Category Archives: Series of Sorts

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

Kindergarten Wisdom: “Writing and Blogging is Awesome”

Life’s been busy, and I will admit I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with myself.  Mostly I just want to put out there a few words of wisdom I received in January.  A month that, once again, did not go as planned.

I didn’t meet my writing goals, or my editing goals.  I ended up putting a lot more time into side-projects (like Taliana’s UnBirthday party).  I had moments of uncertainty — where I wondered if I was losing my grasp and focus on my writing.

But I keep looking back at one particular present I got this year for my birthday.

For my birthday last month the daughter of one of my friends made me a card.  A little poem that now hangs on the bulletin board near my desk.  The best line of it: “Writing and Blogging is awesome.”

Writing is a part of who I am.  So much so that a girl in Kindergarten, whom I only get to see rarely (not nearly enough — such an awesome kiddo!), knows it.  It doesn’t matter to her that I didn’t edit as much as I wanted, or that my writing took a bit more time than I planned to get on the page.  She just knows that it is what I do.  And that it is awesome.

So remember that, fellow writers and bloggers.  I happen to know that this particular little girl is quite wise (and very smart, like scary-smart sometimes).  If she says that writing and blogging is awesome, I am inclined to believe her.  And I like to think that we who participate in such activities are awesome too.


This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a IWSG badgegreat 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. 

We have also, recently, put out a new book, for free (through most sites).  Check it out for all sorts of great articles on topics from writing to publishing, everything in-between and beyond!


If We Were Having Coffee #26

Today I want to be on the coast.  Let’s imagine ourselves there (unless you’re actually on the beach, then I envy you), sitting and listening to the waves in the distance.  We can’t actually see the water from where we sit, but we can hear it, crashing and rolling away.  Just beyond these beautiful windswept trees.  Knowing it is there, while I sip coffee with you, is enough.

I was in just such a place yesterday (sans coffee).  It was nice to be able to sit for a time, step outside of everything and simply sit and be.  It had been a frantic week, and I needed that reminder that it was okay to sit in quiet sometimes.  Not just needed, but necessary.

Maybe because of all that is going on around me these days, or because of where I am in my life just now, I’ve been finding myself reflecting on theology lately.  I’ve been thinking, particularly, about how complicated it can be to dig through the language that holds us at a distance.  Words are a complicated and challenging thing, and we all carry baggage around certain words which can make it hard to communicate.  And, too often, people are unwilling (or unable) to dig beyond their baggage in order to pick apart the meanings that the words hold.  I’ve been thinking about this particularly around theology and theological concepts, but really it’s a matter that comes to play in many aspects of life.

I’m not sure that I’m articulating what I’m trying to say very well.  I’ll readily admit that my brain is a little fried after a very busy week at work, with evenings full of moving, unpacking, and trying to get settled into my new space.

So I turn my frazzled brain to you, what would you like to talk about on this beautiful February day?

Part Time Monster hosts this Weekend Coffee Share every weekend.  Check out the Linky-List to find others participating (and please, join us! The more the merrier!)

If We Were Having Coffee #24

Welcome! I’m so glad to have you join me for coffee — I have to admit, I’m a bit worn out.  I’ve been moving this weekend, and it’s exhausting! Friends have helped, and I’m now in the midst of unpacking and trying to figure out the right spaces for everything.

It’s been a strange week.  The news of two different deaths had a bit of an impact one.  Jaysinh Birje-Patil (we all just called him Birje) was one of my professors when I was in college.  I didn’t have a lot of classes with him, but he taught a class about the Holocaust and the Language of Genocide that I remember well.  I’d been interested in Holocaust studies for a long time, and it was the first time that I was introduced to more theory, books outside of the personal stories.  Some of the texts that he had me look at in that class still hold a place on my shelf over a decade later.

The other was Marcus Borg, a theologian whose work really helped me develop a deeper understanding of the ways that one could be Christian.  I got to go hear him speak once, and was so impressed by him.  His book “The God We Never Knew,” factored into the paper I wrote exploring my understanding of the concept of God — especially in his explanation of panentheism (not to be confused with pantheism) as an understanding that “…God is more than everything, even as God is present everywhere.  God is all around us and within us, and we are within God.” (The God We Never Knew. HarperOne, Kindle Edition, 2009. Page 32).  He also spoke about mystical experiences in a way that resonated with me.

