Untitled #33

I am just not motivated to write a blog post.  It’s not that I’m not writing.  Honestly, I average about four articles/posts a month for Parachute and that pleases me greatly.  So, I have to ask myself, what’s the purpose of this particular blog?  Most of the time, these days, if you have a blog then you are trying to sell something.

I’m not selling anything.  Though, it seems that if I want to become a full-time freelancer then I need to sell my services.  God, doesn’t that sound dirty?  I have neither the inclination or the temperament to go forth and network.  Yes, I understand that networking nowadays isn’t all the bad, but then I would need to step out of my shell, wouldn’t I and talk to people.

I talk to people all day long in my job.  Most of the time it is various coworkers who I am talking to but sometimes, just sometimes I am talking to someone on the verge of taking that first step to changing their lives around.  And let me tell you that first step?  It’s a doozy.  We’re asking you to trust us with helping you change your life.  Not easy.

Oh, look.  I’ve gone off topic.


Anyway, I’m still here.  Lurking.


I am an *Awesome* Person…

…who has forgotten to write and hit publish on things.

Sorry about that.  To be fair, I was driving home from my parents house which was four and half hours away and I was recovering from the drive…which I managed to hurt my back and suffer a migraine while driving home.


So, I’m back and will catch up with the A to Z Challenge.  I promise.

Huh, I Should’ve Planned Ahead

I’m behind.  Does that surprise you?  It surprises me just a little and then again, it doesn’t. I’m at my parents’ house visiting and their wi-fi is a bit spotty.  I’ve just installed the wi-fi extender/booster whatever it’s called and it seems to be doing just the job.  My dad wanted to buy a laptop and new printer yesterday, so I suppose I “earned my keep” by helping my dad purchase a new laptop and printer at the local big box store.  After all the trouble I went through to get the laptop up and running I convince him to purchase that extender.

Have I mentioned that it’s working great?!  🙂

Anyway, I know that I behind on my A to Z challenge drabbles and I promise that I will be writing those tonight.


I Promise

I promise, promise, promise that I haven’t left.

This week has kicked my ass.

I’ve finished up an article yesterday and submitted it today.  I wrote another article – the shortest I’ve ever written – and sent it to my husband for his help.  He’s my editor and sounding board, don’t you know.

I finally thought of an essay that I want to write but I have no idea how to pitch an idea to a publication.  I suppose I should look that shit up, huh?

Well, actually, I thought of three essays in total but I just need to sit my butt down and start writing them.  Or at least outlining what I want to say, which is unusual because I use outlining when I’m writing a fiction piece and not a non-fiction piece.  I don’t know why it should surprise me but it does.


Okay, I’m going back to my non-ficiton pieces.  Hopefully, I’ll be back tomorrow.


Saturday Thoughts

I took yesterday and Tuesday off.  Monday is a holiday (President’s Day), so I have a five day weekend.  Awesome.  I wrote an article while waiting for my car at the dealership and started writing another one when I went to the library.  I’d love to spend my days writing, but that’s not bringing in the bacon.

Continue reading “Saturday Thoughts”

On Writing

Oh, no.  Don’t get me mixed up with Stephen King‘s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I’m nowhere near King’s caliber to bring horror (or suspense) to the page.  No matter how hard I tried recently to do so.  My given genre was suspense with a nanny as a character and a condemned apartment building as the setting.  I may have accidentally given the nanny my niece’s name.

I haven’t told her.

I also may have accidentally written it in second-person, present tense.

I don’t know.  It just happened.

I won’t know the results of the first round until March.  So, I won’t worry about it.  I’ve sent it out into the universe and once it has left my hands, well, there’s nothing I can do about it.

It’s really my philosophy on life.  I’m not biologically geared towards worrying about everything.

I am geared, however, to rambling on the page.

I’m (not) sorry about it, by the way.

So, writing.  I’ve been pretty scarce here on the blog, and I can offer no real excuses, except for the lame ones.  I’ve been busy.  I haven’t been inspired.  I’ve been tired.  I was abducted by aliens.  You know the usual excuses.

But I’m trying.  I suppose that matters, right?

While I’m typing this, I’m listening to a webinar about online copywriting.  After, I finish writing this I’ll be researching places to submit pieces.  I’ve pinned those places, by the way.  If you’re interested, you can follow the board here.  There’s a lot really.

Outside there’s a parade going on to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  I think it’s the Year of the Monkey and I honestly thought the parade was going on tomorrow.  I’m probably wrong.  I would’ve liked to see the parade – however short it may be.  Oh, well.  Next year, perhaps.  Here’s a picture of the lanterns I took this morning.  (You can find it on my Instagram feed.)Lanterns_on_Murray_Avenue.__chinesenewyear__pittsburgh__squirrelhill

My husband is napping beside me.  He has two shows this evening.  He needs all the sleep he can get.

