34 Random Things About Me

Howdy, howdy!  On Sunday, I turned 34.  It was a nice, quiet day.  Dad took me out for Thai food, which was super yummy.  It’s a place we used to go to pretty often called Tukta Thai over on the corner of Walnut Hill and Plano Road.  We still have no idea why we stopped going other than it being a bit of a drive.  I’ll have to review the place next time we go (if I can remember to make Dad take pictures).  Anyway, since I have nothing new to ramble about, I thought I would make a list of 34 random facts about me that you may or may not already know.

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1. In case you haven’t guessed by the January 12th birthday, I’m a Capricorn.

2. Just about every morning, I call my dog random names to see what she’s answering to in that particular 5 minutes, because she refuses to learn her name. Or any name.

3. I love garlic. What’s the point of eating something if there’s no garlic in it?

4. I’m a slush reader for PseudoPod.

5. If I have to choose between vanilla and chocolate ice cream, I’ll usually choose vanilla. Unless it’s Ghirardelli or Talenti, then chocolate please. Or just give me coffee ice cream. Now, I want ice cream.

6. I watched The Witcher and never got the song stuck in my head. I can’t even remember the tune.  Does that make me a psychopath?

7. I think Madonna is overrated.

8. I haven’t watched a single episode of Game of Thrones, nor have I read any of the books.

9. I like fake grape flavor.

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10. Sailor Saturn is the best Sailor Senshi and nothing you say will change my mind.

11. Anime taught me that main characters don’t have to be likeable for the story to be good.  Yeah.  I’m looking at you, Shinji and Eren.

12. I love bats and octopuses.  And snakes.  And wombats.  Animals.  I like them.

13. Mermaids, sirens, and selkies are among my favorite mythical creatures.

14. I’m so bad at remembering to write letters that one of my friends routinely sends me stationery type stuff to remind me to write to her.  I currently have one of the blank cards she sent me for my birthday sitting in front of me waiting to be filled out.  It’s been there since Friday.  I’m a horrible friend.

15. I told Dad I was going to crochet a bag of dicks for him if he didn’t stop being one, so he brought out the “dick warmer” he got as a gift a long time ago.  Needless to say, I now have an old crocheted penis on display in my room.

16. My CD collection has been sitting on my desk for over a year since my old stereo died. I keep forgetting to transfer them to my computer.

17. I have been in every state straight up from Texas and to the east.  Now, we just have to conquer the west.

18. When people ask if I’ve been out of the country, it takes me a minute to remember that Canada counts and I have been there.

19. I used to cross-stitch before my hands decided to be stupid.  Which is probably why I enjoy crocheting.  It’s a completely different experience, but I get to buy pretty yarn, which is basically the same as buying pretty thread.

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20. As much as I miss video games, I’m kind of glad I stopped being able to play before you had to start buying in-game upgrades and subscriptions and all that crap.  I’m poor enough as it is.

21. I could never be a vegan because cheese.  Meat too, but mostly cheese.

22. I like Pepsi better than Coke.  Unless it’s Mexican, then Coke is better.

23. My acquaintances post these “picky eater” test things on Facebook and I really have no idea how some of them survive.  Like, what do you eat?  You can’t survive on air and cookies.

24. I’ll taste just about anything once.  I’m not picky.  Even if I know I don’t like it, but haven’t tasted it in years, I’ll try it again.

25. I don’t like sweet pickles.  Doesn’t matter how many times I taste them.  Blargh.  But I love dill pickles.

26. My favorite season is summer.  I like heat, though I admit as I get older, 85-90 is warm enough.

27. Anything besides cheese pizza (and maybe sausage or pepperoni) is an open-face sandwich. You’ll never convince me otherwise.

28. I’ve had to read “Hills like White Elephants” by Hemingway so many times I’ve lost count.  The last teacher who assigned it actually looked supremely disappointed when he asked what it was really about and I automatically answered abortion.  He was kind of a dick anyway, so I didn’t mind bursting his smug bubble when he just knew no one would know what it was about.

29. I love boxes and baskets.  I have no use for them, but I love them.

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My bat’leth and other things.

30. I collect blades and whips.

31. In one of my fiction writing classes at SMU, no one knew what an asshat was.  I understood the teacher not knowing, but none of my classmates had heard it either.  I fixed that.

