Category Archives: If We Were Having Coffee…

If We Were Having Coffee… On the Go

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If we were having coffee it would have to be on the go this week.  My cousin and her son’s are visiting from New England this week and we have packed the weekend.  Today I was out and about (in the hot hot heat) all day with them showing them some bits and pieces of the city.  We spent most of the day wandering through Saturday Market, which was fun but a lot of people.  I have pictures which I’ll have to share another time (I also do share some of them over on Instagram).

I’d tell you that I’ve also been spending every free moment this week editing.  The first revision I did of the novel gave me a heads-up that there were some structural issues I wanted to deal with.  So I printed out a copy and have been making my way through, marking it up and making notes.  Some of the notes are wording-level changes that I want to make, but I’m trying to focus primarily on structure.  Though I’d wanted to have a second revision done by the end of the month I’m not so sure that’s going to happen with all the stuff happening this month.

I’d also tell you that I’m extending Taliana’s story slightly.  I was going to end it Sunday, but I don’t envision I’m going to have the time/energy to get the final segment written by the end of Sunday.  Participation this round has been seriously lacking, and I know some of that is because I just haven’t been able to put the energy into promoting it that I did for the last ones.  I know there is one contribution that might come together before the end of the day tomorrow but…. if not I am going to try to finish off her story arc.  I had fun writing her story over the year, and the challenge of incorporating other people’s stories was fun but I think that she’ll be taking a break after this story-arc concludes.  It’s a lot of work and takes a lot of energy that I just don’t always have!

If we were having coffee I’d say that I wanted to talk more, about my thoughts and plans for the blog in the coming year, about my writing progress and things going on in my life but, really, I’m exhausted and probably should go home and take a nap soon.  But first I do want to hear what you’ve been up to, what you’re going to be doing with the rest of the weekend.


If We Were Having Coffee… Churches, History, Friends and Writing ALL AT ONCE!

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If we were having coffee today I’d tell you that it’s been a busy and productive week.  I’ve made some awesome progress on my novel and, actually, might seem a bit more tired than normal.  Which, for me, is saying a lot.  I’ve been re-reading old writing this week.  Staying up far later than I should as I find myself drawn into the story and then facing that terrible moment when I want to find out what happens next and… there is nothing.

The worst part of that is that there is no one to blame but myself, because I wrote it and didn’t finish it.  It makes me want to go back to these stories, to work on them and flesh them out and find the story they are really trying to tell.  Which I can’t do, not yet.  Not until I finish a draft of this story and have it in the hands of readers. While the first round of readers have it I can play and dabble on as many stories as I want.  Then, when I have revised it with their feedback and send it out to the second round of beta-readers… then I start narrowing down my writing to figure out which story I’ll work on next.  That’s the plan.  And to get to that plan, I need to get this draft squared away.

So the late-night story-ready has led to a renewed effort of editing and writing.  This week, writing during my lunch-breaks and a little bit after work, I’ve managed over 11,000 words written/revised.  At the moment I have two scenes that I need to jump back to and write/revise… maybe.  I’m going to get to the end, see where it stands, and decide if those scenes are necessary.

If we were having coffee I’d also tell you that I had a fun social-encounter earlier this week.  Although my co-workers seem to think I’m a social person I really tend to hang out with a handful of friends that I’ve known forever and spend a lot of time at my computer.  But this week Sabina (from Victim to Charm) invited me to join her at the Willamette Writers monthly meeting.  We’d been talking about meeting up at some point, while we were both in the same city and all, so it was cool to finally do so!  The talk at the meeting was interesting as well, and I am hoping that I’ll get my act together to reflect on it some more soon.

It was very cool to get to meet a blogging friend!  Though, I realized we forgot to take the requisite Selfie.  Hmm.. guess we’ll have to get together again.

The Old Church, which is where the meeting was held, was gorgeous.  The part of me (big part of me) that is drawn to church architecture was in awe.  I could have spent hours just roaming around that place, looking at the structure, admiring the stained glass, imagining the lives of those who had passed through the building.  It reminds me that I should make an effort during some of my lunch breaks to go and wander through some of the local churches that have their doors open.  Inspiration seeking.

