Halloween Movies

Howdy, howdy!  Since Halloween is only a week and a day away (wow!), I thought I would take the chance to share some of my favorite Halloween-ish movies with you.  I’m not really a movie person, so you’ll notice that they’re all super old (like 1995 or older) and none of them are scary.  Don’t get me wrong.  Scary movies are fine, but I’d rather be laughing at something meant to be stupid/funny than rolling my eyes at people who keep making stupid choices and dying.  If I’m going to spend time watching something, I want to be entertained.  Anyway, here are five movies/specials I enjoy around this time of year.  In no particular order.

p14911_v_v8_af

1. Hocus Pocus.  It’s funny and a good waste of an hour and a half.  Granted, I haven’t watched it in about ten years, but my tastes haven’t changed that much.  I’m just too lazy to record it when it’s on.  If it were on Netflix or Hulu, I’d rewatch it in a heartbeat.  Alas, if I want it commercial-free, I’d have to pay and I’m too cheap to do that for something I’ve already seen.  But it’s cute and a little creepy if you have your mind in the gutter.  If you haven’t seen it, find it.

images (1)

2. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  I know it’s only a TV special, but I’m still counting it.  Dad and I watch it every year and probably will until they decide to stop airing it or until we die.  Whichever comes first.  I mean, who doesn’t love Peanuts?  I don’t care what anyone says, the “I got a rock” bit is never not funny.  It’s a half hour out of your life.  Sit down and watch it.

91Pd6sLE42L._RI_

3. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure.  I haven’t seen this one since I was a kid because they decided to stop airing it.  I don’t know why.  It’s one of the few TV specials that I still think about every year, but I haven’t been able to find it (crap quality bootleg versions don’t count).  Although, Google says Amazon Prime has it.  I don’t have have that particular service, nor do I want it, but if you do, go check it out.  It’s a half hour of giggles.

p16786_v_v8_ab

4. Casper.  I know, I know.  It’s a dorky choice, but I enjoy it.  Yes, I realize it’s a childhood nostalgia trap where the movie might actually suck, but I don’t care.  I’d still watch it again if I could find it.  It’s been a while (10+ years) since I’ve seen it all the way through.  And since it appears Starz currently has it, I won’t be catching it any time soon.  But it’s a fun waste of two hours.  Especially if you’re into ’90s teen dramedies.

p15096_v_v11_aa

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Or pretty much any Tim Burton film.  Beetlejuice, The Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands.  The list goes on and on.  But if you grew up in the ’90s, The Nightmare Before Christmas is probably the one you have a soft spot for.  After all, we liked it before it was cool.

What about you?  What are some of your favorite Halloween movies?  Do you prefer old or new?  Funny or scary?  Feel free to share your list here or on my social media pages!

Things I’d Rather Be Doing Than Blogging

Howdy, howdy! As I’m writing this on Tuesday, it’s a warm (mid-80s), dreary day in October.  Not unusual for north Texas around this time of year.  But it has me feeling blah and lazy.  It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling to come up with topics for my blog each week, so I thought I would take the chance to let you know what I would rather be doing.  Some of which I will probably indulge in after I finish this post.  Please forgive me if it’s a little shorter than usual, but I’m really lacking motivation.  Without further ado, here are three things I’d rather be doing at this exact moment.

A13usaonutL._CLa_2140,2000_61BfXXlV84L.png_0,0,2140,2000+0.0,0.0,2140.0,2000.0._UX522_
I mean, Christmas is coming up.  Or my birthday.  Size XL.  Just saying.