32. Aside from weapons, my room also contains an eclectic mix of stuffed animals, skulls, Barbie dolls, and signed posters among other things.

33. I like Panera’s frozen coffees, but find their hot (read that as lukewarm) drinks extremely disappointing.

34. It took me a ridiculously long time to write this because I suck at talking about myself.

There you go. Thirty-four random things about me.  Feel free to share your thoughts or comments or lists about yourself here or on my social media pages!

Self-Imposed Deadlines: Do They Work?

Hello, hello!  How did your first week of 2020 go?  Were you as productive as you wanted to be?  My week has been pretty good.  I made a revision schedule for DS1 and came up with two deadlines (the ideal one versus the actual one).  I’ll share them with you along with my thoughts on self-imposed deadlines in a moment, but first I wanted to say that I’m ahead of schedule and (so far) sticking to the goals necessary to complete the revisions ahead of my ideal schedule.  I’m not crocheting as much as I want, but I’ll eventually find a balance.  Anyway, the year has been good and productive thus far!  Huzzah!

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Go me! I’m not above celebrating myself.

So, like I said, I made a revision schedule for DS1. If I revise a 1,000-word chunk four days a week, I will be able to finish the second draft of this novel (draft one was 66,100ish words) by April 30th. That’s my actual goal.  It’s realistic and easily doable even if I fall a little behind.  Why only four days a week?  Because Sunday is shower day, which is an all day thing; Tuesday (or sometimes Monday) is blog writing day, which I usually don’t feel like do anything productive afterwards; and one day a week for doctor’s appointments, errands, crocheting, or just me time.  I think that’s a reasonable schedule at this point.  However, if I continue with the same basic schedule, just with revising 1,500-word chunks, my finish date becomes March 20th (my ideal deadline).  So far, I’m keeping up with the latter date, plus I already had about 2,000 words revised that held up well under scrutiny, so I’m ahead of the March 20th deadline by about a day.

I realize that these are self-imposed deadlines, which a lot of people think are useless.  There aren’t any real consequences if I miss them, so are they really that helpful?  For me, the answer is yes and no.  Let’s tackle the no first.  The efficacy of self-imposed deadlines really depends on my mood.  If I’m feeling depressed and unmotivated and all of that, a self-imposed deadline means absolutely nothing to me.  All it does is make me feel worse because I let myself down.  You give me a deadline for a paying job or if I’m taking a class or something and I’ll get everything done a day early come Hell or high water.  But a self-imposed deadline doesn’t offer me the same kind of motivation.

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Accurate.

If that’s the case, then how are self-imposed deadlines helpful to me?  Because they remind me that I have my own pace.  That I know my own abilities.  In a couple of weeks, when I’m looking at my revisions and upset that I’m not closer to the end, I will be able to look at my deadlines and remind myself that I’m on track according to my own abilities.  I’m not capable of writing 5,000 words in one sitting.  I can’t fully revise 6,500 words in one day.  Other people can.  I’m not them.  And having those self-imposed deadlines reminds me that I have a plan, that I made this plan for a reason and it’s catered to my own abilities.  It helps me from getting too discouraged.

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I think.

What are your thoughts on self-imposed deadlines?  Are they helpful to you?  Do you stick with them?  As usual, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

Happy 2020!

Howdy, howdy!  Welcome to 2020!  I hope you all have a wonderful year and even better decade!  The 2010s were a weird decade for me.  My mother passed away (don’t be sorry, I’m not), I finished my BA at SMU, got my MFA from Stonecoast, got published a couple of times, earned a LOT of rejections, lost some pups, got a new one, and the list goes on.  Ultimately, it seems like there were more ups than downs, and that’s all one can really hope for.  It’s all I want out of 2020 as well, both the year and the decade.  Anyway, since it’s the 1st, I’m just going to list my goals for the year.  I suppose I should have some kind of 10 year plan, but I don’t.  I never think that far ahead, at least not seriously.  So, you’re stuck with my plan for the year like usual.

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My 2020 goals in no particular order:

1. Finish revising DS1.  I plan on getting back to this today.  The only major change I’m looking at making is changing the tense of the story from past to present because it just reads better that way.  This goal is my priority for this year.  Hopefully, it will only take me a few months.  After I look at it, I’ll set a realistic deadline and share it with people who can hold me accountable.

