All posts by eclecticalli

I am finding my way on the meandering, twisting path of life, constantly surprised by what’s around the next bend. Working to embrace and face the challenges inherent with following your dreams, and writing the journey. A writer and dreamer, historian and theologian, academic and fantasy-world-creator, genealogist and gluten-free baker, crafter and reader, poet and life-long learner, constantly questioning and occasionally irreverent. Eclectic Alli is my personal blog, with reflections on writing, life, theology, history, or whatever may catch my thoughts. Disparate Threads is a fantasy-fiction serial-blog, I am trying to break out of the traditional book-format mold of storytelling, taking advantage of the blog format to build a world. Everything on Disparate Threads is considered "Draft," and I WANT reader responses and input! Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram round out my online presence, and I try to do little bits different with each of them.

#WeekendCoffeeShare : Weekend of Game

Join us for some coffee time!Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday January 11th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday January 14th at 7am (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If you are unable to post your site into the link-up for any reason feel free to drop it into the comments and I will do my best to add you to the linkup!

This past week seemed like it lasted FOREVER. I think it may be because I didn’t get my “normal” day of rest last weekend – often I need to take one full day each weekend to just sleep, the joys of chronic illness – so I’ve been extra tired, which makes time seem to move strangely.

I’m hoping to get a little more rest this weekend, though I have some things going on so it isn’t going to be a full day of just sleep, sadly. I am looking forward to what I’ve got scheduled, however – a friend is having a bit of a celebration-day at her house, drinks, food, visiting, and then a D&D game session to top off the night. It should be a good time (though I do still need to create my character… I could play a pre-made one, but I like creating my own so have to get on that!) That’s where the most of my Saturday is going to be spent.

Sunday I’ll sleep in, maybe Skype a bit with my bestie, and then have my standing game group that afternoon. Monday it’s back to work… but next week is my birthday week, so I’m looking forward to that.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading so far this year – or, rather, a lot of listening. Audiobooks seem to be the thing that works for me right now, so I’ve been cruising through a bunch of them. Thanks to a friend of mine, I’ve fallen in love with the works of Katherine Marsh. First I zoomed through “Nowhere Boy,” then “The Door By The Staircase.” I need to see about another of her books, because I really love her style.

What should I read next?  Not, of course, that I have any lack of books to read – my To-Be-Read pile is a monster that keeps growing – but I’m always interested to hear what others suggest!

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#WeekendCoffeeShare : New Year… same me…

Join us for some coffee time!Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday January 4th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday January 7th at 7am (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If you are unable to post your site into the link-up for any reason feel free to drop it into the comments and I will do my best to add you to the linkup!

Welcome to 2019 everyone! How was your New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day?

Stepping into the new year is always an interesting thing. In so many ways it’s just another day, an arbitrary division of our time. I think the reason it doesn’t hold a huge amount of power for me is because I have so many other times that feel like a “start of a new year.” Much of my life has been connected to the academic calendar – so fall, and the start of the new school year, feels like a new beginning. Now my work also involved paying some attention to a fiscal year that changes over July 1st – yet another new beginning (with fresh stat sheets and all that. Also, because I work within a term system, I get a fresh start every winter and spring in addition to the summer/fall – when we pass finals week and move into a new term after a break. Personally I always think of my birthday as another “fresh start” kind of day — and since my birthday is in January (the 16th, to be precise) it’s awfully close to New Year.

With so many Fresh Start opportunities it seems like I should be better at giving myself the room to breath and create plans for changes I want to see. But I am pretty abysmal at it – I do plenty of thinking about thinking about things… but when it comes to actually putting aside everything else and sitting down to sort out what I want to do, the things I want to change, I fall apart. I think it’s that same piece of me that was always bad at keeping a journal. I wanted to keep a journal when I was a kid, but never really succeeded with any consistency. I know that writing things down does help me sort my thoughts and helps me figure things out – occasionally the pen does meet the page to transform thoughts into deeper understanding and ideas, but it can take quite a while for me to get there.

I’m pretty sure I’m rambling at this point, so I’ll spare you more of that. I hope you’re having a good time this week, and had a great New Year’s Eve!

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Hello 2019!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group badge, which includes the title "The Insecure Writer's Support Group" over the background image of the top of a lighthouse.

This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.

There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection!  More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG, and be sure to check out the Twitter account and the new Instagram as well!

