30 THINGS LOST, FOUND, and LEARNED in Abbeyland, from age 20 to 30

I’m in the final stages of finishing what’s come to be known in our casa as The Project (my novel), which means anything else I write these days — ANYTHING — comes out in the form of a disjointed list. Why? Because there can only be so many voices at work at one time in this noisy, blonde head. (See, 20-something Abbey might have fought that. 20-something Abbey might’ve attempted to prove it can all be done at once. But she’s on her way out, folks. We now know to replace that empty, foolish, ill-advised “can do!” with the wiser, calmer, smarter “let’s do it right.”)

So, without further adieu….

A Very Public 30th Birthday Announcement of Rather Private Things:




  1. Best friend from college.
  2. World’s finest tank.
    This is my absolute only picture of it. Purchased at London's Camden Market. Loved it. Still do. Siiiigh.
    This is my only picture of it. Purchased at London’s Camden Market. Loved it. Still do. Siiiigh.
  3. Belief that “anything can happen.”
  4. Affinity for exclamation marks. (Thank you, author and teacher extraordinaire, Lary Bloom.)
  5. Patience for the lazy and/or unkind. (Zip it. We, the diligent, kind lot have no time for you. Off you go. Good luck, be well, but off you go.)
  6. Ability to enjoy poorly written books.
  7. Simultaneously crushing several famous, semi-famous, and should-be-famous men. (Carlos, George, T.G., A.L., B.K., Thomas Jefferson)
  8. Desire to be taller. (I mean really. Let. It. Go.)
  9. Notion your soulmate is the ideal person to marry.
  10. The part of my competitive edge that was fueled by insecurity and naivety.


  1. My parents were right about basically everything. (So get your oil changed, take out your contacts, give everyone the benefit of the doubt at least a couple times, trust your instincts, bring at least one pair of practical shoes, be kind, and find joy in every day.)
  2. THE Louisa May Al-Cat: bottomless source of joy confined to fluffy kitten body.
    No, she is not a plush toy of my imagination.
    No, she is not a plush toy of my imagination.
  3. I don’t actually like most liquors, most books, most music, or most fashion trends. (No, I will not be tucking a plaid grunge relic into high-waisted acid-washed Daisy Dukes. Not even if my ass could pull that off. Which it can’t. And even if yours can, should it? SHOULD IT?)
  4. A blessing of a new best friend.
  5. What we call “a writer’s voice.” She was always there, but now she sings. She blares. She booms. I love her, and most of the time, she loves me.
  6. People can be unexpectedly beautiful and generous when you generally — and genuinely — root for their success and happiness.
  7. Domestic bliss in Columbus, Ohio.
  8. I like cigars. Maybe too much.
    Delish & Dangerous.
    Delish & Dangerous.
  9. Often, in business and pleasure, a phone call is far, far more effective than an e-mail.
  10. I love, love, love Lopez. And not just as a friend. (At 20 we were totally platonic pals. Awww!)
    When I see this picture, I hear the Muppet Babies theme song. What can this mean?!
    When I see this picture, I hear the Muppet Babies theme song. What can this mean?!


  1. What it means to love. Really.
  2. Do no harm, but take no shit.
  3. Our culture vastly and chronically underrates intuition.
  4. You don’t have to like everyone, nor do you have to like everything about anyone. (Even thyself.)
  5. I am even luckier than I thought.
  6. My younger brother is ridiculously wise, and not just for his age. For anyone. Anywhere. Ever.
    ViVi & Ty Before.
    The Original ViVi & Ty.
    ViVi & Ty Now.
    ViVi & Ty Last Month.
  7. How to pitch a story concept. (And how NOT to pitch a story concept. Still have some battle scars from this lesson.)
  8. The universe owes you NOTHING.
  9. Mentors and teachers — life and career-changing ones — can appear in miraculous, strange ways. You don’t have to meet them. You never even have to speak to them. You just have to be open to them.
  10. It’s all lead up to now. And now’s all we got.

Love, love, love to you each, and thanks for reading, and au revoir for now. Must go eat cake. Apparently some things absolutely never change.

Well lookie there. It's me. Sharking around the dessert table. Typical.
Well lookie there. It’s me. Sharking around the dessert table. Typical.



Please feel free to share your thoughts here! xo
  1. Deb Susi says:

    Love your “things”, Abbey. This is a wonderful list.

  2. Diane Lopez says:

    So awesome Abbey! Wish I had your wisdom in my 50’s. I need to print this out and read every day! (The pics are my fav…..Annie!?)


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