2. Read 30 books.  I’ll definitely read 12 new/recently released books for the monthly book reviews (yeah, that’s still going to be a thing).  That leaves 18 books.  I’m planning on 8-10 of those being books from my “to re-read” list and the rest being books that are new to me, but not necessarily new.  At least that’s the plan.  We’ll see how it goes.

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Maybe I will start with Harry Potter. After I read some books my secret Santa sent me for the Pseudopod book exchange.

3. Keep submitting.  This will be my third year of consistent submissions.  At least two stories every week (or the equivalent if I get sick and miss some weeks like last year).  I’ve gotten about 210 rejections for my short stories since I started keeping track in 2014, plus 101 rejections from agents for G&G, so I’d say I’m doing pretty well.  The few acceptances I’ve earned make it not so discouraging.  All of my acceptances so far have been for semi-pro level payment and I’ve received positive feedback on rejections from pro level markets, so hopefully 2020 will be the year of my first pro level acceptance.  A girl can wish, right?

4. Query 100 agents (or fewer if I find one).  Once I finish the revisions to DS1, the plan is to query agents.  It’s drastically different from G&G, so I’ll have to go through the process of finding agents with a taste for this particular genre.  But at least this time I’ll have had some experience and know where to start my search.  I dread writing the query letter, though.  It’s harder to write than a novel.

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Except I’m not a lady and I have no stash yet, but one day it will be glorious.

5. Crochet.  Yes, my new hobby is still a thing.  I’m getting pretty far along with my first project (the unfinished hat doesn’t count).  And I already have like 10 free patterns saved to try and 20 paid patterns in my favorites on Ravelry to buy when/if I decide to do them.  But it’s just a hobby and will have to be done after my writing and revising each day.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  I’ll make it work.  Eventually.

Those are my goals for the year.  I’ll add new writing goals once I finish my revisions.  And I’m not even going to say anything about trying to be more social because we all know it’s not going to happen.  What about your goals?  Any plans you want to share for your 2020?  As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

Thoughts on A SMALL TOWN

Howdy, howdy!  Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and happy holidays to those who celebrate something else!  I hope everyone has a pleasant day full of love and good food.  Dad’s making a lasagna for us.  It’s okay.  You can be jealous.  Anyway, it’s the last Wednesday of the month, so that means it’s book review time.  When I requested this month’s book, I thought it was a mystery based on the description, but I really don’t know what category it falls into.  It’s called A Small Town by Thomas Perry.  It was released on December 17th by The Mysterious Press (an imprint of Grove Atlantic).  As usual, I must thank the publisher and NetGalley for giving me access to an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.  Let’s get to it.

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Nice cover.

A Small Town follows a bunch of people, but primarily Leah Hawkins, in the aftermath of a prison break.  It’s been two years and the twelve who orchestrated it have yet to be caught.  The current police chief of the dying town decides to take a sabbatical to hunt the twelve down herself.  Can she succeed where everyone else has failed?

I’m going to say it right up front: I hated this book with a passion.  So, if you don’t want to read one long rant, feel free to skip to the rating.  For everyone else, my dislike started with the basic premise.  A small town cop with the exact same leads as the FBI is the only one who can find these men who aren’t even that hard to find.  The first one was living with his mother.  I’m sure the FBI had no idea about that and had no one watching the place at least in the beginning.  It’d be too easy.  Turns out it was that easy, but only Leah could figure it out.  From there, she got a bunch of lucky leads.  It was annoying.  And I won’t even go into the psychology of the escapees and how some with non-violent histories are suddenly committing rape and murder to “kill the town” and make their escape easier.

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Then there were the subplots.  Leah’s romance was ridiculous.  She was the other woman to some city official but it was okay because his wife had just been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (as if that’s not an umbrella term for multiple possible diagnoses), so her sex life was over and she was a benevolent being who allowed the affair.  First off, stop perpetuating the idea that cripples aren’t sexual beings.  Second, do your damn research.  One quick Google search will tell you that MD is a number of different diseases.  Pick one.  Lastly, his wife may have been a forgiving person, but don’t use a disability to rationalize shitty behavior.  It’s not okay.  And the romance did nothing to further the main plot anyway, so it was completely unnecessary.

There was also that whole cheating thing with the racist woman and the criminal.  The sex scenes were completely random and felt like they were thrown in last minute to set up the deaths of two of the escaped prisoners so that Leah wouldn’t have to hunt them down.  It just felt like lazy storytelling.  But I was already firmly against this book by that point, so maybe I’m wrong.  I doubt it, but maybe.