Welcome to the new year. 2019… and once again it’s time for me to create some writing goals.

This year I really, REALLY, want to get back to my writing. If I were to look back at my 2018 IWSG posts I’m sure most of them would be along the lines of “I’m not writing… why am I not writing?” I don’t want to repeat that theme in 2019.

So I’m doing some intentional work through the first week of this month, setting aside time to sit down and make note of what kinds of things I want to write. What do I hope to accomplish with my writing? What can I do to make that happen? What is getting in my way?

I figure by doing some real brainstorming and reflection I can get myself to a place where I can find a direction to start moving. I’m hopeful that it will work, and that by next month’s check-in I’ll be able to report that I have been, actually, writing.

As for the IWSG Day Question… I actually really hate it when people ask me to tell them about what I’m writing. I am not very good at summarizing my stories and when they’re in progress I don’t always know what’s coming next. So when someone asks me to tell them about what I’m writing I end up stuttering about a lot, and what I tell them usually sounds pretty unoriginal and blah. Which then makes me start to question what I’m writing, being over-critical and generally entering a downward spiral of anxiety and doubt.

My favorite question… I’m not really sure. Maybe when they ask me what I like best about writing, or an open ended question that lets me start to delve into some about my process (or processes).

#WeekendCoffeeShare : Hello 2019!

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday December 28th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday December 31st at 7am (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If you are unable to post your site into the link-up for any reason feel free to drop it into the comments and I will do my best to add you to the linkup!

And here we are, at the end of 2018. I’m really not ready for the year to be completed already, it’s so strange to think that it’s nearly 2019. It still just sounds so… so futuristic.

My New Years Eve plan is very simple, going to just hang out at home with some snacks and maybe some wine. Read, relax, and probably go to bed early. I do have the first off, and honestly will probably end up sleeping through much of it. Because that’s what I do with most of my time off these days. That’s one of the things that I’m hoping will improve in the coming year… I am hoping to have more energy so that I can get more done.

It is time to start taking stock of the goals I set for the past year, and what I want to do in the coming year. My reading challenges (well, really most challenges I tried to do) fell apart on me… so I’m approaching the coming year with less expectations on myself, but also trying to come up with strategies that will allow me to be more productive, read more, write more, and feel like I’ve accomplished more during the year.

I still have time to still meet my bare-minimum goal of reading 75 books, thank you picture books and graphic novels… I should be able to close that 10 book gap. Next year… next year I will make it even longer into the year before my reading falls to the wayside. I love books, I love reading, yet I keep putting the books down and watching tv-shows and movies instead. I think it’s just because it’s a more passive thing for my brain, and I have been too worn out most days by the time I get home.

I keep forgetting that this weekend I have a Holiday Party with my Stitch-and-Bitch group. It’s a group that I primarily interact with online, since I can’t often make it to the weekly get-together’s (and I haven’t had the energy to do the Saturday ones I was hosting for a while on my side of time… lack of energy is seriously the theme for 2018). We’re going to do a gift swap, and a potluck, on Saturday. I’m going to take the blanket I am making as a wedding present for friends of mine — I’d originally planned to have it done by Christmas (they got married this summer), but now I’m just hoping to have it by their first anniversary. I really love the project, but it’s tricky, and no longer very mobile.  

These friends are big Harry Potter fans, and their wedding was HP themed. So I’m making them a throw-blanket that features a simplified version of the Hogwarts crest in the middle, and then color blocks behind it representing the colors of their houses (and the houses of their two children). Two Hufflepuffs, a Slytherin, and a Gryffindor.  I’m using “corner-to-corner” crochet, a technique I’d never used before, but which is pretty spectacular — it just takes a lot more time because there’s counting and color changing involved. Once I get the crest done the rest of it would work up pretty quickly!

Keep an eye out in the coming week for my post with all sorts of goals and plans for the coming year. If I set myself up with some solid structure, perhaps I can get done those things I want to accomplish in my free time….

What are you up to this weekend? How was your holiday?

#WeekendCoffeeShare : Christmas Time!

Join us for some coffee time!Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday December 21st at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday December 24th at 7am (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If you are unable to post your site into the link-up for any reason feel free to drop it into the comments and I will do my best to add you to the linkup!