1. Binge watching anime that I’ve fallen behind on.  I was watching a new episode of Fruits Basket as it came out each week and now I’m suddenly nine episodes behind.  I don’t even remember what initially interrupted my watching streak.  It wasn’t that I got bored with the show, I know that much.  Plus I have at least ten shows in my queue that I either want to watch or rewatch.  No idea why I haven’t made time for anime, but on days like this, watching it is all I really feel like doing.

j0idratherbecrocheting_j_Pink

2. Crocheting.  Yeah.  That hobby I talked about trying months ago is still a thing I’m working on.  I don’t have any finished products yet, but I’m really enjoying doing something with my hands.  And seeing the progress I’m making is really cool.  It’s a creative outlet that’s so different from writing.  I’ve always been a super harsh judge of my writing.  Mistakes and shitty storylines that I have to keep reworking are annoying as all get out.  But with crochet, I see errors and loose stitches and I’m still at a point where I can overlook them and see my improvement.  It’s still fun.  And if I ever finish anything, I’ll be sure to share it (warts and all) here.

e95330c3fdb28c201cb3d999f5043bd5

3. Reading.  I’m currently trying to finish up a book to review.  I have one more chapter left.  But I also have a bunch of books I want to start when I’m done, including one to review next month.  So many choices, so little time.  If I’m honest, I should read the next review book and get ahead a little, but I’ll probably pick something fun that I’ve been wanting to read for a while.  Maybe a cozy.  Maybe not.  If you follow me on GoodReads, you’ll find out when I decide.

That’s enough blogging today.  I think I’m going to go finish reading that book real quick, then get in some crocheting before other things distract me.  What about you?  What would you rather be doing on gloomy work days?  Would you like to snuggle up with a good book and a glass of something yummy?  Or maybe you’d rather go for a jog?  Whatever you decide, tell me about it.  Feel free to share your lists or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

Candy Nopes

Howdy, howdy!  Since it’s October, the great Candy Corn debate has started up again.  If you’ve been on any social media platforms, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  The passive aggressive memes about there being two types of people in the world (Candy Corn lovers vs. Candy Corn haters).  The more aggressive memes that claim the best way to eat Candy Corn is to throw it in the trash.  You see similar memes around most holidays with various foodstuffs.  Well, since I have nothing else to ramble about and I’ve pretty much exhausted favorite candies/chocolates in past posts, I thought I’d share my top five candy nopes.  Also known as candies I’m just not a fan of.

CgeT7Im
Or just don’t buy it in the first place.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Candy Corn.  I’ll be honest and say I’m not a fan.  Would I throw them away?  Probably not.  But I wouldn’t buy them for myself.  I’ll eat them if they’re there, but they’re always disappointing.  They just taste like sugar and they have a weird waxy texture that ends  with an unappetizing grittiness.  They’re not bad, but they aren’t good either.  There are other things I’d rather put in my mouth.

2. Peeps.  These are typically debated around Easter, but Halloween versions exist, so I’ll say it now: I don’t like Peeps.  To be fair, I don’t really like marshmallows, so they didn’t stand much of a chance in the first place.  Sure, s’mores are okay.  And I wouldn’t turn down hot chocolate with marshmallows.  But if I’m eating a marshmallow, there needs to be chocolate with it.  Or something to make them taste interesting.  Peeps don’t meet that requirement.

download (4)
Halloween Peeps on parfaits?  Maybe.

3. Mounds and Almond Joys.  I like the flavor of coconut and small amounts of toasted, shredded coconut is fine.  But a mouthful of shredded coconut makes me feel like I’m chewing on a clod of moist hair.  I don’t know why it brings that image to mind.  I know it’s completely different, but I can’t do it.  It’s my one texture thing.  I can do slimy and pretty much anything else, but not hairy type stuff.  Make fun of me all you want.  I’ll just be over here not having to pick moist coconut flesh from between my teeth.

4. SweeTarts and Smarties.  Actually, pretty much any sugar flavored chalk is a no from me.  This includes the heart candy you see around Valentine’s day.  It’s not bad, but it’s not my cup of tea.  I do like the chewy version of SweeTarts, though.

images
M&M.  But it still applies.

