Category Archives: Series of Sorts

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

#WeekendCoffeeShare : Time for a rest

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 October 5th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday October 8th 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!

Welcome to coffee!
How are you doing this week? What have you been up to? Is the season starting to change where you are? I think most of you are in the shift to fall, but maybe a few are moving to spring…. I’ve always been kind of intrigued by the difference in the seasons in different geographic locations. Like, the idea of it being summer for Christmas is just baffling!
This week has been okay, we’re doing some training at work which has been a nice change of pace for me. Outside of work, though, I haven’t been up to a whole lot. I have to admit, much of my down-time has been sunk into playing silly games on my phone (I may have gotten into Township a bit… it reminds me a little of the things I used to love about old-school Sim City).
Last Friday I had my Friday Food Fun Night with a little crew of my friends (the same ones I went camping with this summer), we ended up hitting up just three different restaurants, all walking distance downtown. I didn’t actually get mole  at any of them, I left that to the friends who are in search of the flavor they really like. Instead I tried a little variety of things. The first place I arrived at a bit before everyone else, so ordered a frozen margarita, some queso (to enjoy while I waited) and a quesadilla. Because I can’t eat wheat, and most places make their quesadillas out of flour tortillas (corn is kinda hard to work with when you’re dealing with a larger size), I haven’t had a quesadilla I didn’t have to make myself in ages – it was very exciting. Next we stopped at an Italian place, where we got some yummy desserts, then on to another Mexican place where I got some fundito!
That’s been largely the highlight of my week -this coming weekend I’m hoping to just rest up. And it’s coming on to time to rest, so I’m going to leave this here…. What are you up to?

Advertisements

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Life Events

wp-1462383471325.jpgThis 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!

IWSG Day Question: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

I really appreciate this month’s question, it causes me to do some reflection on my writing in the past and some of those things that have been getting in the way of my writing in the present.

When I look back at when I started writing my stories down (because I let them play through my mind for many years before I started to put them on the page) I can easily identify how it was actually in reaction to something that was going on in my life. It was right near the start of High School. We had two sets of cousins visiting us, and I wasn’t really connecting with any of them very well. But my younger sister was.  She was having fun learning the Macarena from them, hanging out at the mall, and generally doing all sorts of things that I thought were silly and wasn’t particularly into at the time.

It was the first time I can remember when my sister and I didn’t get along. It wasn’t that we weren’t getting along, really, just that I didn’t feel like I had anything in common with her. Being the only two girls in a family with five children we’d always been “in it together.”

I’d had a built in friend my whole life, and suddenly I felt like I didn’t have anyone. So I turned to the stories. I wrote myself into worlds of my own creation as a method of escape. And it certainly wasn’t the last time in my life that writing helped me through something. Sometimes the stories would take a form of glorified journaling – a little escapism in moments when I was needing to sort things out. Sometimes they would be completely unrelated themes, but a way for me to find a space of calm in chaos.

But life events aren’t always so helpful in my writing. Sometimes they serve to pull me away from my writing. Lately I feel like that’s the state I’ve been in – I’ve let things that are happening in my life serve as excuses to not write. As can be seen if you read through my past year or so of IWSG posts, I keep setting these goals to write, and then setting more of them. Since I finished my novel-draft a few years ago I haven’t been terribly productive with my writing. There are a variety of reasons behind this, that I’m slowly picking apart and making sense of (or at least figuring out how to work with). Hopefully I’m actually making progress and will start seeing more writing again soon… at the very least I plan to participate in National Novel Writing Month again this year, and that generally helps me get some story-work done; even if I don’t end up doing anything with that work, my goal right now is to just get writing again — I don’t care if it’s something that will ever see the light of day. I just need to start getting stories flowing again. 

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Wait… Friday?

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 September 28th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday October 1st 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!

Where did this week go? Seriously. Is it hiding somewhere? I mean, I know I need to clean my room but I don’t think an entire WEEK could actually hide in it….

For a blur of a week, not a whole lot has happened on a personal level. I’ve been trying to keep up with Banned Book’s Week posts (and here, and now, I once again resolve to be far more ahead of the game for next Banned Book’s Week. They release the list in April, I should be able to get a few decent blog posts done between then and September. I really should).