I spent much of the talk admiring the pipe organ at the front of the sanctuary.
I spent much of the talk admiring the pipe organ at the front of the sanctuary.

I’d also tell you how excited I am to have won the most recent prize in Nerd In The Brain’s summer reading program!  This is the THIRD THING I remember winning in my life. (I won a face-paint set at a grocery store coloring contest, I won a stole in a fundraising raffle in seminary).  Yes… I never win things.. but I won a really cool bag!  I promise pictures once I get it.

I’d also tell you, with an energy and excitement that may make you roll your eyes, laugh, and call me a geek (kindly, of course), that I got a new book!  I was so happy when it showed up Thursday.  It’s a history text by an author I read extensively while I was working on my Master’s Thesis.  I stumbled on it when I was looking for some information that might help inspire my understanding of the governmental structure for my novel — and I spent my morning commute on Friday was spent reading through the first few pages slowly, making margin notes, checking footnotes, and jotting down ideas that might work well.  It’s really cool!

How about you?  What have you been up to this week?  Anything exciting?  Any projects you’re working on?

If We Were Having Coffee…

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that my weekend plans were, ultimately, decided by a bag of Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza dough.

Friday, very early in the morning I discovered that, when stepped on, the mix inside can get some good distance to it, exploding out of both ends of the packaging.

Also, it’s quite fine flour, which is good at sticking to clothing, getting under furniture and books, and probably would be fun to add to a toddler’s sensory table.

I had been struggling with what to do: my original plans had been for a long weekend with very little activity — including two days that were mostly devoted to “me” time.  Writing, reading, and cleaning were high on the list of things that needed to be done, along with sleeping more and just relaxing.  This introvert has been pushing herself with an awful lot of social time lately.

But, then friends and family started to invite me out, events were planned that I was invited to and I faced decisions.  That’s where I stood Thursday night, trying to figure out what to do, how to balance what I wanted to do….   I wanted to go spend time with friends and family, but I also wanted to have alone time, make progress on my writing projects, and get this room cleaned up.  There were other things tossing through my mind that made it hard to sleep Thursday night (also, it was hot… it’s been very hot here). I was up way too late tossing thoughts around in my head and fighting aside anxiety about inconsequential things.

Then, Friday morning, well before I had to be awake on this day off, I stumbled my way down the hall to the bathroom and suddenly the world exploded under my feet.  “The world” being a bag of Pizza Dough Mix that had fallen off of it’s carefully (or, maybe not so carefully and not so) balanced pile.

I take it as a sign… at least, I joke that the fine flour scattering itself under my books and into my closet is a sign. The reality is that my reaction was a sign.  A quick look around my living and working space shows piles of clothes and other things.  A pantry that got emptied because of the very persistent and annoying ants, but never put back together.  Books that were pulled off shelves for one reason or another and never returned.  The clothing pile which, normally a beast of it’s own, has kind of become epic.  Stacks of miscellaneous papers waiting to be sorted and put away…. it’s a flat out mess.

I have been going non-stop, between work and social-things and writing.  That means life has tumbled into a chaos state — a room that contributes to anxiety and the sense that I’m always behind.  A room where a package of flour mix can fall right into my path unnoticed until it explodes in early celebration of Independence Day, leaving me with a sudden sense that it’s all too much and there’s no way I can complete all I intend to complete.  Making me want to curl up in bed and hide from everything (and I mean everything, even the fun reading I want to do).

Which is a sure sign that I need to give myself the weekend as I had originally intended.  Friday I went to breakfast with my mom, then went on a “art date” with my big brother.  It was fun to sit with him in the coffee shop that started my coffee addiction while he drew and I typed away at the novel.  Then I did more writing at home, paid some bills, and went to a neighborhood potluck.

Saturday I plan to eat some of the fancy cheeses I bought the other day, maybe open a bottle of wine, and relax.  I’ll chat with my best friend in the morning, spend some time meandering around all the great coffee-posts, clean a little, and then settle in to write a few blog posts and work more on the novel.  Cleaning, cooking, laundry will all happen on Sunday.  My pace, my time, the freedom to change my plans in an instant if I want to.  That’s what I need, so that’s what I’m going to do.

July is going to be a very busy month, so I’m happy I do have this opportunity to relax a little bit before everything takes off.

