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Yes, I know it’s been awhile (only half a year) since I posted so I’ll try to make this “catching up” post brief.

The most significant change in my life is my relationship status. Fred and I called it quits back in September, though we both saw it coming for a while. There are no hard feelings between us – we just wanted something different out of the relationship that the other couldn’t provide. Yes, we still talk, but not like we used to. He moved out and I’m in the large apartment by myself. For the most part I enjoy the quietness of living alone again but I do get lonely at times.

The holidays were the worst for this. My sister came to spend Thanksgiving with me and we had fun crafting art for our walls. I spent Christmas at a friend’s house, expecting just good food and good company. The family surprised me by getting me a wonderful gift – a certificate for a massage! Needless to say, I felt that my coming with a partially drunk bottle of spiked eggnog was not a significant exchange. Gift aside, just being around people on Christmas was good. Had I been home, I would have been on the couch crying. (Although, come to think of it, I did cry that evening, but that was because we saw Les Miserable.) New Year’s was probably the most uneventful; I spent a few hours at Judy’s house watching The Twilight Zone marathon. Just before midnight we flipped to another channel, one showing the ball dropping in Times Square. When the clock struck midnight, we gave a very unenthusiastic “woo”. And, no, we did not kiss (pervs). So, I wasn’t alone for the holidays or my birthday (smack dab in the middle of December) but that doesn’t mean I didn’t shed a few tears.

Not all is gloom and doom, though. I am expecting to become an aunt soon, which is very exciting. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say on the internet so for the time being, I won’t say anything else. Mom and Dad are enjoying retirement. Last year they took a three week trip to New Zealand and Australia and next week they’re going to Tahiti. What an adventure!

Of course a new year brings new goals. My goal first and foremost is TO FINISH EDITING MY NOVEL AND SUBMIT IT TO IUNIVERSE! I wrote that in all caps because it’s been four years – FOUR! – since my dear friend Mike gifted me a publishing package. That’s too long and it looks like I’m ungrateful for the wonderful opportunity to see my words in print; I’m not ungrateful, just scared. But I’m also anxious to move on to another writing project. This one just needs to be wrapped up first.

I also want to continue to grow my card business. If I hadn’t mentioned in previous posts, I make sarcastic greeting cards called Sarcasm Included. I opened an Etsy shop and have a corresponding blog. I’m reading books about making your craft into a business and just have to remember: one step at a time. Also: craft every day. That is something I need to be better about (as well as writing every day).

The other big goal for 2013 pertains to books. (Who’d have guessed?) Last year I had a goal to read 40 books, which I did (sadly, counting a few picture books) so this year I have a goal to read 45 books. Last year I also hoped to read 6 classic novels but I didn’t even read one. I think I was overwhelmed by my first choice, which was The Annotated Wizard of Oz. “Overwhelmed by The Wizard of Oz?” you may be thinking. Yes and I’ll tell you why. The annotated version started off with 100 pages of introduction to L. Frank Baum’s life and the evolution of the Oz series. And I’m not talking 100 pages of paperback proportions. The book is wider and taller than the average hardcover book so the amount of text per page is significantly greater.. I’m talking 100 pages of that. So I got through that (it took awhile but I did it) and then I started in on the actual book itself. First was Baum’s own one-page introduction (ah – one page! How nice!). Unfortunately, this came with three pages of annotated notes.

So that’s where I stopped with that. Too much too soon. If I’m going to drudge* through 100 pages of introduction for weeks on end, I want the rest of it to be easy. I think I’ll go back and read just the book at some point and skip all the notes. Either way, lesson learned.

That’s the news for now. Hopefully I’ll be posting more here as well as my other blog and Etsy shop. Thanks for reading!

*It was actually a very good, detailed introduction and I enjoyed it for the most part. It just felt like it took forever because one page took several minutes to read so reading for an hour and only get a few pages done made it feel like I wasn’t accomplishing anything at all.

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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in About me

 

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NaNoWriMo, holidays, and Oz

I know, I know.  I should have written sooner, but I truly have been busy.  Let’s catch up, shall we?  My previous post was an update on NaNoWriMo so I’ll start there.  In case you didn’t already guess, I didn’t finish the month – or even the second week – of writing.  It wasn’t because I didn’t have any ideas, but because of exhaustion.  I work retail and this was one of the busiest holiday seasons my store has had since I started working there in 2003.  I work odd hours, some days going in at 7am, some at 2pm, and am on my feet all day.  By the time I get home, I’m tired and in need of mental decompression – and that’s just a normal day.  Add on the crazy demands for Christmas shoppers and the constant running around with very little down time, it’s no wonder that I wasn’t up for the task of writing after work.  Days off were spent restoring my energy and mental health.  It was too much for me to do what I was obligated to do, let alone an ambitious project on top of it.

Now, that’s not to say that I won’t go back to it.  NaNoWriMo is officially November, but can be done any month.  I can pick my manuscript back up in, say, March, when work won’t be very demanding and yet the weather still not so great that I will be distracted by wanting to play outside.  Should I continue with the novel I started, I will relay my progress on this blog.