So, onwards and back to writing!

The Monday List: The Books

I do love my lists.

  1. I started the whole writing challenge thing on Saturday morning right when I got the email saying that it was open.  My genre is suspense, the setting is a condemned building, and the character is a nanny.  So, I started writing and then I realized that I was writing it in the present tense.  Then I realized that it was in second-person.  I shrugged and continued to write until I couldn’t write anymore (that was about 2 in the morning).  I haven’t looked at it because I’m not finished.  The max number of words is 2,500 and the deadline is Saturday (I think).  I won’t be looking at it until I actually finish it.  Then I will have my lovely friends read it.  Then I will cringe and rewrite until I absolutely cannot do it anymore.  Then I will upload it and be done. What else can I do?
  2. It snowed over the weekend.  My city didn’t get walloped like the rest of the East Coast but I suppose the snow we did get wasn’t anything to laugh at.  It certainly made driving home unnecessarily perilous.  But whatever.  Our upstairs neighbor shoveled our sidewalk before we got up Saturday morning.  So, that was nice.  By Saturday afternoon, I realized that most people had shoveled.  Even those who were notorious for not doing so.  Someone must have reported them.  Don’t look at me.  I didn’t do it.
  3. I realized while walking around Saturday that I needed new boots.  And that my husband needed boots.  He’s stubborn and will not go with me to find boots.  He will get boots soon because I said so.  A random conversation that we had over the weekend was regarding using The Force vs using the force of my will to get people do things.  If I may go off the deep end of geekery here, I’m no Force-sensitive person.  But I do expect people to do things that I ask them to do.  Most of the time this isn’t a problem.  Then we get to those times when it becomes a problem.  Very quickly, the problem will rectify itself.  Force of will or The Force.  Who cares.  It gets done.   (These are the droids you’re looking for.)
  4. Finally, I spent the weekend reading (when I wasn’t writing – articles, story, and in my journal.  Sadly, not on the blog).  Gloriously, gloriously reading.  I plowed through the last 100 pages The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes.  Yes, the Patrick Weekes who is responsible for my favorite video game – Dragon Age.  I devoured that book.  It’s a very fun read.  Think of it as an Ocean’s Eleven in a fantasy setting. The main character named Loch, pulls together a very diverse set of people (all with a particular set of skills) to break into a palace floating in the clouds.  There are secrets!  Awesome fight scenes!  Snark!  Some romance!  Even more snark!  I highly recommend it.  My husband had reader’s envy.  So much so, that he refuses to let me return the book to the library until he finishes reading it.  I loved the book so much, that I’m actually going to buy a copy for myself.  That’s how much I loved the book.
  5. The second book is Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton.  I read her first book this time last year and it seems fitting that I would read her second book around the same time.  I also tore through the book like I was dying of dehydration.  I also highly recommend it.  It’s fun and fantastic.
  6. The third book that I’m reading and haven’t finished is Tanya Huff‘s The Enchantment Emporium the first book in her Gale Women.  *sigh* So…there’s…dubious consent in the book.  Dubious incestuous consent.  The Gale Women run the show and the men…well, the men follow orders. Okay.  There’s an annual ritual where it seems that all eligible male relatives essentially have an orgy with eligible female relatives.  I say dubious consent because…well, read the reviews on the Goodreads page.  Especially from Olivia’s Books.  She summed it up well, leaving me to feel slightly (hugely) conflicted.  I mean, let’s be honest.  It’s fluffy but I’m engaged (somewhat) in it.  I haven’t quit the book but let’s see how I feel when I reach halfway through it.  Our main character, Allie (Alysha Gale) has just arrived in Calgary to take over her dead grandmother’s junk shop.  She’s just hired a leprechaun assistant and met a newspaper report with “extraordinarily blue eyes.  Not the more common bluish gray but a bright, cerulean blue.  A Maxfield Parrish sky-blue.”  I think I may be reading it because I want to see how high the ridiculous level goes.  Yes, I understand it’s fantasy.  But this goes beyond that.
  7. By the way, I’m sorry if there are any fans of this book.  I am just…puzzled.
  8. I’m still reading Cherie Priest‘s Chapelwood and to be honest…I’m just not as into it as I was Maplecroft but I am quite unwilling to stop reading it…for now.  There will come a  point where I will have to renew it from the library and I’ll have to think hard about finishing it.
  9. The third book that I am reading is Nnedi Okorafor‘s Who Fears Death.  I have a feeling that there are some very, very serious and weighty issues in this book.  This book screams at me to read only it.  I am only on page ten but it has certainly grabbed me.
  10. Which also brings me to G Willow Wilson‘s Alif the Unseen, another book that screams at me to read only it.
  11. Let’s cut through the fluffy and get to reading the serious and weighty books then. That’s not to say that there aren’t any serious issues in The Enchantment Emporium but it feels like it’s from a different century while the last two are firmly with the times.  But we’ll see.
  12. Don’t even talk to me about tv shows or other media that I’m consuming.  That’s for another post.