This weekend is looking pretty nice for me – I have a four-day weekend because my office decided that we’d close on Christmas Eve, and we’re closed for Christmas Day. I’m certainly looking to some resting time in there, and a little bit of hanging out with friends — but mostly just relaxing. I’m going to spend some time curled up in bed with the Monster cat, reading a few of the books that have been stacking up. And then there will be writing. I need to get back into good habits with my writing — it’s easy to let it just fall to the side, but I do miss it.

Christmas itself will be a pretty relaxed day. Mom and I will be exchanging a few presents, and then two of my brothers and their significant others will be coming over for dinner. I do wish I had the day after Christmas off to relax a bit more, but it will be back to work for me. 
I really don’t have much more to say at this point. I think my brain has already made its way to vacation, and is thinking of little more than sleep and relaxation.
What do you have happening this weekend? Any plans for the coming week?


#Weekendcoffeeshare : Hello again, weekend.

Join us for some coffee time!Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday December 14th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday December 17th at 7am (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If you are unable to post your site into the link-up for any reason feel free to drop it into the comments and I will do my best to add you to the linkup!

So, what’s happening for you this weekend?
I have a couple of errands to run, but then plan to relax for most of the weekend. There really isn’t much going on! At least, it doesn’t seem like there is….
One of the things that’s probably going to happen this weekend is that I’ll finish my first listen-through of the Harry Potter series. I read them all ages ago (the last few in the years that they came out), but hadn’t revisited the series. A co-worker of mine suggested I listen to the audio-book, and so I decided to give it a go, and have been quite enjoying it! There are things I had forgotten about, and details that stand out a bit differently to me now. And, of course, hearing them one after another is quite a different experience than waiting a year between books!
Aside from that, there are Cards to complete and get out. I have found that I don’t like writing a holiday letter – most of the people I’m sending cards to are people I’m actually in touch with during the year, so they already know what’s going on in my life. I also don’t like just sending a card with my signature and little else – there seems little point in that. This year I am allowing myself to just write small notes – a few lines – to everyone, but it means that getting cards together to send can take a bit longer than it might otherwise. I’m hoping to finish with those this weekend though. And there is a present or two I need to finish making as well.
The other thing I really need to take some time for is reflecting and thinking a bit on the tarot reading I had done. I’d never really had one done before, so when one of my friends put out an offer to do one I thought it would be an interesting thing to try. Now I want to look through what she wrote me about it and see what resonates, and think about what my next steps are. (She’s offering a deal right now, if anyone is interested!)
What are you up to this weekend?

#weekendcoffeeshare : It’s BEGINNING to look a lot like christmas!

Join us for some coffee time!Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?
All are welcome! Just add your link to the Linky-List, and be sure to visit others and join in their conversations! The link will be open from Friday November 30th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday December 3rd at 7pm (Pacific Time) to give us a good range of “weekend”!

If you are unable to post your site into the link-up for any reason feel free to drop it into the comments and I will do my best to add you to the linkup!

Happy Weekend!

I am glad this weekend is here, it’s been a busy week at work and I am ready for a rest! I got invited to a few things, holiday open houses and the like, but I may end up just staying home and sleeping – I think it’s what my body needs.

Last weekend we ended up getting our Christmas Trees. Yes, trees. Multiple. Every year, for quite a long time now (a few decades), my mom has turned our family room into the “Santa Room.” It started out with a few santa decorations, and a small table-top tree. Over time the tree ended up having to be a larger and larger tree, and the collection of santa decorations expanded. Last year we had a tree that was just barely a table-top tree for that room.

This year we went out in search of trees, and landed on a small shop where a guy was selling them for a reasonable price (at least, reasonable for this year — trees are pretty expensive at this point). He pretty much had trees that were nearly 6 feet, and taller. I found the one that we’d use as our main tree – I like trees with character and was drawn to the crooked top on it. Mom was drawn to a smaller one, just about my height (5’7”), and we decided that she should just get it for the Santa Tree. There are certainly enough santas for it!

So now we have two trees set up in our house. I need to fidget with one of them still – the stand it’s in isn’t awesome and the tree is a bit more wobbly than we’d like. Lights have gotten strung up, and hopefully this weekend we can get ornaments on the “big” tree in the living room. I haven’t put my personal ornaments up on the tree for a couple of years, for various reasons, but this year I’m going to.

When I was growing up we had a tradition of adding an ornament to our personal collections, so by the time we were adults we each had a box of ornaments that were our own. Hanging them up is like a trip through time, representations of experiences, interests, and memories.

What are you up to this weekend? How has your week been?