5. Peanut M&Ms.  Sorry, not sorry.  I love peanut butter in my chocolate, but not peanuts.  I’m iffy on almonds too.  Nuts in my chocolate are great if there’s a good chocolate to nut ratio, but companies rarely get it right.  And yes, I heard it as I was typing it.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

So, what are your candy nopes?  Feel free to share your lists and comments here or on my social media pages!

Year-End Reading List

Hello, hello!  It’s the beginning of October and I have nothing useful to ramble about.  Confession: this year has been far less productive than I had hoped.  But I have been continually submitting despite not writing as regularly as I should.  I’ve written a few short pieces, am slowly revising one of my novels so I can start the agent hunt again, and have read pretty much every day that I wasn’t sick this year.  It’s nowhere near what I should have accomplished, but that’s life.  It’s my own fault.  I’ve decided that over the next three months, I will stop procrastinating and hit the revision as hard as I can, so that I can submit to agents again starting in January.  I will keep submitting my short pieces every Monday.  And I’ll keep reading, which brings me to the point of this post.  Here’s my planned year-end reading list in no particular order.

best-places-to-visit-Vietnam-in-October

As usual, I plan to read at least two books each month, one for my book reviews and one for fun.  I currently only have one of the book review choices picked out, so here is that one and my three “for fun” books.  I might try to squeeze a couple of others in if I have time.

51wO0ZmBAnL

1. Black Rock Bay by Brianna Labuskes.  This will be October’s book review.  I was missing Maine and looking for something a little darker than a cozy, so I picked this one up from NetGalley.  Here’s the synopsis from GoodReads (where you can also find links to preorder it):

Detective Mia Hart never planned to return home. One terrifying summer night, Mia lost two of her closest friends to suicide. Scarred and broken, she fled St. Lucy’s, a small island off the coast of Maine.

Now fifteen years later, when the body of a journalist is fished out of the bay near St. Lucy’s cliffs, Mia is forced to help with the case—and face all she’s been running from. As she approaches the island, the wintery winds of Black Rock Bay usher Mia home again.

When Mia digs into the reporter’s death, she finds he left behind a written clue: It wasn’t suicide. Mia soon discovers it’s her own tragic past he was referring to. Now, as she tries to untangle a web of lies, Mia realizes that solving this case means becoming the next pawn in someone’s blood-chilling game of truth or die.

51I+5zOap-L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

2. The Missing Ones by Edwin Hill.  This is the second in his Hester Thursby mystery series.  I reviewed the first one here, and enjoyed it enough that I’m looking forward to this one.  It’s another one that seems to be on the darker side, but it actually falls in the cozy realm.  Also, I had no idea it was going to be set in Maine, so that’s just a bonus.  Here’s the GoodReads synopsis:

Hester Thursby has given up using her research skills to trace people who don’t want to be found. A traumatic case a few months ago unearthed a string of violent crimes, and left Hester riddled with self-doubt and guilt. Caring for a four-year-old is responsibility enough in a world filled with terrors Hester never could have imagined before.

Finisterre Island, off the coast of Maine, is ruggedly beautiful and remote—the kind of place tourists love to visit, though rarely for long. But not everyone who comes to the island is welcome. A dilapidated Victorian house has become home to a group of squatters and junkies, and strangers have a habit of bringing trouble with them. A young boy disappeared during the summer, and though he was found safely, the incident stirred suspicion among locals. Now another child is missing. Summoned to the island by a cryptic text, Hester discovers a community cleaning up from a devastating storm—and uncovers a murder.

Soon Hester begins to connect the crime and the missing children. And as she untangles the secrets at the center of the small community, she finds grudges and loyalties that run deep, poised to converge with a force that will once again shake her convictions about the very nature of right and wrong…

51mVCqmNzlL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

3. The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss.  The third and final tale of the women in the Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.  I fell in love with them from book one.  What’s not to love about the daughters of a bunch of villains and madmen running around saving the day?  Here’s the GoodReads synopsis:

Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club… especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucinda van Helsing, Mary Jekyll and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished— and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes!