Lots on my mind, not enough on paper

List post!

  1. I feel like the biggest hypocrite.  I mean, I made up this editorial calendar and   I haven’t followed it.  *sigh*  I’m trying, people.  I really, really am.  *shrugs*
  2. Obviously, since yesterday’s shocking news, I’ve been listing to this playlist a lot. I may have annoyed my coworkers.  I don’t care.  I won’t go into how I feel about this particular death.  The internet is just absolutely flooded with responses and all of them are better put than mine.  I’ll point you in two directions. This one by the ever lovely LAF and this one by also the ever lovely Wayne Wise.  I actually thought of both of them at the same time when my husband told me the news.  I can’t imagine going 18 months and then creating a piece of art (because let’s face it, David Bowie = art).  I then immediately thought of my mother, undergoing chemo.  They are roughly the same age (my mother is a hair bit older).  It makes me shiver.
  3. There’s some drama going down around my life.  Thankfully, it’s not mine.  I’m just an observer.  But this is a similar song and dance and I would like to stop watching. But I can’t.  The same patterns emerge and I don’t think the person who is living through it has learned anything.  And that makes me sad.  I’m not going into any details about it.  There are others involved that have no choice but to be involved.
  4. I love snow.  I really do.  I even like shoveling.  Yes, I know.  That makes me completely off my rocker.  And guess what?  Winter’s finally arrived here in my little part of the country.  I couldn’t be happier.  Seriously.
  5. I’ve been playing a lot of Fallout 4 lately.  Well, when my husband isn’t binging on it. How much have we been binging on it?  We haven’t watched the Christmas special of Doctor Who.  That’s just…the strangest thing ever for us.  I’m going to try and make us watch it tonight.  Besides, Agent Carter and The Flash come back next week, followed by Legends of Tomorrow.  Oh, and some little thing called X-Files.  By the way, the character I created in Fallout 4 looks suspiciously like Bethany Hawke from Dragon Age II, only with a darker complexion.  Go figure.  Bethany is a mage and a Grey Warden to boot.  It seems absolutely plausible to me that Bethany would find some way to survive and thrive in the Fallout universe.  But where’s her magic, Charlie?  Well, something has to suffer.
  6. Have I told you about my love of the new Star Wars film?  No?  Well, I do.  It’s everything that I wanted it to be and more.  Are there flaws? Of course.  But I’m willing to overlook them.  My husband and I were discussing the other day how we believe The Force more than those damn Midi-chlorians that the prequels tried to shove down our throats.  As two people who do not have a lot of religion in life, he thought it was strange how we believe The Force over Midi-chlorians.  I told him that if the Midi-chlorians had been better explained we might have.  And isn’t that basically true of the age-old science vs religion debate?  If people could explain one thing better than the other wouldn’t one “win” over the other?  Perhaps, I am being too broad.  Who knows.  It’s a semi-formed thought.  Forgive me.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today.  Hope your Tuesday is going swimmingly.


On Stats and Other Things

I find statistics interesting.  But only in relation to myself.  Give me baseball stats or the wrestling stats my husband is so into and I will zone off and start thinking about Star WarsDomhnall Gleeson or Oscar Issac (current crushes).

Anyway, here’s my current stats.

But what about your favorite post of the year, Charlie?  What’s your favorite?

Well, I would call it a favorite.  Nor would I say that I wrote it in 2015 but rather at the end of 2014.  I’m referring, of course, to this post.  Really, looking back on it, the feelings I wrote about in the post isn’t nearly a tenth of the emotions I felt that day.

I quietly marked the day and wondered if anyone else would notice.

They didn’t.  And that’s fine.  No one really knows how to deal with grief, espeically over a being that never saw the light of day.  But that’s for another time.


I meant to write yesterday

I meant to write yesterday, but when I got home, I was just too brain-dead to put pen to paper.  And then my dad called to let me know that my mom was in the hospital.

And then there really went my will.

I mean she’s fine now.  Cancer really sucks.

Anyway, I hope your Friday is a happy one.  I’ll be back in later today.