Category Archives: Series of Sorts

Those “Repeat Features” that show up from time to time

Weekend Coffee Share: In which I return…

At least for a time! We’ll see if I manage to keep up the modest writing goals I’m setting for myself this week.


Join me for some coffee.  It’s been a while, I’ve just been having a hard time keeping up with everything on my plate.

I’ll be honest, in large part it’s been because of my own energy. I have some health issues going on that have been draining. Trying to figure out what’s been up with my health has meant trying out some new medications to see what my bodies response is to it. It’s been nice to have doctors willing to be working with me to figure it out, since symptoms have been increasing over the last year I really feel like figuring out what’s going on is hitting a really important point.

Part of that has also been being kinder to myself. Reminding myself that I have the energy I have, and it’s okay to decide that certain things are more important to spend my energy on than others. It’s been hard, because some of those things that I have decided it’s not worth my energy right now are things I really want to do. Like working on my novel. 

It just takes a lot of energy and focus to write. Particularly at the stage I’m in now with it, where I have to do a bit more background work and figure out some particular details to make the rewrites worthwhile. The focus and attention that kind of work needs is exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I love to do it – I have these moments know where I feel actual longing for those nights and weekends I used to have where I would completely lose myself in the inner-workings of a story. Emerging from my computer only for the occasional meal, or more coffee or wine. It’s this feeling like no other when you are so embedded in a story that it begins to take over your dreams, and you find yourself playing scenes in your head during the day.

But I haven’t had the energy to even get started on it. I have had to decide how much I’m willing to wear myself down – and what it takes for writing keeps landing just on the other edge of the line of reasonable. 

I’ve had moments of more energy, started to have some dreams and visions of what I could do with this blog if I were able to dedicate my focus on it more. I’ve had ideas and insights (here and there) about the novel, and would like to get back to it. My hope is that by the end of the summer I’ll have gotten myself to a place where all of that is possible.

I’m likely rambling (more than a bit) here. How about something more solid?  This weekend is kind of exciting, it’s punctuated by a retirement party for my mom. After 20+ years working as a Director of Religious Education she’s moving into retirement and the church is throwing a party for her. It’ll be fun to be there with her for her day – I grew up in that church, and have been back on and off through adulthood, so I anticipate a number of familiar faces and perhaps some from the past.

 What are you up to this weekend?  Any plans?

This week marks another one of those busy weeks for me at work, though the “busy” weeks have been considerably less stressful than they used to be. And the week after that… well, I’ll tell you all about that NEXT weekend 🙂

Weekend Coffee Share: Sushi, Sunshine, Relaxing Time!

This weekend I’d invite you to enjoy some iced beverages with me. It may not still be warm enough for such things, but I’m all for pretending it is after the 80+ degree weather we had earlier this week! I’ll admit, that’s a bit on the warm side for me – especially since it was also humid, ugh. I much prefer a little cooler weather. T-shirt weather, where you can still move around and do stuff without feeling like you’re about to melt.

The sudden warmth also meant some pretty cool storm systems.

My weekend was completely empty two days ago – there was absolutely nothing planned. Which was lovely in theory, but I knew that getting out and actually interacting with people would also be a good thing for me to do. Plus, one of my best friends and her family just moved into a new house, which I totally want to see! So I’ll be heading over there sometime on Saturday to help with some unpacking and to get in some good kid-play time — which I’m very excited about. There’s nothing quite as awesome as playing with kids, and these two gals are awesome, hopefully they’ll be as excited about showing me around their new house as I am about seeing it!

The rest of the weekend will be spent in glorious rest. Well, rest, and cleaning, and doing some necessary work. There is, as always, cleaning to be done. And meal prep. And Jamberry work. And laundry… always laundry.

This week I had some fun – a good friend from college (really, the closest I have to a college-roommate that I’m still friends with… we shared a wall our senior year) stopped by for a little on her way between destinations. It was fun to hang out with her for a bit (we had a brief visit at the end of last too, as she was between destinations then too).  The sad thing is that this was probably the last “between destinations” that she’ll have here for a while, so it may be some time before we get to hang out again.