As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and save the Empire? Find out in the final installment of the fantastic and memorable Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.

91Avc1IqBCL

4. Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien.  It’s the fourth in her Noodle Shop Mystery series.  A true cozy series.  It’s just a fun bunch of books and I enjoy them.  Here’s the GoodReads synopsis:

The Asian community is kicking off summer with the return of its popular Cleveland Night Market festivities, and Lana Lee is excited to represent the Ho-Lee Noodle House booth with her favorite chef, Peter Huang. Lana is confident that the evening marks the beginning of a great season to come. Not only is she looking forward to the warm temperatures, but her birthday is only weeks away, her handsome boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau, is planning a romantic get-away. Life couldn’t be better.

But before she can get too accustomed to the idea of a carefree summer, an explosion involving a nearby food truck, Wonton on Wheels, kills one of the proprietors and injures several others in the nearby vicinity.

When the authorities discover that this was no accident, the family members of the dead man become the number-one suspects in a front-page murder story. Lana and her best friend, Megan Riley, fall back into detective mode. But as they uncover family secrets of abuse and angry costumers, Lana’s own family drama raises its head. Will Lana be able to juggle everything the universe is throwing at her, or has she jumped from the frying pan to the fire? 

What about you?  What’s on your year-end reading list?  Feel free to share your list here or on my social media pages!

5 Assumptions People Make About Me That Aren’t True

Hello, hello!  How is everyone this bright and beautiful (or dark and gloomy depending on where you are) Wednesday?  So, August and September are usually time for my yearly check ups with my specialists (pulmonologist and neurologist) and whatever doctors they randomly decide I need to see.  I dread these appointments for various reasons, but mostly because hospital staff are the worst when it comes to making assumptions about me.  And it got me thinking about the most common assumptions people in general make (even my friends to some extent, at least in the beginning).  Anyway, I thought I’d share the first five that popped into my mind.

assume
Pretty much.

1. That I have to be on some kind of prescription medication.  This is the one that gets doctors and nurses the most.  They ask if I take any meds and poise themselves to take notes, then when I say no, their faces always do this weird cross between awed and unbelieving.  Like, chill.  I take Aspirin if my pain levels go above my normal pain threshold for too long.  I take Benadryl and Zyrtec for seasonal allergies as needed.  But no, I don’t have any prescription drugs I take on a regular basis.  And they always act like that’s an impossible answer.  People can be cripple and still be relatively healthy.  It’s a thing.

2. That I’m mentally disabled (or whatever the current term is).  The majority of people I meet make this assumption.  Even doctors.  Hell, even some of my professors over the years obviously thought I was mentally disabled until the results of our first test or essay of the semester came in.  It’s weird and sometimes annoying.

stop-being-weird-and-annoying-please
Pick one or the other.

3. That I’m a democrat.  This is mostly assumed by my friends.  I’m a disabled woman with a questionable sexuality, so I must be a democrat.  But I’m not.  Nor am I a republican.  I don’t believe all the issues can fit neatly in either box, so I take each issue separately and find my own opinion on it regardless of a political label.  Some of my thoughts lean left and some lean right.  Then, I keep my opinions to myself.

4. That I’m a devout believer in some kind of god.  And then people have the audacity to look upset when I tell them I’m not.  If I’m being honest, I’m agnostic leaning atheist.  I don’t deny the possibility of a higher being, but it’s really low on my list of “how everything came into being.”

giphy (16)

5. That it’s perfectly acceptable to touch me without asking first.  This is mostly limited to doctors, nurses, and strangers.  I mean, I get it’s your job to take my blood pressure or check my range of motion or whatever, but I break easily.  Communication is key.  And it has gotten to the point where I repeatedly tell doctors and nurses that Dad has to do everything just to avoid grabby hands.  Strangers mostly just like touching my arm or shoulder or stuff like that, which is fine, but still a little weird when they do it with that “poor thing” look in their eyes.  I never realized this was awkward until I met a guy at an anime convention who asked if he could love on me for a minute (just rubbing my arm and hugging me).  It was one of the strangest questions I’ve ever been asked, but the consent part made the whole experience much less awkward than someone randomly hugging me.