This weekend I’m going to do a lot of laying low, more cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry… But first, Friday night.

Friday night a crew of friends and I are continuing our Friday Food Fun Night adventures. Sometimes we go out, sometimes we stay in (and conduct food experiments, in the name of SCIENCE!) This week we are going out – one of my friends loves mole, and hasn’t been able to find a good place locally. So we’re going to try remedying that for her by exploring some local mole places.

I am realizing that I haven’t actually had much mole – I tried a little of hers once when we were out but that’s it, so I’m going to be trying some and deciding if I’ll participate in the mole-adventure or if I’ll pick my own menu item to explore… we’ll find out Friday, and pictures will be shared on my Instagram.

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Time to Relax?

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 September 21st at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday September 24th 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!

Hello again!

This weekend I am determined to leave the house as little as I possibly can get away with. I need to rest. My room is in dire need of attention. My cat has determined that he’s been downright neglected.

Last weekend was fun, but it was very busy and I came back with a bit of a cold. My niece is 15 months old now, and quite the vocal, mobile little gal! My older brother was up visiting as well, and now that my dad and step-mom live about a short drive from my sister

So some rest will be much welcome… and it’s starting to get a bit colder here so I need to dig through my clothes and find more fall/winter outfits in there. Or, rather, the long-sleeve things I wear over my summer clothes to turn them into fall/winter outfits.

There is that whole MEAL PLANNING thing I need to do as well, and the meal prep to go with it. This week has been a little bit of buying meals out and a lot of trying to make meals out of whatever I happen to have on hand. It’s been working okay, but it is really time to get myself some new food and plan out a few meals.

I also want to do some work on my blog because this week is Banned Book Week! I do love Banned Book Week – and will be posting things throughout the week here – including some activities and invitations for you all to join in! Be sure to visit — starting on Sunday I’ll even have a Banned Book Week Linkup available for people to share what they’re writing (and to find other Banned Book Week posts!) One of the things I wanted to do was read more of the books that have been banned or challenged… and two of them just made it off of the wait-list from the library for me (I do love seeing the challenged books with long waitlists!) so we’ll see if I can get through them!
And I wonder why even my “relaxing” weekends end up feeling busy….
What are you up to this weekend?

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare : Off again!

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 September 14th at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday September 17th 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!

Welcome! This weekend let’s have coffee on the train, while the Pacific-Northwest countryside speeds by.

Yup, I’m off again. After this weekend I won’t be traveling anywhere for a good long while – a couple of months at least – but this trip I’m very excited about. It’s my dad’s birthday on Sunday, so I’m going to go spend the weekend up with him and my step-mom at their new place. I’ll also get to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and niece while I’m there, which I’m really excited about! My niece is just over a year old now, and the last time I got to see her was early in the year – so she’s grown and developed a lot of new skills since them! I’m not entirely sure what all we’ll be doing, but I know that lots of book-reading and running around will be involved.

I’ll be putting some of my train-time to use doing some writing. I’m still hoping to get my short story completed for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group anthology competition — last week I got some decent writing done on it, now I have to just piece the bits together and make a cohesive story from them. I’m also going to get to work on what needs to be done for Banned Book Week – it’s coming up fast. And, as always, I started out the year with GRAND plans, and now am finding myself facing the week with only minimum prep work done. But that’s okay – I have been collecting links as I encountered them about books being challenged, and am excited about some of the resources that the ALA (American Library Association) has put out this year. I hope you’ll join me the last week of this month to explore some of the banned books. The theme this year: Banning Books Silences Stories, Speak Out!

This past week has been pretty mellow. I got home on Saturday, after braving the heat to explore the Pueblo Grande museum in Phoenix (it was very cool and I highly recommend it, though maybe not when it’s 100+ degrees out and you’re carrying your heavy airport carry-on on your back). Home it was in the 60s/70s, and raining. I love it. Sunday mostly involved sleeping, and then it’s been back to work for me. There’s been very little time outside of work to do much of anything – I’ve mostly needed to sleep, my body is trying to fight off a little bit of a cold I think.

What have you been up to this week? Any plans for the weekend?

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Into the desert!

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 August 31st at 7am (Pacific Time) until Monday September 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!