If you were the type to engage in theological conversations, I’d probably continue on.  I’d ask your thoughts, I’d pull out my Kindle and the books I have by him and we could delve into a deeper conversation on some of the things he had to say.

But I know some people have absolutely no interest in such conversations so, if we were having coffee I’d ease to talking about something else.

I’d also want to share that I’ve decided to turn Taliana’s Blog-Party’s into a regular feature.  I even put together a page about it! I’d ask if you were interested in participating in April, since I have some ideas already and would love to do more collaborative work with it.

It’ll be time for me to get back to setting things up soon, but I’ve got time to hear some about what you’ve been up to this week.  Are you looking forward to anything in the week to come?

The If We Were Having Coffee posts is a fun feature that I encountered some time ago.  Now Part Time Monster hosts a weekly Coffee Post Linkup.  Check it out, visit other bloggers coffee posts, and add your own!

If We Were Having Coffee — Birthday edition! (#23)

If we were having coffee I’d be happy that I get the chance to involve you in my holiday celebration!  It’s been a buy weekend, and I’m having just a moments down-time before heading on to the next pieces of celebration.

I’ve had two yummy breakfasts out, hit three vineyards for wine tastings, got a flight of chocolate-samples, wandered through a toy-store and a candy-store, enjoyed dinner out, hung out and visited lots, got my nails done…. and tonight I get to go to an arcade, more friends time, and tomorrow holds even more of the same 🙂   Lots of fun visiting with friends and family, just generally having a great time.

I only got one actual present, in the traditional sense (though lots of being treated to things, and people taking time to come see me, which is a great kind of present!)  One of my friends (who always has been pretty excellent with the gift-giving thing) got me a copy of Haruki Murakami’s “The Strange Library.”  I had just finished reading an ebook version of it, and let me say, this is one of those books where there the physical copy is a million times better than ebook — it’s just a richer book this way.  I love it 🙂

I love birthdays, even though I’ve had some spectacularly terrible ones through the years, but recently they’ve just been so-so.  This year, though, I wanted to have awesome celebrations, and I made it so!  Though, of course, I’m not even done with my celebrations this year yet, and I’ve already gotten some ideas for next year (though, I totally blame a friend who had a brilliant idea for that one…).

The blog-party has also been fun, I feel like I’m getting to know Taliana more and more, and her story is getting more and more complex… it’ll be interesting to tie up just this one little party worth of story before Wednesday, I hope that even more people start to participate!

How are you doing?  Are you up to anything exciting this weekend?  Do you celebrate your birthday, or tend to keep it quiet?  What’s your favorite birthday memory?

Celebrate the Small Things! Party Time! (#16)


A weekly Blog-Hop, hosted by Lexa Cain where we celebrate those small things.

It’s my birthday!  Yup!  Today!  I’m celebrating over the weekend with friends and family.  Not to mention the Unbirthday Party I’m throwing right here (so I can celebrate with all of you!)

I’m also celebrating the awesome growth I’m seeing in a little project that I think is such a great idea.  1000 voices for compassion is trying to get 1000 bloggers and video makers to talk about compassion, kindness, caring for others, non-judgement, and the like on the same date (February 20).  I’m signed up to participate, and encourage others to join in!  Check out #1000Speaks on Twitter!



If We Were Having Coffee… #22

If we were having coffee I’d offer you a latte, I’m starting to get better at the milk-frothing thing!  Or we could go out for coffee, to one of those cozy coffee-shops with cushy chairs.  It’s one of those cloudy-drizzly days where it would be just lovely to slip off my shoes and curl up in an overstuffed chair.

I’m excited about my coffee-post this week, because I get to be involved in the inaugural #WeekendCoffeeShare, hosted by Part Time Monster!  What a great chance to connect with other weekend coffee folks.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that much of the week is still a bit of a blur.    Nothing spectacular happened, aside from having to report for Jury Duty one day (which didn’t end up with me sitting on a jury). Because I got out early from that, though, I had the chance to meet up with two friends, one for a very brief check-in during her lunch-break, and the other for a trip to Powell’s and lunch.  I rarely have the chance to see my friends during the week (with my commute I only get about 2.5 hours in the evening before I have to sleep, and my energy is generally completely gone by then) so it was a fun little treat.