What about you?  What kind of assumptions do people make about you?  Feel free to share your lists or stories here or on my social media pages!

A Reverse Bucket List

Howdy, howdy!  We’ve all heard of bucket lists, those lists of must-dos before we die.  Some of you probably even have a list hidden away somewhere (or out in full view for everyone to see).  I don’t.  It’s not really my thing.  But did you know that reverse bucket lists exist?  Apparently, people also make lists of things they’ll never do before they die.  These lists seem to be mostly for people who have no idea what to blog about that day, week, month, whatever.  People like me!  So, even though I don’t like saying I’ll never do something (because who knows what the future will bring), I thought I’d share a list of ten things I can confidently say I’ll probably never do.

nope

1. Bungee jumping.  Why, you ask?  Aside from the fact that I physically can’t, I don’t think I would even if I could.  Something about falling toward the ground only to snap back up again and continue the up and down bit until gravity wins just isn’t appealing to me.

2. Going vegan.  I could probably do vegetarian for a day or two, but I like cheese too much to go full vegan.  And no, nut cheese is not cheese, it’s just someone’s attempt at making veganism fun with bad innuendo.

3. Skydiving.  Mostly because I can’t, but also because I have this thing about being suspended in the air without a firm foundation underneath me, so I wouldn’t even want to get on the plane.  If I could get past that, I might try this one.  But cripple privilege means I don’t even have to worry about being asked to try.

photo-1522163182402-834f871fd851

4. Mountain/rock climbing.  I’d honestly try this if I could, but I don’t know of any wheelchair friendly mountains or cliffs.  So, yeah.  I’m fairly confident in saying I won’t be doing this.

5. Giving up coffee.  I don’t drink it often (once a week maybe), but I wouldn’t give it up.  Especially if it has booze in it.

6. Off-roading.  The roads have enough bumps around here.  Why would I intentionally go looking for worse ones?  No, thank you.  You can keep your whiplash for yourself.

7. Getting super hungover drunk… again.  Once was enough for me to learn my lesson.  I don’t remember much of that night.  It was just before my mother died and Dad and I got loaded with some of her family.  Dad’s a bad influence.  I’ll blame him.

d441a33c316704a1d3f883d5373664dc

8. Finishing all of the books o my to-be-read list.  It’s just not possible, especially since I keep adding new ones.  Unless all the writers in the world stop writing, my list will keep growing.  There’s no way to stop it.  It’s a dilemma every reader must face and accept.  You will never catch up.

9. Seeing all the places I want to see.  I can’t fly and cruises are expensive, so I won’t be seeing a lot of places.  Add to that the fact that much of the world isn’t wheelchair friendly (stupid stairs), and there’s even more I won’t see.  But that’s what books and TV are for!

10. Giving up dessert. Just nope.

What about you?  Do you have a list of things you’ll never do?  Is it as ridiculous as some of mine?  Is it full of profound introspection?  Feel free to share it here or on my social media pages!

Five Things I Didn’t Know August Was The Month Of…

Howdy, howdy!  It’s mid-August and I have no idea what to write about, so I decided to look up and see if August had any interesting “month of” or “day of” things to celebrate.  You know the ones.  Like when your friends post on social media that they’re eating waffles because it’s “national waffle day” or whatever and you just want to know who decided that and why you never knew about it.  Those things.  And apparently August is much more than the month of stifling heat and increased mosquito attacks.  So, I decided to make a list of five things that I didn’t know August was the month of.

august
And it’s almost half over.

