Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year to everyone!

Did I ever mention my journal addiction?

It's real. I can't refuse journals. I struggle to not buy one when I walk by them in the only bookstore left in Boulder County. I do fill them up,  at least, because I am a big believer in daily journaling, but I never fill them up quite as fast as I buy them. So I dedicate the 'extras.'

I have one journal dedicated to story ideas for a fantasy novel that I may or may never write. Another one is dedicated to the sci-fi story I'm working on. I have another one just for random notes. And I have the daily journal one. I still have three other blank journals. I think I'll reserve one for my forays into poetry. Sometime last year I bought a bunch of poetry handbooks and guides, and this year, I'm going to spend more time playing with poetry. No real reason for it, it's just something I've always enjoyed and wanted to delve into more.

This time of year everyone is writing about their resolutions. I'm not going to :) because lets face it, you don't really care. I mean, did you even care about my journal addiction, really? It's okay. I understand. It's not that interesting unless you also happen to have a journal addiction, and now you know, you're not alone.

I did something different, though, this year. I made the resolutions, then I made goals from them. Under the goals, are the 'how to get this goal.' So, for instance, my resolution to Be healthy has goals: Exercise every day, eat better, be more mindful. Then, those have 'how to' so exercise every day w/ Jillian Michaels or a run during week, and a hike or long run on the weekend. Eat better has eat fish 2x a week and plan monthly menus, and mindful has meditate in the mornings for 15 minutes, starting with five minutes every other day and working up. See, now they are all doable. There are other resolutions, and I did the same thing with those, as well.

The last year was interesting in terms of personal development. I think it's rare that we actually stop to realize we'd actually had some personal developments happen, especially internally, where it's more a gnawing, slow realization that you've changed than some sudden external event, but it quickly became very clear to me that I'd been living out of tune and out of sync with who I am, what I wish to do and how I wish to be, and the last few months I've spent time really putting thought to how I want to express myself through my life. Genuinely. Not like an Instagrammed life where it's all an image, but a true expression of myself. I'm really looking forward to being able to put some of myself out into the world while I've decided there are other things that belong only to me.  Other things haven't changed. I still need to run. Still love to hike. Have to write. Am obsessed with finding ways to keep dinner time healthy and not from delivery... But there is more. I think there is more to all of us, and we all owe it to ourselves to keep trying to find the higher expressions of our selves.

Happy New Year!

Quick rundown of random things:

Six months in, new Middle School is still the absolute best thing that happened for Turbo and Bear. Those two have just attained new levels of maturity and growth through the higher expectations. 

Drama Girl is still in childcare, but I think she's going to explore hair and cosmetology which we all think would suit her so much more! Fun, cute clothes to work and get to do other people's make up for money... c'mon....

Husbear loves his new position, and pretty much has found his calling. No one who knows him is surprised by this, but it's one thing to be told, another to learn it for yourself.

I'm still working on a profession, but I have a better, clearer picture of my life in both my career and in my writing. 2016 will be exciting in terms of both, but I don't know yet what either will fully look like. It's a statement of inner knowledge, belief, and that intuitive whisper that says you're on track I'm going off of here.

I've become addicted to digital loaning from the library.

I'm still in lounge-wear and have yet to find a hairstyle I like aside from braids, side ponytail, high ponytail and low ponytail.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Quick week in review, featuring wisdom, trust and other such things

Teeth Drama!
I had teeth drama. I suddenly discovered a new tooth had sprouted! I could feel my gums aching, and the tooth pushing. I pulled back the edges of my mouth and used a flashlight to see what was happening, when I saw it. A bone where I had never seen a before had pushed itself out. I went over all the likely reasons, aided by goggling dental anamolies:

  •  Triplet that I absorbed in the womb now making a late appearance. 
  •  Tori, these bone-growth-like things that occur when you grind your teeth a lot, like I do. 
  •  An abscessed tooth that would infect me and kill me unless I removed it with the blade of an ice skate. 
  • Tooth tumor.

A few days later, after realizing it wasn't going to go away on its own if I just played loud music and ignored it, I called the dentist and went in. I explained my dilemma, and the dentist tech chic person poked around a bit.

"This, this right here?"