I’ve been doing some planning for the Un-Birthday party Blog-Party I’m hosting next week.  It’s exciting to get back into the framing story, and really cool the way that it’s taking shape.  Taliana returns (after her experience at the Masque) and I can already see the way that her next party will take form.  I’ll see how the Un-Birthday goes, but am kind of thinking I might not be able to wait until next years Masquerade to continue her story — maybe I’ll do something in April, and again in July-ish (that’s, roughly evenly spaced through the year…).  It’s fun to think about.

I also started to dig back into Disparate Threads some, and have a better idea of where I’m going next.  Starting to feel more and more confident that I’ll be able to start up again by the end of the month.  It’s exciting to be getting back on track.

I’d also tell you that Saturday was a lovely day, I went to Mother’s Bistro for breakfast (nice atmosphere, good food), and then to a “Build, Remodel, and Landscape,” show.  Since I’m not actually looking at landscaping or doing renovations of my own (my friend is in the middle of a major remodel), I just wandered around and looked at pretty tiles and daydreamed about magical yards that took care of themselves and allowed me to have pretty spaces to sit and write.  I also managed to find myself a nice pair of earrings, and two pretty vases!  However, no books — though at a furniture/hardware store we stopped at on the way home I did find some old books that looked kind of interesting….

I adored these little sculptures! From WoodLawn Nursery

How has your week been?  Anything you’re looking forward to in the coming week?

Making Room Not To Write – Plus an Introduction

December was a month that saw very little writing on my part.  I had these grand plans for the month, I was going to get so much writing done, do some plotting for future editing, things like that.

But December did not go as I planned.  Almost no writing got done.  Absolutely no blog-formatting got done. Nearly no reading got done.

I’ll admit, I spent a bit of time beating myself up about that all.  I’ve told myself that I should have pushed, that I should have written even if it was a struggle, that I needed to write, that even if I wasn’t writing at least I could have looked at the layout of Disparate Threads, or revisited the outline of my novel-draft, or read more books. Something.

But I didn’t.  I hung out with friends some, and watched entirely too many shows on Netflix.  I did a little bit of cleaning, and a fair amount of sleeping.  There was work at the day job in there too, of course.  And I did make some Christmas gifts.

Still, I was beating myself up for not writing.  I wondered if I had been just fooling myself about being able to do “this writing thing.”  I had moments of wanting to think of myself as a failure — but something held me back from giving over entirely to that thought.

As I start to ease back into the writing work that I had intended to do in December, I realize something very important.  I needed to give myself that break — it wasn’t failure, rather self-care. Yes, sometimes there is a need to push yourself to keep going, even if you don’t feel like it, but sometimes it’s also important to allow yourself room to take a breath.  Giving myself permission to allow the space to not write helps me as I step back into my writing now.  A break does not mean failure.  Sometimes, a break is needed in order to refresh, recharge, and be able to keep going.

Yes, I’ve told myself this before, but apparently I need to be told it again.

This month we were invited to write a little Introduction about ourselves – so I’ll take a brief moment to do so.  There’s also plenty of “who am I?” pondering and rambling in my About Me page.

I’m Allison, and I hate writing bio’s and “about me” posts… I’m just bad at introducing myself.  I’m a writer, and technically a published author and poet, though the published piece isn’t something I mention often because I still feel like a fake in that regard in some ways.  I have an MA in Religion, a BA in History, and ponder going on for another Masters (in Public History) and maybe even a Doctorate. But for now I am focusing on keeping up at my pay-the-bills-job, and juggling my blogging and fiction writing in order to get an actual, functional, draft of my first novel done by the fall of 2015 (self-set goal). Also, I endeavor to stop using “and” and “but” at the start of so many of my sentences.

This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a IWSG badgegreat 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. 

We have also, recently, put out a new book, for free (through most sites).  Check it out for all sorts of great articles on topics from writing to publishing, everything in-between and beyond!