Bursting the Bubble [Week 12]

Bursting the Bubble

Looking back on my previous Bursting the Bubble posts I’m amazed at how much fun I had, how many authors I met, how many events I was apart of, how many wonderful people I got to work with, and how hard I actually worked! Week 12, my final week, was all about the race to the finish line. There was a lot to do in the seemingly short four-day week BUT it somehow all got done. Thursday was a little sad to say the least. I know I am going to miss the subway ride to work, walking up the steps from King Station and having the beautiful sun blind me to the point that I nearly trip, walking into my little cubicle and getting to work. I’m going to miss the people at Random House, as well as, just being in Toronto.

As I sit back and re-read my own journey, I can’t help but notice how much I’ve grown and changed thanks to this internship. I went from the girl who never took the subway on her own to the girl who feels completely comfortable and confident with exploring the city by herself. I’m not afraid to wander around and find new things, I’m not scared to hail my own cab if that’s the only way to get home, and I’m no longer afraid to jump in feet first to any situation. That’s what they do at Random House, they trust you enough to throw you right into work and I think that that trust is what allows you to gain confidence both at work and in other facets of your life.

On the subway ride home yesterday I couldn’t help but feel a little excitement well up inside me — there is still so much to see and learn, so much to experience. I’ve become the confident and independent woman I always thought I could be and I’m ready for the next step. I have a feeling that I will be back, back in Toronto (maybe even back at Random House). Even though I was sad to leave it’s not like I could be an intern forever, interning is just the first step. I want to advance and excel, and if I keep perusing my goals and working hard it will all fall into place.

Until my next adventure I’ll leave you with some photos from my final week.

Who knows, maybe this series will be back sometime — there’s always room for growth, change, and bursting your own bubble…

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Thank you to everyone who followed along with this journey and thank you to the entire Random House staff for this amazing opportunity.

Bursting the Bubble [Week 10]

Bursting the Bubble

This week on Bursting the Bubble I want tell show you a few things. I’ve been told that Toronto is beautiful in the summer. I, being the weird-ish Italian girl from up North (a co-worker’s description not my own), have never experienced it and took this week to find said beauty.

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You’re right, Toronto is beautiful in the summer and I thoroughly enjoy coming downtown to work every single day. However, you can take the girl out of the suburb but you can’t take the suburb out of the girl — THIS girl anyways. As much as I love becoming “so-Toronto” (my best friend’s description not my own), I love being “so-Bolton” too. I love coming home, to my little town with big houses, green lawns, large fields, and a vast clear sky. I always assumed that I’d want to live downtown, right in the heart of the city but this internship has taught me otherwise. I want to WORK in the city and LIVE in the suburbs — reasonably close to a subway station if possible. It would be experiencing the best of both worlds, my two favourite worlds. The hustle and bustle of the city, the loud and always delayed subway, the many many faces rushing to work in the morning, and then the quiet picturesque scenes of Bolton, the long roads leading nowhere, and the calm constant breeze with its tiny hint of manure.

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Thanks to this internship I’m learning more about myself and what I want out of life. I feel myself growing, changing, and becoming a little more independent. I’m finding it easier to be honest with myself, to relax, and to get things done. There are so many little things I’m finding out about myself, like the fact that I genuinely like people. I like talking to them, I like helping them, I like being social — this coming from a girl who would lie to her friends to avoid going to parties. Apparently this once shy and immensely quiet girl is capable of socializing and interacting with people on many different levels.

Maybe I’m coming out of my shell a bit more, maybe I’ve found a grain of confidence, who knows?

Regardless, I’m loving it.

I feel more like myself now than ever before.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Bursting the Bubble [Week 8]

Bursting the Bubble, Family Time

photo 2The fact that I get to see the publishing world as an intern, book lover, aspiring writer, AND book blogger is something that amazes me week after week. I’m starting to understand just how important this internship is and I am so thankful that I have still have about four weeks left!

This week I went to an author event and a few stock signings with my wonderful colleague Anne, Rhidian Brook (author of The Aftermath), and his lovely daughter. We started at The Novel Spot in Etobicoke, where Rhidian signed books and answered questions. This is where I learned that writers should also be great speakers. Having a great sense of humor and a true belief in your story can really engage your crowd. During Rhidian’s talk, he was challenged by someone who read his book. The gentleman wondered if Rhidian had maybe gone too far, to which Rhidian replied, Thats what writers do. They spin plates and see how much they can get away with. I love that line.

That evening I attended our monthly Indigo Bookseller Reception but you can read more about that on the Retreat website next week.

On Tuesday I was lucky enough to attend a blogger lunch with Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful and photo 1the Cursed. I love blogger events like this, they’re small and intimate which allows for the chance to really get to know the author. Page (or should I say Angie — Page is her pen name) answered any question we asked, chatted about various books she’s read, gave us some behind-the-scenes stories from novel-writing, and signed all of our books.

So after all of the fun events this week and the weeks prior, what am I feeling? A little nervous as the job-search has begun but mostly I feel guilty. I swear the printer spews out pages and sounds like a beating heart. If you start the binding machine at the same time, the sound bangs through each beat. Yesterday I thought, now that is the sound of a heart breaking.

Am I the one breaking hearts?

Well, I have been 110% committed to this internship and I don’t really make time for anything else. To make things worse, my family is amazing (yes you read that right). No matter what time I get home, be it 6:15 or 7:00– my family is waiting for me to have dinner with them. I sure as heck wouldn’t wait, not if I was starving.

My VERY pregnant sister never says anything when all I talk about is what happened at work, or what author I met, or what book I brought home. She lets me gab and gab and doesn’t seem the least bit phased if I forget to ask her about her day.