1. August is “happiness happens” month.  According to its description, the Secret Society of Happy People (which is a real thing, surprisingly) wanted to dedicate a day to the concept of choosing to be happy despite whatever problems may be making that difficult.  Since its inception, it has grown into a month-long thing.  It’s not about ignoring the bad stuff and negative feelings, but about trying to find the good things in life even when you’re overwhelmed.  Life sucks, but I didn’t die!  Or work was horrible, but I saw a butterfly at lunch.  Or whatever.  Positive thinking.  That kind of stuff.  It also encourages you to share your happy moments, to talk about them.

2. August is “romance awareness” month.  This one is about taking a hard look at your romantic relationship(s) and acknowledging whether or not you’re putting in the energy to maintain it(them) correctly.  It’s not about grand gestures and all that crap you read in romance novels, but it is about the small things.  Encouraging notes on hard days.  Holding hands.  Just the little things.  It all depends on how you and your partner(s) express your love.  Don’t forget the little gestures.

97455-hersheys-triple-chocolate-brownies

3. August is “national brownies at brunch” month.  Why?  Because someone wanted an excuse to eat more brownies.  But I don’t eat brunch, so I’ll have to eat brownies at some other point during the day.  I’ll also need someone to bring me brownies.  They aren’t something we keep around.

4. August is “national sandwich” month.  It’s also “national panini” month, which is just a toasted sandwich, so it’s kind of redundant.  But I’ve already had at least three sandwiches this month, so I guess it’s kind of fitting.  Four if you count hamburgers as sandwiches.  And now that I’ve been thinking about food, I’m hungry.  I wish I had a brownie.  Or an ice cream sandwich.

bacon-tomato-grilled-cheese-sandwich-whole.desktop
Bacon, tomato, grilled cheese from Panera with a cup of tomato soup for dipping. Mmm…

5. August is “Spinal Muscular Atrophy awareness” month.  Despite being diagnosed with SMA type 2 for years (my diagnosis changed to UCMD a while ago), I had no idea it had its own awareness month.  SMA is one of the more well-known Muscular Dystrophies and they’ve been making a good effort to stop its progression.  I haven’t looked into it lately, though, so I don’t know how well the treatments are working.  But SMA is a thing and you should be aware of it.

So, yeah.  I didn’t know these things existed.  What about you?  What are some weird “month of” or “day of” things that you’ve discovered?  Which ones do you celebrate?  As usual, feel free to share of them here or on my social media pages!

My Writing Space: 5 Things That Aren’t Writing Related

Hello, hello!  How is everyone doing this bright and beautiful July day?  I’m still finding motivation and focus hard to achieve, which means most of my writing goals have failed miserably.  Slumps suck, but I’ll get out of it.  Anyway, I don’t really have anything writerly or exciting to post about, so I thought I would reintroduce you to my writing area.  I know I posted about it before, but writing areas aren’t entirely about writing.  They’re also about the writer (in this instance, me), so I wanted to introduce you to some of the non-writerly things that I keep nearby.

025
An old picture.  Things have changed, like a new stereo and different pictures, but still a good representation of my work space.

1. Yarn.  I decided to teach myself how to crochet, so I have a slowly disappearing skein of yarn and an 85% finished project sitting on my computer.  I just have to make a few more rows, then figure out how to sew it into a hat.  As usual with my creative endeavors, I’m finding it difficult to work up the motivation to finish.  Mostly because the next project I want to undertake scares me.  It’s supposedly fairly easy, but it looks so complicated!  And kind of big, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it physically.  But I’m enjoying the new hobby even though it scares me.  That’s about all it has in common with writing.  Well, that and shitty first attempts being acceptable.

2. Tequila.  I actually have two bottles of tequila on my desk.  One is an anejo from Republic Tequila in a bottle shaped like Texas.  It hasn’t been opened yet, even though I’ve had it for years.  I also have a Kah reposado in a sugar skull bottle.  I’ve only had a couple of shots of it, so it’s mostly full.  I’m not a lush.  I swear.

