This time of year gives me the biggest case of Wanderlust. Growing up, this was the month of camping, mostly with the church’s young women group, but also with family and friends, and when I was in college, by myself sometimes. There’s nothing like wearing yourself on a hike to somewhere beautiful, sitting still, and just enjoying it.
But that wasn’t how we camped in church camp. That was all about preparing for End Times. Short story: you want me on your Zombie Apocalypse Team. Long story, click the read more. Continue reading
Do you see this ridiculous face? That’s Sally Derg, our sweet German Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix, taken six years ago. In this picture she’s modeling the latest in anti-anxiety wear, a Thundershirt, and I can attest that they work! Not during tornadoes, though, which is a pity since I live in Tornado Alley.
THE EYES OF A KILLER
We had to put this sweet girl down last month, and that’s an ache that doesn’t go. I’m just now able to talk about it without bursting into tears. Continue reading
Not country music (Xander Harris in the house!) or music that hurts your ears, because that is a terrible thing to do to yourself. Yes, I mean both bad music AND country music. Oxymoron? Look, I live in Texas. I’ve had country music inflicted on me since birth. A few outlier songs aside…
It’s far better to listen to the stuff that reaches into your ribcage and crushes your heart, pulverizes your ability to function. Or, you know, gives you a case of the sads/helps your brain think in that manner. I don’t actually want Mola Ram to offer your physical organ up to Shiva.
Listening to music when I write is a tricky thing. It’s either a total nuisance and keeps me from thinking, or it’s perfect, and I practicallyÂ need it to get the scene on the page. There are two types of scenes in which the latter is true… Continue reading
It’s funny to me that the exterior shots of Footloose were shot in Lehi, UT (the giant roller-mills of the LDS Church’s grain silos feature heavily), because Mormons love dancing. Love it! BYU has a terrific ballet-dance program, for example. But the real proof is the main activity for the youth on the weekends: church dances. When you live in a heavily Mormon-populated area, the different Stakes (think of a Catholic Diocese) will even schedule their dances so that there’s one Friday and Saturday night, every weekend of the month.
If the kids are inside listening to wholesome music, they can’t get into trouble, right? WRONG. Okay, it’s just me who got themselves into trouble at these wholesome events. I blame George Michaels. …Lemme ‘splain. Continue reading
[good time intensifies]
I am a child/teen of the 80s, which means I loved MTV, John Hughes movies and roller skating. There was a roller rink down the bottom of the hill that my parent’s house was on, and it was a buck to get in and get some shoes. Ah, the good ol’ days of wearing borrowed, sweaty, weirdly bumpy inside shoes. Â If you were cool, you had your own. But they wouldn’t be lame boot-style, they’d be speed skates, low, black, with shocks built in, and you’d have fat, neon laces.
I had old-school white boots with red wheels, but they were mine. ThenÂ a growth spurt left me stuck with the old brown boots where one never fit right. If you managed to get a pair off the shelf that fit perfectly right off the bat, you’re probably a demon and we should end you. Look: I don’t support witchcraft or tomfoolery.*
*that’s a dirty lie.Â I think you’re amazing. Continue reading
*shut the f*ck up and let me write
Image from Bruce Almighty.
Boy, not much frustrated me more than seeing loads of writer blogs telling me to just nut up and do it. Just find that hour in the morning, that yadda yadda in [whatever time of the day] and be like Nike: Just Do It. I usually thought to myself, “Self–” That’s what I call my Self. “–Self, that sounds like a dude who has a wife.” You know, someone who did all the stuff in the background so that guy couldÂ have that hour or so of magic time just to write.
SoÂ what about us wives/others who have a full-time traveling husband/spouse, an elderly dog and three kids, one of them special needs, who just didn’t have that magical hour in the morning?Â Turns out: they were freaking right. God, I hate that.
Well…Â with one exception. And it’s important. Continue reading
So here’s how this works: I’ll start us off with some things I think are great, things I want you to know about, and then you have at it in the comments. Got a blog/project/box of kittens you want people to know about? Great!Â BUT. You have to share something totally unrelated to you, first. Someone else’s blog, someone else’s project, someone else’s box of kittens. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
First off, IÂ have to get the word out on my awesome buddy who does amazing things in the world, Matt Paxton. (Yeah, the Flat Cat Matt of A&E Hoarders fame!) Read on!
I want to preface this with the following: One. This is an excerpt from a memoir I’ve been writing about growing up fundamentalist Mormon. Two. I told this story in a story slam and came in second–the guy who won told the story of how he shot and killed his abusive father (wow, I didn’t know we were going dark, bro!). And Three, it is 100% completely factual with actual names, because f*ck that guy.
And now: my humiliations galore… Continue reading