And my boyfriend, that wonderful man, who comes over during the week, knowing very well that I have to eat dinner, workout, and shower before I spend a second with him. Who doesn’t get mad when I fall asleep within five minutes of sitting down in front of the TV. I would probably go into full insecure-girlfriend-mode and freak on him for not putting me at least 2nd.

The only one who seems to be holding a grudge is my dog, who doesn’t even come to the door to say hi when I get home. I give him treats to sweeten him up though 😉

So, what can a girl do in this situation but give thanks: Mom, Dad, Joseph, Jessica, Alex, and Waffles — I’m sorry for being so selfish lately. Thank you for understanding, for being there, and for loving me. Thank you for believing in me and thank you for not making me feel guilty.

This guilt is all my own creation and with every beat of that printer, I’m learning from it.

There’s got to be a balance somewhere and I will work hard to find it.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

P.S. Amanda featured me as her latest Everyday Beauty — check it out HERE.

Bursting the Bubble [Week 6]

Bursting the Bubble

After going nonstop on my Vancouver Vacation/Adventure, Week 6 felt like it went by reallllllyyyyyyy slowwwwwwww. Does anyone else feel seriously depressed after returning from vacation? I didn’t have the same spring in my step this week, my thoughts were like anchors, weighing me down, my body folding in half from the pressure until I finally collapsed on the ground.


I find that the BEST way to get over a funk like this is the read a great book, write it out, and talk to people who understand you. I wrote a hell of a lot this week (mostly emo-diary entries that I refuse to subject my wonderful readers to), I gabbed with the lovely Lindsey over lunch, and I read Sunset Park. I found the book incredibly moving, it pulled me out of my own self-inflicted misery, and it helped me understand what was really weighing on me.

“…he wonders if it is worth hoping for a future when there is no future, and from now on, he tells himself, he will stop hoping for anything and live only for the now, this moment, this passing moment, the now that is here and then not here, the now that is gone foever.” (Page 308)

Okay so that quote sounds morbid and depressing but what it’s saying is to live in the NOW. Something my parents, my boyfriend, and Lindsey have told me this week on some level or another.

* POP * * Cue Bubble Burst Moment *

The question remains, can I live in the moment and NOT let my thoughts consume me? What should I be doing to better understand what I WANT to do in the future? What choice can I make today to ensure that I am living in the moment and not thinking so much about what will happen after June 27th? So far I’ve enrolled in a seminar at Ryerson about getting published (which I think will help out with my own writing aspirations and better my understanding of what the publishing industry is all about). I’ve been poking my head around in different departments at work to try to figure out which one interests me most. I’ve also been looking into writing classes offered by Ryerson. Right now I’m interested in books, publishing, and writing so each day I do something that relates to them in some way.

I wake up every morning and ask myself what do I want to do today? What interests me? What would make me happy right now? It’s amazing to start the day that way, to really put thought into yourself and each moment. I hope to walk into Week 7 of my internship with a bigger spring in my step than ever before! I’m looking forward to the other half of my internship and will think of each day as its own entity — making each one count.


But that’s next week.

Right now it’s Saturday morning and nothing would make me happier than eating breakfast with the boyfriend and family.

So THAT is exactly what I’m going to do.

HAPPY LONG WEEKEND from my heart to yours.

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Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Bursting the Bubble [WEEK 1]

Book Reviews, Bursting the Bubble, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Toronto Adventures

I’m happy to call Random House of Canada my 9-5 home from Monday to Friday. The commute isn’t as awful as I thought it would be and I really enjoy taking the subway (believe it or not :P). I normally get a seat which gives me plenty of time to read and relax. I’ve also started walking around my work-hood if I arrive too early or even on my lunch. I’ve found some awesome coffee shops, some restaurants that I want to try, and I’ve started to appreciate the beauty that is Toronto. Yes, I still feel like a tourist but the best part about downtown is no one really cares if you’re taking pictures of buildings they see everyday, or staring in awe at the beautiful church, or smiling broadly when you hear the church bells ring — as long as you stay out of their way no one cares! I love the independence I feel when I’m walking around downtown. I love not knowing what I’ll discover when I walk down a new street. I love it all.

It’s been a busy week but I’m enjoying this whole publicity intern experience even more than I imagined. Yes, my days are filled with filing, answering emails, couriering, mailing out books, binding 900-page manuscripts, and lifting boxes of books but I actually enjoy it — even the binding. There’s something about the monotony of it that allows your whole body to relax and your mind to wander. It’s also placed in the mailroom, a central location in the office which ensures that you’ll always have someone to say hello to. There’s always someone to chat with about a book that you’ve read, there’s always someone to ask if you need help, and there’s a wicked book room that is my kind of heaven.

I’ve learned quite a bit this week but the highlight was helping out at the launch for The Juggler’s Children by Carolyn Abraham. The launch was a wonderful experience and I think I put all of the skills I learned at Caruso’s into good use. I enjoyed setting up the venue with my coworkers at the beautiful Ben McNally Books store and interacting with the attendees who were there to support Carolyn. As an aspiring writer who hopes to have her own launch one day, I got teary-eyed listening to her speech and seeing the happiness in her eyes. I hadn’t read her book yet and just hearing her speech made me want to pick up a copy — you could tell that she has a way with words. I’m sure I’ll have a review of The Juggler’s Children up this month.

Overall I’d say my first week was pretty fantastic. I’ve met some wonderful people, learned quite a bit, and I’m starting to feel more at home. I’m getting into my own little routine and rhythm that will ensure another great week (I hope). Although I know there will be more traffic, a few train delays, more paper-cuts, and more 900-page manuscripts to bind, I’m going to make the most of it — that’s the only way to burst the bubble.

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Love Always 

Vanessa Xo