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The writing was subpar at best.  I understand adding description to flesh stuff out and up the tension, but I know how to open a door.  Going through it step by step is just tedious.  And that’s how a lot of this book felt.  Tedious.  And then there was the POV.  It was one of those books that was in everyone’s head and jumped around multiple times each chapter, which is fine.  The bad part was that there are so many names thrown around and characters that only show up once that it’s impossible to follow without some kind of chart.  I don’t understand why half of the people were even worth getting names let alone a peek inside their head.  There was no focus.

Ultimately, I wanted to stop reading A Small Town.  I would have if I hadn’t been reviewing it.  But I figured I needed to see if it got any better.  It didn’t.

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Overall, I gave it 1 out of 5 stars because NetGalley and everything requires some kind of star rating.  It’s really more like half a star because I acknowledge that some people enjoyed it.  Pick it up if it’s your thing.  It wasn’t mine.

Early Christmas Break

Hello, hello!  Is everyone ready for the holidays?  I hope so.  Anyway, I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to come up with a topic for this week’s post and I keep coming up blank.  Since I’m doing a book review on Christmas instead of taking a break, I figured I would take this week off.  So, here are some festive photos of my chair that Dad decorated and a couple from the MDA Holiday Party in lieu of an actual post!

Merry (early) Christmas!

Less Screen Time: Pros and Cons

Howdy, howdy!  How is everyone doing this December?  Are you ready for whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating?  We aren’t planning on doing anything this year, so we’re pretty much prepared.  Anyway, I haven’t been doing much aside from reading and crocheting.  That means I don’t have much to talk about.  But it also means I’ve been away from the computer more often than usual.  It makes for a weird combination of good and bad.  So, I thought I would take a chance to ramble about some of the pros and cons I’ve noticed about being away from the screen.

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Pro 1: Less social media drama.  Don’t get me wrong, I love lurking and seeing how everyone I know is doing, but I really like not getting sucked down all the flame war rabbit holes.  I still scroll through everything on a daily basis, but I find myself reading fewer comments because I’d rather go play with yarn than watch people argue.  It just seems like a better use of my time.

Con 1: Less socializing.  I don’t socialize enough as it is, but being away from the computer means that I don’t respond to Facebook messages right away.  I rarely respond to texts right away anymore, unless it’s important.  It’s just not as easy to multitask when my computer is in my room and I’m in the dining room.  So, sorry if I haven’t messaged you enough or in a timely manner.  I’m being worse than usual about it.

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Pro 2: Yarn doesn’t judge me when I curse at it.  Try it.  You can say anything you want to yarn and the worst it will do is tangle itself up, which just results in more colorful language.  Say the wrong thing online and someone’s going to blow up at you whether you were talking to them or not.  Yarn is good.  Yarn doesn’t judge.  Be like yarn.

Con 2: Yarn won’t help you with stupid things.  As good a listener as yarn is, it won’t offer unhelpful solutions when you need a laugh.  That’s what my Interwebz friends are for, to send me stupid memes and GIFs when I’m in a funk.

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And sometimes yarn curses back.

Pro 3: Finding new communities to be part of and learning people you already know are in those communities.  I’ve joined a few crochet and fiber arts groups only to discover people I already know are in them!  It’s actually kind of cool to join a group and realize you already have friends there.  Plus, it’s nice to have places to go and ask beginner questions and get a lot of feedback.

Con 3: The groups are online.  In other words, I join them and stalk them for a few minutes, then go back to the dining room.

Ultimately, I’m still on my computer a lot, but being away from it seems to be helping my mental health.  I don’t know if it’s just being away from the negativity of social media or if it’s doing something with my hands or a combination of the two, but I feel better (not as depressed and anxious as usual).  So, I think less screen time is good, but I still need it to socialize.

What are your thoughts on screen time and social media breaks and all that good stuff?  Feel free to leave your comments or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

December Goals: 2019

Hello, hello!  It’s the last month of 2019 and I haven’t really accomplished much the last few months.  I’m not really looking to do much this month either.  Shame on me, I know.  But it’s true.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m not going to be able to shake the writing blahs any time soon.  But I still have some goals that I intend to work on.  And I haven’t shared a goal post in a while, so that’s what I’m doing now.  Sorry that I have nothing better to ramble about.

