A Month of Giving Thanks (Part Four)

Hello hello!  Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers who celebrate!  The month of thanks is drawing to a close, which means I will have no idea what to post about again starting next week.  Ah well.  I’ll worry about that then.  For now, let’s get back into a thankful mood.  As always, feel free to join in!  Here are my last five choices for this year:

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This.  So much this.

1. Books!  I feel like any good writer would have mentioned this weeks ago, but whatever.  Books are awesome covered in awesome sauce.  Not only do they teach us things, the really good ones do so without us even realizing it until it’s too late.  And they provide us with escapes to other realities.  We get to experience a lot of things we would never otherwise experience.  Not only that, but we get to see life through the perspective of someone else.  So yeah, books are great.

2. Pets.  I mentioned stuffed animals, but never real ones.  Shame on me!  I actually adore most animals (until we start talking bugs anyway), but this section is reserved for furbabies and the like.  Some people I know are hesitant about getting a pet because of the pain of losing them, but I’m not one of them.  Yeah, it hurts when they die (they’re family, so of course it does), but there’s nothing like the unconditional love of an animal.

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Chewy (unknown-…), Dame Julia (2001-2014), Toto (unknown-2011)
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Speedy (1993-2010)

 3. A dad who can cook.  He spoils me with smoked meats (including homemade pastrami), pasta, breakfast, and basically everything he makes.  I see all these Thanksgiving specials where the women are in the kitchen, but it was always Dad who did most of the holiday cooking.  Mom cooked most of the rest of the time when she was alive, so Dad’s cooking was always a treat.  Now, he wonders why I’d rather he make something instead of going out.  Because you make it better, that’s why.  And yes, the rest of you should be jealous.

4. Anime and manga.  On top of providing all of the goodness of books, these also have pictures.  If you’ve read through earlier posts, you know that many of my favorite heroes and heroines come from anime and manga.  Like many, it was also my gateway into Japanese culture, so you can blame it for a lot of my weirdness.  My writing has also been majorly influenced by the stuff.  I mean, one wouldn’t expect too much of a difference in character archetypes and plot development and the like, but there’s actually SO much to learn from anime and manga as a writer.  It’s mind blowing.  Really.

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From Neon Genesis Evangelion (aka my first experience with a series where I despised the main character but loved the story and the other characters, which wasn’t an abnormal reaction at all).

 5. Deadlines.  I know the good majority of creative types are supposed to hate the pressure of a due date, but not me.  I’d never get anything done without some kind of time constraint.  Whether it’s my self-imposed word count or someone else telling me I need to get something done, deadlines and goals are my friend.  It’s okay to admit it.

I think that’s it.  Time to prepare to eat myself into a food coma, then eat some more!  Have a safe and wonderful holiday!  See you next time.

A Month of Giving Thanks (Part Three)

Hello again!  With everything going on in the world lately (whether the disasters are natural or the result of the cruelty of humans), it can be a little difficult to find things to be thankful about.  All of the small things seem insignificant and all of the big things have a way of becoming overwhelming if you dwell on them too much.  So, I want to take a moment to be thankful for the protectors and the first responders.

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Keeping France, Beirut, and the rest of the world in my thoughts.

1. Policemen/women.  I know this is a bold statement in the U.S. right now (and it really shouldn’t be), but I am grateful for the men and women who put their lives on the line in our own neighborhoods to uphold the law.  I don’t believe a few bad seeds spoil the whole group (this applies to all types of people).  And I feel safer knowing that law enforcement officers are out there.

2. Firefighters.  Aside from being the only (mostly) sane people who would actually run towards a blazing inferno, these people hold a special place in my heart for a completely different reason.  If you’ve ever seen a firefighter standing at a stoplight running in and out of traffic to collect donations, then you’ve witnessed Fill the Boot.  They’re raising funds and awareness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  As someone with one of the muscular dystrophies (Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy), I really appreciate everything these people do for MDA.

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The view isn’t bad, either.

3. EMTs.  These people and their training are often a deciding factor in whether or not someone survives an emergency or a trauma.  Not only that, but they deal with all of the non-life-threatening calls they get as well.  In other words, whether they’re helping bring up a diabetic’s blood sugar or at the scene of a grizzly accident, they’re saving lives.  They’re the first line of healers in the chaos, and I think that’s pretty commendable.

4. The U.S. Military.  I am thankful for all of those who have fought (and continue to fight) to keep our country free and safe.  I might not agree with the wars we enter, but I respect anyone who’s willing to fight (and give their lives) for their country.  For our country.

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5.  All of the rest of the unsung heroes.  The civilians who stop to lend a hand when tragedy strikes.  Nurses and doctors who stop their lives to help save someone else’s.  Everyone who has taken a moment to help when the world decided to throw us into chaos.  They all deserve some recognition.

That’s all I have to say this week.  See you next time!

