadowing. Maybe in a week and a half I’ll miss a post for this blog-everyday-of-August thing and I’ll link back to this and say SEE?!? Or maybe someone will comment and say something insightful and change me life. (Don’t worry, I’m not actually expecting that–I would never put that much pressure on anyone.)

I don’t know. But at least now this blog post is finished.






Dear Reader,

I think about names a lot. I have lists of names for my future children as well as potential characters in books I’m writing. Of course, sometimes you meet someone and they ruin or just completely use up a good name for you (God damn it Liam).

And then with your own kids, naming them isn’t necessarily going to be up solely to you. So even though I’ve always seen myself with a daughter named Danny and a son named Lewis, I’m sure I’ll have to consult my husband with these choices. Besides, I’m not even sure what last names my kids will have, and that certainly makes a different.

Still, I love names. I love thinking about names and origin stories of names and coming up with names for things. My first car was named Carlos (I thought it was a funny pun) and my car now is Veronica. I also entirely plan on having a dog named Benevolio one day (we’ll call him Bene). Even my first cello was named Jo.

Even more interesting I find is the names we assign to ourselves and our friends. My name, for example, is Samantha, but only two people regularly call me that. Still, this fits them more than it fits me and I can’t imagine them calling me anything different. The same goes for those who call me Sam vs. Sammy. What people call others, I find, says much more about them than we realize.

(Another anecdote: we had a worker at our coffee place on campus who wasn’t particularly popular with the others. One girl in particular thought he was obnoxious so instead of calling him Ryan, she always referred to him as Brian. It was just subtle enough, but still speaks words for how she sees him.)

This is a subject I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, probably because I notice when people call me Samantha vs. Sammy vs. Sam (vs. other fun nicknames like Damn Sam or Sammy the Snake or Sammy the Slacker–thanks Mrs. Fry).

Last names are also great because you can so often tell so much from them. My last name is clearly German and the story that goes along with it is one of my favorites (basically that it was super German but was changed when my Grandpa was living in the US during World War II because yikes).

I also love being called a Neiswander (pronounced Nice-wander) and the connotation we’ve attributed to it. I’ve thought a lot about whether or not I’ll keep it when I’m married (we’ll just have to see how cool my future husband’s last name is) and I’ve been thinking of getting a wander tattoo so I can at least keep part of it. Because, let’s be honest, Neiswander probably won’t be the best to hyphenate with and I surely won’t pass it down as a middle name.

Final thought: Does anyone else love the name Theodosia? I don’t know if it’s because of the song from Hamilton or the meaning behind the name, but I absolutely love that name and would gladly name my future adopted daughter Theodosia (maybe even call her Teddy), but every time I mention this to people I get shat on. Can anyone relate?

I don’t know. Maybe I can find a way to fit it in as my future daughter’s middle name.