Kah
This one is similar to my bottle, but the designs are always a little different because each one is hand painted.

3. Assorted treats.  I keep a jar of chocolates on my desk, plus various candies and Pocky that I pick up or that people give me.  I still have chocolate from Christmas and Easter, plus candy and Pocky that are at least a couple of years old.  I keep forgetting they exist.  It’s weird, I know.  But my sweet tooth only activates at random times and I usually go for the chocolate instead of the rest.

4. Random creepy creatures.  Well, they aren’t really creepy.  I have a little rubber rat finger puppet that a neighbor gave me one Halloween.  His name is Yuki (it means snow) even though he’s black.  I just really like Fruits Basket.  And he cheers me on from my computer or right next to it.  I also have a tiny glass octopus named Tako that a friend sent me during one of her visits to Italy.  He watches me from one of my shelves.  And I have a bunch of other random figurines I’ve collected over the years.

tumblr_inline_pjbb69nrGn1snz1fk_540
Sohma Yuki, year of the rat.

5. A pile of CDs.  My new stereo doesn’t have a multi-CD function, so I have 60+ CDs sitting around in plain sight (many more hidden in my cabinets), waiting to be ripped to my computer.  But I’m lazy and keep forgetting about them.

So, that’s some of the non-writerly things I have in my writing space.  If it tells you something about the kind of person I am, feel free to share.  What are some of the things you keep in your work space that have nothing to do with your work?  Feel free to leave your comments, thoughts, or questions here or on my social media pages!

To Re-Read Or Not To Re-Read…

Howdy, howdy!  First and foremost, I want to thank Lew Andrada one last time for his awesome post last week.  If you haven’t read it, you should go do that after you read and comment on this one!  As for this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about stuff I read as a teenager or in my early 20s.  And there are a lot of books that I would love to read again for various reasons, but I’m afraid it’ll ruin the love I hold for them.  Like, what if they’re actually really bad and I’m just in love with the notion of them?  I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement from friends to go ahead and make 2020 (and probably 2021 because I’m a slow reader and would still have to read new books to review) the year(s) of book nostalgia and re-read all the things, but the fear is real.  So, I thought I’d list the 35 books I want to read again and ask everyone for opinions on whether it’s a bad idea in general or which ones would best be left in the past, etc.

66ce22f264e4003a88a80cff82ec2c6709b1f05ddb5ace0160d9bd350b00b0a9
Probably stupid.

1. The Harry Potter series (7 books).  I’ve only read the series all the way through once.  Yeah, I’m a bad fan.  Whatever.  But I’ve been getting the itch to go through it all again.  I’m not too worried about ruining this one, though.  It’s the series I remember the best.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia (7 books).  I blew through this series in my mid-teens and can only vaguely remember it, which is why I want to read it again.  Granted, the memories are fond ones, but I still worry that maybe it wasn’t that good.  It has a decent sized fan base, but I often dislike books everyone else seems to love.  It’s worrisome.

3. The Anne of Green Gables series (9 books).  Normally, I hate slice-of-life (not sure if that’s an actual genre, but it’s what I’ve always called things like this series) books.  It makes me curious as to why I enjoyed this series as a teenager.  It’s one of the few that I’m most afraid of ruining for myself.

giphy (15)
Will it, though?

4. His Dark Materials (3 books).  This was a series I read in my early 20s.  I remember a bit of it, but not enough to read the Book of Dust series or any of the stories connected to His Dark Materials.  This is the usual predicament that forces me to re-read things.

5. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy (4 books).  I’ve actually read these twice already, but I wouldn’t mind going back to them.  Just because.  There are some books that call to you.  It happens.

6. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and The Talisman (2 books).  It’s not often that I feel the desire to re-read Stephen King stuff, but these are two I’m feeling drawn back to.  Will they stand up against the test of time?  I don’t know.  Am I willing to risk it?  Don’t know that either.