I’d also tell you that I’m looking forward (but also with a little trepidation) to my next Taliana event.  Depending on how it goes it may be the last for a while….

But I’ve rambled on, how about you?  What are your plans for the weekend?

If We Were Having Coffee… Geeks, Religion, Community and Chaos.

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If we were having coffee I’d invite you to join me at the table I’ve been claiming as “my space” at the Oregon Convention Center.  The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly (GA) has been happening this week and I’ve been visiting old friends and enjoying the atmosphere.  I can’t afford to actually attend, so have just been getting the moments I can.

I was raised a UU, and it is still the religion I claim (when I feel like i need to claim one), but there are a lot of things that I encounter in the religion that I struggle with — things that downright frustrate me.  There have been times in the past days that I’ve wanted to shake people and try to make them realize just how much their actions go against the very principles they claim to embrace….

But I don’t want to dwell on that all, not right now.  I have done a little venting on twitter, and I did a brief vent on my personal facebook page but to say much more I need to sort my thoughts more. Instead I want to focus on the good things that have come out of my “infiltration” of GA.  It’s been fun to be get to spend some time with old friends, and to see the energy and excitement of the attendees.  I have a lot of things to think about, and a good amount of reflection has been done, with a lot more to come.

If we were having coffee I’d want to take advantage of having your ear to talk a bit more about Passionate Geeks.  I’m excited about all the buzz, enjoying how many people are sharing with me some of the things they are passionate about.  But it is taking some time for writing to happen, so I’d probably give a little push — I can write about my own geekdom’s but I really would love to have other voices…. I know have a July (Yay! Thanks!) but would love to start getting some posts so I can have this scheduled out ahead of time. 🙂

If we were taking a moment to have coffee today I’d confide that I really pushed myself this week and things feel kind of chaotic — I”m kind of scattered today.

In my writing I’ve hit this scene that is a pretty emotionally intense one —  a very important one for the characters so, even though it’s just a second draft, I want to at least get the structure of it right.  Good bones so that I have something good to work with.  I’m hoping to get a little time this weekend to make progress on that…

I’d tell you that I’m working on my response to the second #LazyLambs Book Club post!  Hannah and Diana will have their posts going up today, and then we’ll be opening the conversation for people to share their questions, and their answers, about Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job.   I’m really enjoying this book club – it’s been fun to see other people joining in!

How about you?  Have you been reading anything interesting lately?  What has been going on in your life?

If We Were Having Coffee… Figuring out Summer

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If we were having coffee I’d probably prefer to take a stroll with our coffee.  I’d tell you that I spent most of the week sick, then, as I was coming out of being sick, I managed to pinch my sciatic nerve.  I’ve dealt with my share of back pain — muscle cramps and thrown-out backs — and a good deal of ankle pain, but this is a new experience entirely.  My office chair is pretty good, and seems to keep the pain at bay, and walking and moving seems to be fine — but when I sit on the bus, or at my home desk (I am now discovering) or try to lay down… ouch.  Pain echoes through the back of my legs, and in my lower back.  I can keep it pretty under control with Ibuprofen at this point but what a pain.

I’d tell you that I’m starting to try to figure out my new schedule.  I’ve taken on some Sunday morning commitments, which means I’m working my 8-5 job during the week, and then have a 8-12 job on many Sundays (and a standing Sunday night social commitment).  My weekends have become severely limited, and so I’m trying to figure out juggling all that, social plans, and still getting writing done.  I know I’ll figure it out but I’m just coming out of the cloud of a busy work week and then being sick so everything seems a bit overwhelming right now.

I have been able to do some reading over the past two weeks.  While I don’t hold much hope for completing the Lousia May Alcott Reading Challenge, I did get a good ways into A Long Fatal Love Chase last weekend, it’s everything I expected to be, and pretty fun to read.  Though I’m pretty sure I’m laughing at the wrong places.

I finished A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore, for the Lazy Lambs Book Club — and am looking forward to our discussion about it starting on the 27th!  I also started and fished Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus, which was a great read – much fun!

How have you been this week?  Read anything good?  Have any exciting summer plans?

If We Were Having Coffee… Reading and Blog Award!