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So, here are those goals in no particular order:

1. Keep submitting to two places each week.  I fell behind on this when I was sick earlier this year, but I caught up and have no plans to give up now.  I’ve gathered a lot of rejections, mostly form, but with some really nice personal ones sprinkled throughout.  You know about the acceptances if you stalk me at all.  It’s been a really good year submission-wise.

2. Read 2 more books.  I know I originally wanted to read 30 books this year, but I think I’m going to top out around 27.  I just finished number 25.  If I hadn’t gotten sick, I probably could’ve squeezed in a few extra.  But honestly, I’ll be happy if I only get through 26.

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Zombies need sweaters too.

3. Crocheting.  I was stupid and chose a big ambitious project as a newbie.  There’s no way I’m finishing it this year, but I want to get a big chunk of it done, so in January I can switch my main focus back to writing like I should’ve done a long time ago.  I have to remind myself that crocheting is just supposed to be a hobby.

4. Being more social.  I went to SMU’s Celebration of Lights with Dad and some friends.  We even have another holiday thing planned with them.  But I also really need to text and Facebook message some people because I have been hermitting really bad.  Like worse than usual.  I blame the crochet because it doesn’t involve the computer, so I can’t multitask when I’m doing it.  But really, I’m just enjoying my own company.

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5. Get in a festive mood.  It’s hard.  I can’t get into Christmas music.  I’m not in the mood to look at lights.  I thought going to SMU’s thing would help, but it didn’t do much for me.  Maybe the holiday party will help.  Or maybe I’m just a Grinch.  But I have eggnog, so I’m a happy Grinch.

What about you?  Do you have any December goals?  Are you already filled with the holiday spirit or are you struggling too?  As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

Thoughts on THE WICKERLIGHT

Howdy, howdy!  It’s the last Wednesday of November, so that means it’s book review time.  But first, happy (early) Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it!  I hope your day tomorrow is filled with great food and even better company.  Now, back to what this post is about.  I was in the mood for fantasy, so I requested The Wickerlight by Mary Watson.  What I didn’t realize was that it was the second book in a series (NetGalley isn’t great at letting you know if a book is part of a series) and by the time I noticed, it was too late for me to go back and read The Wren Hunt first.  Luckily, this one stands pretty well on its own.  Anyway, The Wickerlight was released November 26th by Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books.  I must thank them and NetGalley for access to an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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A nice, simple cover.

The Wickerlight follows David and Zara as they navigate life, mystery, parental expectations, and even love.  Despite the lack of leads and evidence in her sister’s strange death, Zara is determined to find out what happened.  Despite being part of a secret magical war and under immense pressure from his father, David is determined to keep the peace between the Judges and Augurs as best as he can.  What happens when outsiders find out about the magic going on under their noses?  What happens when things come to a boil between the Judges and Augurs?  What happens when Zara and David cross paths?

It sounds like an interesting story and it really is.  There’s a lot of Irish mythology in it, which I need to get better acquainted with.  One thing I learned about myself from this book is that I have zero grasp on Irish pronunciations.  Luckily, there’s a glossary in the back to help out, so if you don’t know how to say Badb either, start there.

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Me trying to figure out how to pronounce things.

The pacing of the book was interesting.  It moved super fast and a lot of the time it didn’t feel like much was happening until I stopped and thought about what I read.  I think this was because there’s a lot of telling and very little showing in this book.  Yeah, I wished some parts had been slowed down and explained in more detail, but for the most part I enjoyed the speed.  I got through a 400+ pages book in about 10 days.  That’s quick  for me.  And the fact that I kept thinking about what I read even after I put it down for the night says a lot.  I haven’t found myself that invested in a book and it’s characters in a long time.

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Me as I read this book.

The writing was crisp and clear and fun.  The characters were diverse and entertaining.  I actually found myself wanting to know more about Adam and his life.  I don’t know if there’re going to be more books (it could go either way as some stuff seemed to be left open, but the important stuff was wrapped up), but I hope to see more of him if there are.

Ultimately, The Wickerlight surprised me and surpassed my expectations for fantasy nowadays.  I’ll definitely pick up book one and see how it is.  I will also keep an eye out for more books by Mary Watson.