"Yes, that is it! What is that?"
"I mean, it just showed up."
"It's.. um, it's your tooth."
"What tooth?"
"Your wisdom tooth."
"Oh, did it come in? Is that what happened? It just finally erupted and popped out?"
"It's, well, it's been in." (for years, apparently).
"Really? I never knew!"
"So when are you getting it removed?" (Dentist who's seen me for the past 8 years and has been trying to get me to get rid of it for the past 8 years, but of course I ignored her because I thought it hadn't actually come through yet.)

So that was fun. My wisdom tooth, which has fully come in and been taking up space, probably may have a cavity, but no one can really tell, because it's really hard to get to. I was sent home with pain meds and a reminder I really should get it pulled before it actually does become a huge source of infected rancid tooth pain.

This entire tooth thing took up most of my mental energy this week and is the reason I didn't blog. (Too busy googling teeth things)  I was a bit disappointed it wasn't anything exciting, like an absorbed triplet.

Random Snow Day!

I heard El Nino meant we'd have a milder, drier winter in the Front Range, so I stopped paying attention to the weather reports. Every day is mostly the same. Sunny and unseasonably warm or Sunny and seasonably cold. So when I did hear some chatter about snow I ignored it because every snow prediction other than 1-3 inches is wrong. If my weather app says we're getting 1"-3" of snow, we're getting maybe a dusting that can equal around an inch and a half. If it says we're getting 4-6 inches, we're getting 1-3. If it says we're getting 5-10, we're getting 1-3. If it says we're getting a blizzard, we're getting rain. It's just how it is. So I was fairly surprised to be woken up at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday for our school district to call an unprecedented snow day. Which of course was the best kind, for my boys, who didn't even know it was going to snow. We spent that day in our pajamas, Husbear worked from home, Drama Girl was home from work because despite my best advice to her EVER, she still insists in working in childcare, and not a lot was done all day. It was beautiful.

Trust issues!

My friend and I discussed this over Indian food. She was talking about the precautionary measures she took when selling things on Craigs List: Call the neighbors. Pack a knife in your pocket, just in case. Arm the eldest child with a hockey stick or baseball bat. Her eldest popped his head out, and said 'I think it's safe, there's a baby." I looked at her, and said 'The baby's just a distraction." At which point she jumped up and yelled, in her very calm, not-yelly way, 'That's what I said!" Because trust.

Then,  Chase Fraud alert texted my phone to tell me my debit card may have been placed at risk by a third party vendor (I'm going with either the Chinese delivery or the gas station - thanks a lot, guys!). I called the number on the text, and then was all like, but wait, what if THIS is the scam? Eventually, the customer service rep kinda figured out I was THAT person, and was like, 'I can tell you feel uncomfortable telling me anything, but we are Chase Fraud. However, you can always just call the number on the back of your card, or visit your branch...." Leaving out the obvious, that the only reason I got those text alerts is because I myself enabled them... It's a rough world out there.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The can of hominy in dreams and careers (note: they are completely unrelated)

  This is hominy. Hello hominy.

It looks like popcorn, but it's not. It's hominy, and harder to find than it should be. I think it's made from corn. It is, it's made from corn kernels (thank you Wikipedia). Hominy is an important ingredient in a white chili stew that I make that my entire family loves.

Think about what I just said there. That my entire family loves. This is a family where, on a good night, two out of five people enjoy the meal cooked.  This is because the universe has a bizarre sense  of humor and has created a group of people  genetically predisposed to liking different foods from everyone else in their immediate genetic tree family. No one in my family has the same taste in anything. At all. It made meals difficult until I changed the criteria for a successful meal to "at least two people liking it," because the list of meals that all five of us will eat and enjoy can be counted on one hand, not including the thumb. No one complains anymore because I tell them straight away that only 2-3 family members will approve of this night's dinner. White chili is one of the few meals they all enjoy. But it requires hominy. Safeway didn't have it. Sprouts didn't have it. Target didn't have it. I had to go to the dreaded uber store, the King Sooper store, which, in this area, is the big grocery heavy. Everyone goes there. At all hours of the day and night. It's always crowded, I can never find what I'm looking for, and I always run into people I'd been hoping to never see again, as well as people who were hoping they'd never see me again. But, hominy is necessary, and I bought it.The thing is, I had to buy it today. 