7. Neverwhere (1 book).  So, I have a love/hate relationship with Gaiman.  I absolutely love his work, but there’s always something I hate about his stories.  Neverwhere started my love of his work.  The problem is that I can’t remember hating anything about it.  That worries me, because what if it’s truly horrible and I’ve blocked it out?

tenor (6)
So many worries…

8. Ransom (1 book).  This one I actually read back in 4th or 5th grade.  I’ve never read anything else by Lois Duncan, but this one stuck with me.  It’s the first book I read that had someone with a disability who played a major role.  Granted, he wasn’t disabled like I am, but it was cool.  I’m afraid that connection was the only actual good thing about the book.

9. The Wild Iris (1 book).  I fully admit that I re-read poetry more than anything else.  This is a collection I’ve been meaning to read again for years.

So, what are your thoughts on reading things more than once?  Is it a worthwhile endeavor or would you stick with new books?  Anything on this list that isn’t worth a second look?  What’s on your list?  Feel free to share your comments or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

She’s a Pisser, All Right…

Hello, hello!  How is your month going?  Things are about the same as usual around here.  Writing is a struggle, submissions are on schedule, reading is being accomplished, and I’m slowly getting into my new hobby of crocheting (we’ll see how far I can get with it).  But I have nothing writerly to talk about, so I thought I would formally introduce you to the dog we got on Christmas.  You’ve seen pictures of her if you’ve been stalking me, but it’s time to let you know all her dirty little secrets.

cropped-52983164_10155952235331716_8614103558385565696_n.jpg

On Christmas, Dad’s friend and the friend’s woman-friend brought over two Pomeranians, husband and wife.  The woman had inherited them from her dead husband who had inherited them from a friend who had passed away.  Due to the hours she works, she didn’t have enough time to dedicate to properly caring for the dogs, so Dad’s friend suggested us as potential pupper parents.  Unfortunately, they neglected to mention that the boy dog had congestive heart failure (claiming repeatedly that he just had a cough and was always lethargic like that) and didn’t bring his medicine until the next day, so he passed away.  It was a bit traumatic for Dad (especially since the dog died in his lap while he was trying to give it its medicine) and I, but the girl dog stuck around.

Her name is Lady.  For the record, we didn’t name her, not that it really matters since she doesn’t seem to know her name anyway.  She answers to “Hey!” more than anything.  I tend to call her Fuzzybutt, but Dad thinks she should be named “Rocks” since she’s about as smart as a box of ’em.  She doesn’t know any commands and doesn’t seem keen to learn any.  But aside from being on the dumb side, she is the happiest dog ever!  Always prancing around like she deserves ALL the treats.  She demands cuddles and pets, but she won’t kiss for them.  As long as you’re touching her, she’s your friend for life.

dee
Pretty much.

She’s a great dog.  Super sweet.  She goes outside to poop.  The only problem is that she pees wherever she wants, which is usually in the house.  Dad even installed a doggy door for her, but it makes no difference.  In the beginning, we assumed it was her bedwetting problems, which she has medicine for but refuses to take recently.  Apparently, she just likes peeing on soft things.  The sofa, clean laundry, pillows, our beds, her bed.  It’s weird.  And it’s like she holds it all day or night just so she can soak things down.  She’s just doing it out of spite, because it seems to get worse when we leave her alone for a few hours (like to go get dinner).  She’ll be fine while we’re gone, then she’ll soak her bed or a pillow or something after we’ve been home a while.  Suggestions for how to break this habit are welcome.  Everything on the Interwebz starts with “put her bed there because she won’t pee where she sleeps!”  But I call bullshit, because she most certainly does.

1d2dd7b5c0df88d8759f808350cbea38
And they do.

Other than the peeing thing, she’s such a good pupper (she’s 8, but all dogs are puppers).  The vet and staff love her.  The groomer loves her.  We love her, but shhhhh… don’t tell her that.