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Overall, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because it really could have benefited from slowing down at times.  Beyond that, if you like well rounded characters, fast pace, and an intriguing plot, I definitely encourage you to pick this one up.

Thanksgiving: 2019

Howdy, howdy!  How is everyone doing this week?  November is speeding along, much like the rest of this year.  I have no idea where the time went.  I’m still stuck in April or May.  Is it just me?  Yeah?  Okay then.  But Thanksgiving is only eight days away, so I thought it would be a good time to make a list of things I’m thankful for this year.  I know I should probably do this closer to Thanksgiving, but next week is my book review post.  Anyway, in no particular order, here are five things I’m thankful for this year.

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We’ll get a new picture of us eventually.

1. Dad.  I know it’s sappy, but I am thankful for him.  He does everything for me.  Even the gross stuff no one wants to know about.  And I don’t say thanks enough.  Mostly because I don’t really know how to express myself well (my social skills suck, even with family).  But I know he’s reading this.  So, you are appreciated.  Even if you’re a dick sometimes.  That’s as sappy as I get.

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Replace cleaning the house with writing and it’s me!

2. Tunisian/Afghan crochet hooks.  They’re super long and designed for a special type of crochet, but I just use them for regular crochet so far.  My discovery of these earlier this year has allowed me to be creative in a whole new way.  And they prove my hands can still do cool things if I set my mind to it.  I’m not entirely useless after all!

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Unless the title has nothing to do with the book and you’re just disappointed.

3. NetGalley.  I’m not usually thankful for specific websites, but I admit that this one is pretty cool.  I’ve been able to read a bunch of books that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise.  I even found a couple of authors that I’m still following.  Plus, it gives me something to blog about each month, which is super helpful.

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Or maybe because I already know too much.  My friends are crazy.  Don’t deny it.

4. Friends.  Again, sappy.  But it’s true.  Especially the ones who randomly check in on me even when I’m in full hermit mode and being a shit friend myself.  You know who you are.  You’re all appreciated.  And sorry I am such a hermit.  I try not to be, but it never works out.

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5.  The Interwebz.  It’s where all my friends live.  But really, because it simultaneously lets me stalk people and keep up with their lives while helping limit my need to use the phone or leave the house.  Need to activate that card? Do it online!  Want to buy something?  There’s a website for that.  It’s basically an introvert’s dream.  But never read the comments.

What about you?  What are you thankful for this year?  It can be small or large.  Serious or funny.  Or anything in between.  Feel free to share your lists and thoughts here or on my social media pages!

Shameless Self-Promotion: CNF Edition

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Hello, hello!  I didn’t really plan on putting this out there, mainly because Creative Non-Fiction (CNF) isn’t my forte.  But then, I wondered why not?  Yes, my life is boring.  No, I don’t particularly enjoy writing about it.  But, a while back, I wrote a short essay about my feelings toward doctors (one doctor in particular, actually).  I’ve been submitting it places with little hope of it finding a home.  Anyway, I recently found out that it’s a finalist in the Pen 2 Paper writing competition.  It’s called “Wrap Me up and Tie it with a Bow” and you can find it under Non-Fiction in the link above.  Names have been changed and I’m sure some of the details are off (who can clearly remember that far back?), but the gist is true.  Feel free to take a look.  And keep all appropriate appendages crossed for me when they announce the winners.

CTD

Pen 2 Paper is the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities’ annual creative writing competition.  It has been around for at least nine years now and currently has four categories in which people can enter: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and comics.  You don’t have to be a Texan to submit.  You don’t even have to be cripple according to the guidelines.  But disability does have to be a main theme of the story/poem.  The goals of the competition are to give writers with disabilities a forum where they can share their work; bring awareness to disability issues through the arts; and challenge all people of all ages to think, rethink, and express their stories, perspectives, fears, and discoveries about disability.

I think what they’re trying to accomplish is interesting and I’m proud to be a small part of it.  With more than 400 submissions this go around, it’s obvious they’ve built a strong competition over the years.  Plus, it’s one of very few writing venues where I don’t have to worry about being the token cripple.

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Happy dance!

Anyway, I think I’ll leave it at that.  Please do check out my essay, “Wrap Me up and Tie it with a Bow.”  Feel free to let me know what you think of it here or on my social media pages.  Also, check my publication page on my website to look at any of my stuff you may have missed.  I’ll be back next week with my usual randomness!  See you then!