Because I had a dream about hominy. It was a really important dream. In this dream, I got the sad news I didn't get a job I applied for like three months ago, but it was okay because I was hanging out with an old friend from High School I hadn't seen in ever who just dyed her hair some lavender shade (we so need to catch up lady!) and after all was said and done, there was a can of hominy. With a capital H. Hominy. It was a big can. And I knew, I just knew, hominy was the key to my future career success. Hominy.
Which confused me, in the dream, because how hominy is remotely related to careers wasn't made clear.  It was the last image of my dream. I woke up thinking, hominy.

Then, today, I had to get it. HAD TO. It's going to snow tomorrow, and I want to let the white chili simmer in a crock pot all day. I became a bit obsessive about it. I pulled myself out of the house despite my huge 'I'm giving up diet coke cold turkey' headache and went and scoured the world for hominy.

I'm still not entirely sure why I associated hominy with career success in a dream. I mean, hominy isn't even in the dream dictionary... but, when I came home, I did get an e-mail about a job that just opened that is exactly the job I want, exactly where I want,  that meets all my needs, and the one where I meet all the qualifications for including the weird skill set most people in my field don't have. I'm unique, people, unique... 
So I applied, thinking about hominy.

(Note: I personally think jobs are like a lottery these days, and you either get extra chances because you know someone, or you get lucky because it's Tuesday and everyone else who applied Tuesday misspelled their own name...)  
(Note 2: I already have a back up plan for when the hominy-dream connection doesn't pan out and I never hear from the mysterious people known as HR, but if it does pan out, I'm saying I called it.)

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Pre-writing thoughts on other writers who weren't famous until after they were dead, which, on balance, kinda is a bum deal.


Writing, writing writing…
My favorite thing to do. Right up there with running, hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing, though I don’t get to do nearly enough of the latter two.
I think a lot about writing when I’m not writing. Every now and again I think about self-publishing and traditional publishing and when I would consider the former and why I am leaning toward the latter for the current story I’m writing.
I also think of the point of writing and why I write when there are so many other easier things I could do with my time: Farscape, BSG, Mr. Robot to name a few. When I read the Writer’s Market, and when I follow the twitter feeds from Literary Agents, and when I see the articles ‘what you need to know to be a successful writer’ I remind myself it’s relative.
Here’s what I think about writers:
  • A new writer doesn’t need a platform. A new writer needs a finished manuscript.
  • A  writer who has something to say doesn’t need to think about the market, they need to think about the story they are writing, and how they will tell it. They probably need a traditional publisher.
  • A writer who wants to write rollicking fun campy stories or beach reads can probably self publish, and needs to be able to write multiple books in a year, and fast.  
  • There are more romance novels than can satisfy the romance reader. I wish I was interested in writing romance.

Today I thought about all the authors and artists and thinkers who weren’t recognized, discovered or celebrated until after death and wonder, did anyone send them a postcard? Maybe visit their grave or tomb and just let them know, that, hey, not that it matters anymore, but you’re kinda a big deal?
Maybe that should apply to other famous people like world leaders and interesting historical characters. Would they even get it? Does Cleopatra know about the fuss made over her? Is Caesar like, ‘I’m so much more than the moment of my murder?” Would Davey Crockett be like, wow, I hated that hat… Pocahontos would probably cry about Disney. Would all these obscure-in-life poets and novelists and artists and characters even care?
Of course, it’s not really the point, what you do in a life. It’s not for when you’re dead. It’s for while you’re living. So they probably would just think ‘figures…’
But it’s what I’m thinking about, since I’m about to spend the next couple hours writing about a space-adventuring teenager.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Happy December

This is a smoked turkey.

It's what we had for dinner last Thursday.

I took the week off from blogging and doing much of anything because children, spouses, cats and yams were underfoot.

For 21 people.

My candied yams were heavy on the butter and brown sugar. I had to use a colander. I think colander needs two ls, but apparently not.

That's the point of Thanksgiving, though, to get people to eat more yams.

I was going to get right back to it all, the blog, the writing, the job search, the freelancing yesterday, but it was the boys' birthday, so I had to run out and buy cupcakes and presents and spend the day making a weird cupcakeosaurus that was vaguely inappropriate, and one of the main reasons I don't Pinterest my creations.

Nope. Not sharing that pic.

But it tasted delicious.

Today I got back in the mode. Apparently a week off did something, because the story I'm writing just came pouring into my head and I can write for weeks on end. Which is good, because I want the first draft of this story done by mid-January. (Space adventure teenager is what I'm working on next.)

Happy December everyone - let the holiday festivities begin!