Outside of work, I had a lovely holiday season.  Fred and I spent Christmas day with his parents and a little of his extended family.  It was nice to finally meet some of them and talk more with others I’d already met.  For New Year’s we went to a friend’s house for a game night and fireworks display over the lake.  It was fun, but I was mentally exhausted from the “go-go-go” of work since Thanksgiving.  We left shortly after midnight.

I’m not a fan of making many New Year’s resolutions since many times I (and people in general) set myself up for disappointment.  So, this year, I just have three simple and attainable resolutions:

1. Start getting allergy shots.

I know, this sounds like a lot of fun, but I’m really tired of constantly blowing my nose and sneezing.  Last May I got allergy testing done and I’m allergic to many things under the sun, including the two cats with whom I live.

2. Beat one of the Mario games on my own.

Fred has beaten all of the Mario games at least once on our Wii.  He grew up playing these games and has said that a lot of it is muscle memory.  I, on the other hand, never played these games until just a few years ago so I don’t have the reflexes he does.  I would like to complete one of the games without his help.  

3. Read 6 classic novels.

For having an English degree, I’ve read very few classic novels.  Ones like Jane Eyre, that I was supposed to read in college, but didn’t finish, I don’t count as having read them.  I have over 80 classic novels on my e-reader and even more on my bookshelves, and it’s high time I read some of them.  I only decided on 6* because: (1) they take a little longer to read and (2) there will be new, shiny books by which I will be distracted.

On that note, I’ve started reading The Annotated Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and Michael Hearn.  While I’ve been reading diligently for 3 days, I’m still in the introduction (it’s a pretty big book).  I find it fascinating, though, to learn of Baum’s history as well as the history of the books and its multiple versions (stage and film).  One of the things that I found most interesting so far is that after the book was released, a “musical extravaganza” was written and performed on several stages, including Broadway.  It parallels with Wicked, which was first a book by Gregory Maquire and then a musical on Broadway and then on tour.  It, too, tells of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but from the point of view of the “Wicked Witch of the West”.**

 

*For Fred: “Six is good.”

**An absolutely fascinating play.  I have the book, but I haven’t read it yet.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in About me, Literature

 

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Why this atheist celebrates Christmas

Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of the savior Jesus Christ.  I do not believe in a savior or any god, vengeful or loving.  Yet every December I still erect a tree in my living room and hand out gifts to family and friends alike.  Some may scratch their heads at this, understandably, but for me it is perfectly natural.  To me, gift giving is a way to show my love to my family and friends, tell them I appreciate them and that I am thankful they are in my life (within budget, of course).  The tree reminds me of my youth when Mom and I would decorate our tree after our Thanksgiving meal.  It makes me smile to remember the time spent with Mom, especially since I see her and Dad only a few times a year now.  So, even though I don’t believe it the man behind the holiday, is it so wrong for me to want to spread a little happiness to others and have a little myself?

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2010 in About me

 

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Patience is a virtue…I’ve been told

Instant gratification is not just a catchy slogan Nick-at-Nite used during all-night marathons of classic shows.  It is my way of life.  As a general rule, if I see it and I want it, then I get it.  Rest assured, my parents did not install this lifestyle in me.  They are good about shopping around, looking for the best price possible.  If it takes them a few days or a few weeks or even a few months to find the right priced item, then they’ll wait.  Fred is the same way (more so, if that’s possible).  He not only shops around, he also reads consumer reviews online.  I don’t know how they do it.  Perhaps they don’t get that overwhelming urge that I get when I see something I like.  Or maybe they’ve just learned how to push it down and ignore it.

The same concept applies for gift giving.  This time of the year is torture for me.  I’ve already done most of my holiday shopping and have the gifts wrapped and ready for giving.  But there’s one little problem: it’s still November.  I have four more weeks to wait before I can hand out the gifts.  I want to see the surprise and happiness on people’s faces now. I don’t want to wait.  A few weeks ago I broke down and gave Fred his birthday present early because I didn’t want to wait any longer (we’re talking only a few days, too).

I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.  I have a December birthday and when I was younger, I started planning my party in June.  I’d excitedly tell Mom my ideas as she pruned the bushes, winter the farthest thing at that moment.  Every Thanksgiving I would impatiently beg to put up the Christmas tree just minutes after dinner was finished.  Despite cooking all day, Mom agreed to decorating the tree as soon as the dishes were washed.  Of course, this seemed to take a long time so I generally occupied myself with selecting the music we would listen to while erecting the fake pine.  Once the dishes were finally done, Mom hauled the tree from the basement while I carried the lighter boxes of ornaments.  Generally, I started off helping but then got wrapped up in the Christmas books (that silly Amelia Bedelia!  Date cakes aren’t made from a calendar!) while Mom did the grunt of the work.  To cook all day, do all the cleaning, and then the grunt of the work for something I wanted took, I imagine, an abundance of patience.*

*This is one of the reasons why I don’t want to have kids.  I can tolerate other people’s kids long enough but my patience wears thin quickly and I don’t think I could handle it 24/7.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in About me

 

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