A Month of Giving Thanks (Part Two)

Hello again!  It’s already been a week since my last post?  I suppose time flies when you’re having fun.  Or maybe it’s just because I’m getting older.  I swear I don’t remember the days going by so fast when I was a kid.  Anyway, enough rambling.  A new week means another chance to share more things I’m grateful for!  As I said last time, feel free to join me.

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“A Break in Reality” by Xetobyte

1. The Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing.  If you’ve perused previous posts, you’ve probably noticed my affection for this program.  I mean, come on.  It’s the first academic setting where I actually felt like I belonged instead of it simply being a stepping stone to my next life goal.  Of course I’m thankful for it and all of the people associated with it.  I highly suggest applying if you’re a writer.

2. Pretty Asian males.  If you know me at all, you knew this was coming sooner or later!  I’m entirely comfortable admitting that I like eye candy, preferably Japanese and in a dress (but not always in one).  If you don’t like it, that’s fine.  Most of the males I stalk are musicians, so they are also ear candy.  A couple of samples:

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Hizaki (Jupiter) and Kaya (Femme Fatale)!
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Hiro (Nocturnal Bloodlust) and Sono (Matenrou Opera)!

3. Music in general.  If there’s one thing in life that has kept me (relatively) sane, it’s music.  Yeah, as a kid, I went with the flow (aka listened to the things my friends were listening to), but I eventually came into my own.  I still remember flipping through radio stations once when I was bored and coming across Zip-Lock by Lit.  That was the beginning of my punk days.  The first time I broke away from what everyone else in my world was listening to.  It was so freeing.  My tastes have fluctuated a lot since then, so I now listen to an eclectic selection.  It keeps me going, so who cares what everyone else is doing?

4. Technology.  Without it, I’d not only be confined to one spot all the time, I’d also probably be dead.  When you require help for something as simple as breathing, you learn to appreciate the machines that help you out.  Wheelchairs, ventilators, patient lifts, and all of that delightful stuff is what I’m talking about.  Sure, TVs and cars and radios and all that are fan-freaking-tastic, but right now I mean all of the stuff that helps to make life more or less normal for folks like me.

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We’ve come a long way.

5. Stuffed animals.  I know it’s weird for a nearly 30-year-old to admit her love of plushies, but I adore them.  They’re soft and cuddly and cute.  Their beady eyes are next-level creepy, like they’re staring into your soul and getting ready to eat it.  You should know by now that I’m strange.  Don’t act so surprised.  But yes, stuffed animals rock!

I think that’s all for today.  See you next week!

A Month of Giving Thanks (Part One)

Hi there!  So, it’s November!  That means we’re coming up on my favorite holiday (and no, I don’t mean Christmas).  Yup, it’s almost time for Thanksgiving!  Because of this, while everyone else is getting all excited about Santa and elves on shelves and all of that wonderful stuff, I have decided to dedicate my posts this month to what this part of the season is really about: giving thanks.  Each week, I will list five things I’m thankful for.  Feel free to join in!

November

What am I thankful for?

1. Family, of course.  This includes Dads and Minions and the like.  I was raised in a way that let me realize early on that family isn’t about blood and biology, it’s about the people who love you for who you are regardless of what you can do for them.  They are the people who stick around (whether they live close by or just keep in touch) and let you know they think of you.  So, for my family who’s reading this, I appreciate everything you do.  I love you.  And that’s enough sap for a long, long time.  Never speak of this again.

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Dad!
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Minion!

2.Friends.  My creepy kindred spirits.  Whether we’ve known each other for 10+ years online or for less than a handful of years in real life or anything in between makes no difference to me.  You guys (and gals) are pure awesome covered in awesome sauce with a cherry on top.  And now, back to our regularly scheduled creepiness, please.

3. The Interwebz.  Aside from the fact that most of my friends live in there somewhere, it just makes life easier.  I don’t know how many stupid (or disturbing) questions I’ve found the answers to in order to make my stories more accurate.  The NSA might have me on a watchlist somewhere, but at least I know the correct procedure for performing an enucleation (and that’s not even close to the weirdest thing I’ve looked up).  Plus, I can stalk people.  Take that how you want.

4. Spiked coffee.  Whoever originally accidentally spilled booze in their coffee (or vice versa) and decided it was a good thing, you are wonderful!  And each person who has experimented with different combinations ever since is kind of great in their own right.  Then you have the genius who added whipped cream (you rock).  Don’t ask me why (because I really don’t know), but I love the stuff.  Disclaimer: I swear I’m not a lush.

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Yes, please!

5. The fact that I can block posts on Facebook from all of the people who started posting nothing but Christmas stuff at 12:01 AM on November 1st and they will never know.  Not that I would ever do that.  But, if you don’t hear from me until December… well, yeah.  Sorry, not sorry.

I think that’s enough for this week, don’t you?  I’ll be back next week with another five things I’m thankful for!  What are you thankful for this year?  Comment here or Facebook or Twitter or G+