• happy smiley with many sad smilies

    Celebrate National Emoji Day (July 17th) For the Win!

    It’s National Emoji Day on July 17th! Emojis make me deliriously happy. So much so that when I was having Newsletter plugin issues on my website, my friend helped me fix them instead of watching me omit them from my newsletter. This was the awakening that I really could not live without my little cartoony friends. Reluctantly, I was willing to “let them go.” However, my friend was persistent, “But you LOVE emojis! Let’s fix this.” It was the weirdest glitch but she worked diligently with the developers in Italy to get it straightened out–it sucked up a lot of her valuable time. I’m grateful for her insistence and help–as…

  • A Hail Mary and the Gun That Never Was

    I get asked this question a lot: Why Westerns? That’s a darned good question that has an ironic answer woven into its fabric. Short answer: I took a class and came up with the idea there; hint: there was a gun involved. A couple of years ago, one of the writers from my accountability group suggested a class called The Fearless Writer, taught by Laura Baker, and a handful of us took it with her. Honestly, my expectations for myself were low at that moment in time. I didn’t have much to lose and a whole lot to gain as I was in a stagnant place. The class had a…

  • view of sky, including tall tree tops and clouds with rays of light surrounding them

    She-Story

    How the initially (contextually) funny term "she-story" came up for our writing group and a reflection on the deeper and layered power these stories have for everyone.

  • above view of a glass tray filled with crystals

    A Quick “Rock” Conversation

    I like crystals. I think they’re pretty, enjoy collecting them, and learning about their “properties.” I’m curious. Chief is skeptical. Sometimes I give them to him when he’s feeling super stressed or things are overwhelming, even for an optimist like him. He’s type A and he hides his stress and overwhelm very well. He also gives everyone the benefit of the doubt except for himself. He’s a man with a calm exterior but I’m pretty sure there’s a mosh pit inside him. A few years ago, in an effort to help as well as lighten him up, I went out looking for specific crystals to gift him. I even went…

  • Who let the dogs out? Pregnant me, that’s who.

    I’ve written about this before, but was forced to rethink the story. Why? We went over to this particular friend’s house for dinner in January and I noticed the dog door–as in really looked at it and the logistics. I took some less than stellar pics as an afterthought. You can see them below to get a better grasp at the dimensions. For reference, I’m 5’6″ and I was very flexible. When I was seven months pregnant I had to crawl through that dog door to get into their house. Fortunately, they had a range of dogs and the top range was on the larger size. I would have to…

  • photo of a ground hog on a black background pasted on a purple wall

    My “New” Year Starts in February

    Well, Happy (belated) Ground Hog’s Day, Imbolc, and Lunar New Year! This time of year naturally feels more like a new year to me. Ever since I was little, I’ve had some feelings about the (Gregorian) New Year. It didn’t feel right. No particular reason, it just didn’t. But I really wanted it to feel right. The proposed freshness, possibility, dare I say the newness? Why wasn’t I excited like other people? Why did I feel “off” about the excitement, action, and possibility? I am now supposing this wasn’t my “new year.” 2022 is the first year that I’ve allowed January be a transition month which doesn’t fit into that…

  • puffy white clouds covering a full moon in the night sky

    Mutant “year” reflection

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the past two years. Perhaps you can relate to the following: they’ve felt more like one super mutant year where time isn’t the same versus two distinct years. Time blended and seemed to bend, more often than not feeling like an out of body experience. It was such a liminal space and not necessarily a comfortable one at that. Now we’re at the beginning of the Gregorian New Year facing all that comes with it. The resolutions, non-resolutions, goals, plans, hopes, dreams, “word” of the year–all of it. Some of you may have given up on all that at this point in the month.…

  • My Clifton Strengths in a short story

    I came up with the short story below, right after I finished a class summary Zoom call. It gave me a chuckle because it was the perfect amalgam for the bits I needed to hear and learn coupled with what I did immediately after the call. My “strengths” are featured as characters. These are from the Strengths Finder personality test (Gallup/Strengths Finder) that the Write Better Faster Academy primarily uses. For clarity sake, my top 5 Strengths are as follows: Learner Intellection Input Individualization Connectedness If this is unfamiliar, the Strengths Finder premise is every one is unique and we should spend time playing to our strengths and not our…

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