But we had a grand old time together on Tuesday! We went out to a sushi place for dinner, to try out another conveyor-belt sushi location. It was very nice to discover they had an UNDER $20 all-you-can-eat deal. Seeing as how I never get out of sushi-places for under $20 it was a no-brainer and we ate ALL the sushi. It was deliciously awesome.

All You Can Eat led to a willingness to try new things!

This was followed up by a trip to Powell’s for meandering, book browsing and lots of visiting – and I managed to get out of there without buying a book! It may have been a first for me, honestly.

Overall it was a pretty good week. The coming week doesn’t have anything terribly exciting in it either – but I’m kind of looking forward to it. Hoping to get some reading going, and to do some more writing. For the first time in a long time I have a fiction-project dancing around in the back of my mind, and there is still the novel-draft that has been waiting for my editing/re-writing rounds.

How have you been? What have you been up to?

Weekend Coffee Share is a weekly chance to check in with our blogging community.  Hop around the internet and enjoy the hospitality of this great community with a casual chat. Started by Part-Time Monster, and now hosted by Nerd In The Brain this is a lovely community and a fun weekly check-in. Check out the link-up, and feel free to join in the fun!

Weekend Coffee Share: Hello Sun!

The sun is out, I’ve got a pretty balanced weekend (in terms of fun activities, free time, and planned work), and I just got paid!  It’s going to a good weekend, and I’m hopeful that the coming week will also be good.

Saturday I am meeting up with a friend for coffee, which is going to be great! We haven’t gotten the chance to hang out together in a long time, so it will be good to catch up. Ostentatiously, she’s a writing buddy – so I’m going to go with the plan that we might pretend to write (who knows, maybe I’ll get a little editing done?).

Saturday is also Dewey’s 24 hour reading challenge – so I am going to try to read some!

I really enjoy how the Readathon has turned something that is usually a solitary activity into something that can be more communal.

I also want to spend some time this weekend doing some writing about things I’ve read. We’re moving towards the hallway point for the year and I still haven’t checked in on the reading challenges I took on this year!

And, of course, I need to tackle the room… an ongoing struggle of Allison versus STUFF. I want to get rid of some of my stuff, but I also am rather fond of some of my stuff, so it’s a challenge to figure out what to keep and what to get rid of.

My day needs to get started soon, but first, how are you doing? What have you been up to? Any weekend plans?

Weekend Coffee Share is a weekly chance to check in with our blogging community.  Hop around the internet and enjoy the hospitality of this great community with a casual chat. Started by Part-Time Monster, and now hosted by Nerd In The Brain this is a lovely community and a fun weekly check-in. Check out the link-up, and feel free to join in the fun!

Weekend Coffee Share: Vacation Weekend!

If we were having coffee I’d invite you to meet me somewhere downtown – I’m taking a mini-vacation this weekend (taking advantage of the free two-night stay in a local hotel that I won)! It’s nothing grand, hanging out downtown – but I’m looking forward to a weekend of just being somewhere different. Relaxing, hanging out with friends, and maybe getting a little writing done. It’ll be great!

Of course, I’ll be doing a bit less walking than I had initially envisioned.  For about a year I’ve been dealing with a pain in my foot.  Turns out it’s just (another) flare up of inflammation… but the podiatrist wants me to immobilize it for a time, and give it rest, to see if that helps it go down. I was in a little hard-soled-shoe for a few days, but it was hurting more in that so we’ve upgraded me to a BOOT.

But that lack of walking means, maybe, I’ll spend some time sitting and writing instead.  I still have posts I want to write about a whole array of things (books I’ve read, things I’ve done, reflections on the world right now…). I lack a good laptop at the moment, but maybe can manage some writing on my tablet and phone — or a plain old notebook which will then get typed in later.  We’ll see.

The weeks been a bit of a blur since Monday.

Oh, Monday. I did promise to catch you up on that.

I had taken Monday off in order to take Midnight Monster to the vet. He was going to get his teeth cleaned — the appointment I had postponed due to him running off on me the day before his last appointment.

At about 7:15 I started to try putting him in his crate, knowing he is not a fan of his crate and that it can take a few tries. I was supposed to be dropping him off at the vet (no more than 5 minutes away by car) between 7:30 and 8.