I am making this post from my phone -if there are issues with layout or the link let me know and I’ll try to fix it as soon as I can!


I would recommend an iced beverage this weekend. It’s really HOT here, and while I recall someone telling me once that drinking warm beverages when it’s hot helps to raise your core temprature so it doesn’t feel so hot I’m not sure I really buy it. Iced coffee it is for me, or maybe some cold brew.

I’m in Scottsdale Arizona right now for a work conference with the National College Testing Association (NCTA), which has been an interesting experience. It’s my first real interaction with people outside of my office that are part of the testing world, and I’m not used to being in a group of people who so easiy toss around some of the acronyms that I use on a near-daily basis.

It’s also very interesting to get to know some of these other testing professionals — this is certainly not the career path I set out for, and I’m not sure it’s where I ultimately will stay, but for now it’s hard to argue the fact that Testing is where I’m currently at — this October will be 5 years since I started working in my office and that is the longest I’ve been at one work location. There have technically been 4 different positions in that time, but even so – I’ve been in the particular job I’m in for 3 years now.

Putting the work thougths aside, it’s also been pretty cool to be at this location. The resort/hotel that is hosting us is FANCY. Certainly the fanciest place I’ve ever stayed, and it’s fun to get a little feel for this kind of thing. Usually my hotel stays are of the “what is the cheapest I can get” variety. This place has multiple pools, live music every night, and a guy from a local wildlife rescue center that wanders the halls with a different bird of prey each day!

So far I’ve met a red-tailed hawk (Choco) and a Great Horned Owl (Maggie). And gotten selfies with them!

I also have certainly put the pool to use – which unfortunately resulted in a little bit of injury for me — I put a little too much power into a handstand jump under water and my face met the bottom of the pool. Nothing too bad, I’ll have a little bruising and a tiny bit of raw skin, but apparently I got some impressive height? It was fun… and I’m being careful with the sunscreen and avoiding swimming during the sunlight hours so have managed to not get a burn yet — hopefully by the time I leave on Saturday I will have been able to keep that true.

Me, my pool injury, and Maggie, the great horned owl.

Thursday night I am going to hit up the local artwalk – it will be fun to see a little bit of the local area, and maybe sneak away into the more historic stuff as well. Saturday, before my flight, I’ll be visiting a museum too — I’m glad I’ll be able to fit in a few local things as well. I always get a bit frustrated with myself when I go to a conference and don’t take the time to see any of the area. This resort is nice in that it does have some nice walking paths, and so I can see some of the cacti and other plants that grow in the area, but it’s still a very cultivated experience.

Sunday I will sleep. Probably while being yowled at and sat upon by a cat. He was rather upset at me when I got home from my camping trip last week — he really didn’t want me to leave again so soon. He will be VERY upset when I pack up a bag again on Thursday and head north to visit family in the Seattle area – but that will be a short trip at least.

What are you up to this weekend? How has your week been? Any plans for the coming week?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Waiting For The Magic


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 theTwitter account and the Instagram as well!

As I was sitting in one of my most magical places I was reminded of one of the challenges I sometimes have with my writing. There are many, to be sure; trying to fight through the “shoulds” and the easier brainless activities being two that have given me particular struggle lately.

But one that comes back again and again in my life is the thought that I need the right inspiration. I think about all those times where I’ve put a story aside because I just don’t have the inspiration. When I go out in search of the right place, the right time, the right activity, that will launch me into a perfect place for writing.

There are times in my life when that search has worked… but they are rare. When I think about it, really think, it’s far more common that inspiration comes when it is least convenient -in the middle of a class or workshop, when I’m drifting off to sleep, as I’m driving somewhere, in the middle of a show or when I’m in a conversation.

Where I went camping a few weeks back was one of those places that has often inspired me. Stories come through in that place, characters seem more vivid and alive. One of the things I love about camping there is that I can step away from everything, sit with no expectations on my and just let the story flow.

Of course, if I go there with that expectation then it doesn’t happen.

And then today, I’m at a conference in Arizona, and had certainly not expected anything of the fiction-writing inspiration to appear. But as I finish this post, looking out from my hotel room balcony, I find the stories stirring and know that the magic has found me – even when I’m not looking.