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I’m pretty exhausted.  The week went well,  but it was busy and wore me out.  Thankfully, this isn’t my first run at a week like this so I knew that I’d be worn out.  I was prepared!

I got a lot of awesome writing work done last weekend, and told myself that I don’t have to write any more until Monday — I gave myself the week (and this weekend) off!  I did do some re-reading of the first half of the novel I’m working on, making notes of things that need to be adjusted, cut, expanded or explained.  But mostly I read A Dirty Job (For the Lazy Lambs Book Club) and listened to music, and zoned out (and complained a bit on twitter about the ridiculously long commutes.. not sure what was up with traffic and the transit system this week but, wow).

This weekend I’m going to read more!  I have a wine-tasting outing Saturday morning, and then it’s going to be time for my to run my last-minute readathon 🙂  Not sure if anyone will be reading with me — being so last minute and all — but I’ll be reading and rambling away even if it’s just me!  I’m looking forward to putting my book-nook to use again this weekend!

My weekend reading plans... I know I wont get through ALL of them but... I'm gonna try!
My weekend reading plans… I know I won’t get through ALL of them but… I’m gonna try!

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I was really pleased with how Passionate Geeks is going!  I had my first guest poster this month, and am really pleased with the growing interest in the series.

I’d also tell you I’m excited for the upcoming Taliana event: A garden party in July!

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that Lori MacLaughlin, of Writing, Reading and the Pursuit of Dreams nominated me for the Creative Blogger award!


Thanks Lori!!

The rules for this award:

  1.  Thank and post the link of the person who nominated you.
  2. Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers.
  3. Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify them.
  4. Pass on the rules.

I tend to not nominate people, so if you want, consider yourself nominated!  I really enjoyed the answers that people shared for my last blog award!

If we were having coffee I would share five facts….

  1. One of my favorite pieces of artwork is a silly coloring page a friend drew for the kids we worked with, colored by another friend.
  2. I recently rediscovered Rock Paper Cynics “A Defense of Teddy Bears” which now hangs on the wall behind my desk… I find such truth in it.
  3. I have a lamp named Pie, a space heater named Turtle, and once had a refrigerator named Roberto[Edited ’cause someone with a better memory than me corrected me 🙂  ]
  4. I have an extremely hard time describing people, it’s a huge challenge in my writing.
  5. The only time I have ever ridden on a snowmobile was during a blizzard.

What are five


If We Were Having Coffee… Melting and Writing

Today’s post is a part of the Weekend Coffee Share, graciously hosted by Part Time Monster every weekend. A time for us to come together, share a cup of coffee (or our beverage of choice) to share some of what is going on in our lives.  It’s a lovely check-in!

If we were having coffee I would offer it to you iced.  With apologies that I haven’t had the chance to make my coffee-ice-cubes yet.  This 90 degree weather is throwing me for a loop – I am not a fan of the heat. It makes me melt.

I’m hoping to be pretty productive this weekend, using the heat as an excuse to just sit at my computer and write all day.  If I don’t end up sleeping most of the weekend… that’s a distinct possibility as well — I’ve been so tired lately and the next week at work is one of our busy ones, so I need to be well rested going into it.

I’d tell you that I am excited about the start of Passionate Geeks this week!  I’ve had a lot of people express interest in contributing to it and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say!

I’m looking forward to the summer (assuming the weather stays in control).  While my work schedule really doesn’t really change, I like to pretend that things are a little slower… and I am taking some time off here and there for various visits, which will be nice.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m continuing on the novel… slow but steady progress.  I just signed up to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in July.  My goal is to have the compiled draft of the novel done by the end of June, so that I can spend July editing the entire story — making final determinations on some of the things that are still noted as “need a name” or “I probably should figure out the government structure,” clean up language, deal with character inconsistencies, figure out some messy point-of-view issues, and other such things.  The goal is to send it to its very first reader (a very dear, trusted friend who will be honest, but kind… and perhaps a little snarky/silly) before the summer is up.  I’m both excited and nervous at the idea of putting this story out there, hoping that it is good enough.  Good enough for people to want to read.  Good enough to capture the attention of an agent.  Good enough to be published.

You know, I’d settle even with “good enough for people to want to read.”  I know I have a long road ahead of me still, but it is starting to feel amazing and daunting.  Real.

What have you been up to?