At 7:55 I was having no luck and he had managed to catch my cheek with his claw and give me a good little gash. My mom called the vet to let them know I was working on it and would be getting him there as soon as I could.

At 8:30 I called them again.  Still no luck, as the Monster channeled all his strength into fighting me as much as he could – clawing his way out of the “burritos” I made for him using all sorts of different blankets, running and hiding in places where it was tricky to get him out.  He’d taken to hissing at me when I approached with anything resembling a blanket or towel — even when I draped it around myself like it was part of my outfit. He’s a smart one, unfortunately.

They said I could bring him in any time before 10, but that if he was too riled up it would be hard for them to work with him so maybe we’d need to reschedule.  I thought, perhaps, if I calmed him down a little, cuddled him a little (he would still let me hold him some, as long as I didn’t go near the crate) perhaps I could get him in and he’d be okay.

9:15 I gave up, and called and rescheduled his appointment – yet again. Two hours of trying to get my cat in the carrier… exhausting.

Next time I get to try will be all the way out in July… and I’m just hoping that we’ve been able to work up to getting into the crate (yes, I’m planning on actually WORKING on it. Bundling him on occasion, putting him in the crate with the door open… doing what I can to help acclimate him to make it less stressful in the future.

A cousin of mine was in town, and I had been planning on meeting her at 9:30 downtown. I hadn’t had a chance to see her since we were kids, and thankfully she was flexible so we were able to bump the time out a bit.  Late breakfast was awesome, and it was so good to visit with her.  
Then I ran back out to the farther reaches of the metro area for a meeting with the podiatrist to figure out this foot pain… at which point I was given the shoe that is now replaced with the boot.

At least I get to show off my toes?

By the time I got home Monday night I was WORN OUT.

May this weekend make up for some of the craziness and leave me feeling rested!

How are you doing?  What have you been up to?  Though I feel like I tried EVERYTHING with Midnight Monster, I’d love to hear what you’ve done to get your stubborn pets into their carriers.

wp-1488630845416.pngWeekend Coffee Share is a weekly chance to check in with our blogging community.  Hop around the internet and enjoy the hospitality of this great community with a casual chat. Started by Part-Time Monster, and now hosted by Nerd In The Brain this is a lovely community and a fun weekly check-in. Check out the link-up, and feel free to join in the fun!

Weekend Coffee Share: Running on fumes

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m pretty much running on fumes right now. It’s been a fairly exhausting week, and I’m moving into a busy weekend too!

One of the little dogs (about 7lb) that lives in my house, Matches, had a stroke-like-event a little over a week ago. He isn’t my dog, but I’ve been lending a hand with some of his care while he’s in recovery, so it’s been an added thing to my schedule. Because he hasn’t really been able to stand (he’s getting better at that!) he needs to be held up when he goes out to go to the bathroom, which means a lot of stopping over on the humans part. My back is not pleased with me.

But the pup is improving well, so it’s all good!

This weekend I’ve got two Jamberry related events to keep me hopping. I’m running a “pamper party” for some folks at the church I grew up in – I’d offered it as an event at their auction this year and am really looking forward to spending some time taking care of our fingers and toes. It should be a fun and relaxing time.

Tomorrow will be fun, but a very different energy as I’m going to table at Cherry City Comic Con all day.  It’ll likely be exhausting, but I’m hoping it’ll also be a great time!

I have Monday …

I started to write this on Friday night… and then the weekend caught me before I could finish.  So let’s sit for some coffee now, or drinks… whatever you want to be drinking Monday night.

Saturday started out with me helping my Mom take the dog to the vet, where my brother (the dogs owner) met us. He let me know that he could get the dog, and Mom, home so I could head home after I got the coffee I planned to pick up.  It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that I didn’t have my keys with me — I’d left with Mom, she’d locked the door, I thought I’d be coming home with her so I didn’t need them….  Thankfully I had a book, and my phone, and some other things to do while sitting in the car for an hour waiting for them to come home and let me in.

The Pamper Party was lovely – we tried out the new foot soak that Jamberry just came out with and it was SO nice (and the room smelled like peppermint)! I think the ladies enjoyed their time there.  But it was kind of exhausting for me (just because it was running a party, and those can wear me down pretty fast). I had Mom along to help me out some, and her keys went missing… so, once again, I found myself locked out of the house (because, of course, I hadn’t bothered to grab MY keys on the way out the door… because I didn’t think I’d need them).

Locked out of the house, twice in one day.  Luckily my older brother lives nearby and had a key we were able to use.

I stayed up a bit to put away the things from the one party and then get myself ready for the Vendor Event on Sunday.  That went well, was a lot of fun, but it was standing on my feet for most of the day, lots of interacting with people and being out there so, once again, exhaustion.

I was very happy to be able to go to sleep Sunday night… and was looking forward to Monday.  I’d taken the day off from work, I had PLANS for the day…. and then Monday.

Yeah, I’m not ready to tell you about Monday yet… I’ll save that for next weekend 🙂


Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Describing Characters

Ah, the wonders of camp. The sun has been shining, the birds have been singing, and I’ve been learning about caring for an impaired animal (more about that this weekend). Unfortunately, since it’s not a real camp, but Camp NaNo, these things have been happening around my normal work schedule. And the “camp” thing I’m supposed to be doing is writing – or, in my case, editing.

Spoiler Alert – it hasn’t been happening. Editing has been at a standstill.

Some of it has been lack of time and energy, but some of it has been because I keep catching up on an issue I know I need to address.

I don’t know what me characters look like.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I have clear pictures of a number of the characters, it’s just the main character, her immediate family and her significant other that I lack descriptions for. I have some theories as to why this is the case, but I know I have to just buckle down and figure out what they look like – otherwise it will be strange when I start describing other people. I’m just… really bad at describing people. Beyond skin color, hair color, eye color and some sort of distinguishing feature (like, if they walk with a limp, or have antlers growing out of their head or something). Describing the details of someone’s face, or things about them in a way that allows the reader to paint a picture of them is hard for me. Especially to do so in a subtle way.

I know I have to try it – just because I don’t pay much attention to character descriptions when I’m reading a story doesn’t mean it can’t be included (and, yes, I’m planning to spend some time in the next few days digging up books that I have and finding the character descriptions to read in order to see how other authors do it).

How do you go about describing characters?



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.

Weekend Coffee Share: Welcome to camp!

It’s April!!

I’m hoping that we’ll start getting a few more sunny days this month — it’s been pretty rainy here, but we are starting to see a little more warmth and light (hurrah)! Spring and summer can actually be kind of rough seasons for me, but I try to look forward to them anyhow.

I’m not participating in the A to Z blogathon this year, though I have a few friends who are and I look forward to seeing what they come up with. Are you participating? Have you ever participated?

What I am going to be doing this month is Camp NaNoWriMo. My cabin-mates (for camp NaNo you can join “cabins” with other writers) are pretty awesome and I thought it would be fun to get into the mindset of camp for this month.  I have a lot of editing that needs to be done, and maybe by playing like I really am at Camp NaNo I’ll be able to convince myself to put aside the time I need to do the editing!

So, today is the start of camp.  Despite some early showers (which, let’s be honest, I totally expect when camping in the Northwest), it’s turned out to be a pretty lovely day. I prepared for the month, bought some wine to enjoy while editing, and some snacks to make meal-prep a bit simpler this month (since, let’s me honest, I have relatively limited time to do this editing in during my regular week).  I also have put together a small list of the things that I need to do in order to reach my goal of 30 hours of editing-related-work this month.

I’m not exactly sure how I’ll play up the camp theme this month, but I’ll be finding ways to visit it on Instagram at least! I’m also hoping to keep you all informed about the progress I’m making – because there is progress that I NEED to make!!

Speaking of – today’s been a bit all over the place and it has, literally, taken me all day to get this written. I’ve managed to get a sentence or two done at a time before something else called for my attention. Right now, that something is named Midnight Monster and he is quite demanding!  So I have to go play with him some and them cuddle him some.

How are you doing?  What do you have planned for this month?


Weekend Coffee Share is a weekly chance to check in with our blogging community.  Hop around the internet and enjoy the hospitality of this great community with a casual chat. Started by Part-Time Monster, and now hosted by Nerd In The Brain this is a lovely community and a fun weekly check-in. Check out the link-up, and feel free to join in the fun!