Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Express Yourself: Autumn

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is brought to you by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The prompt for this week is: Name ONE thing you love about Autumn, even if you hate it!

Though I don't exactly love the fact that this time of year signals that winter is on its way, I have nothing against autumn itself.  My favorite part is the leaves!  I hate it when snow falls in October, which it often does in Iowa, in part because it covers the beautiful leaves.  As a kid, and even as an adult if I'm honest, I loved raking leaves into piles to jump in them.

This time of year is so gorgeous I can't even begin to describe it.

Photo courtesy of Ben Wilson/
What's one thing you love about autumn?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-September 26, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

I am proud to be a co-host for this weekly blogging event.  The other lovely co-hosts are:

Diana Wilder
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

This week I'm celebrating the continuation of nice weather.  Here in Iowa, this time of year can be volatile as far as weather goes.  It's nice to be able to enjoy a nice, warm day at the end of September.

My oldest is sick, but while he's not out of the woods, he is now past the vomiting stage of the illness.  For that, I and my washing machine are grateful.  

I'm also celebrating something I wouldn't usually celebrate.  Paying bills.  Much as I hate the process and the way the bank account looks afterwards, it's good to know that it's been dealt with and that I'll have a whole month before I have to worry about that particular bill again.

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Express Yourself: Childhood Aspirations

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: What did you want to be when you grew up?

First of all, I'm reasonably sure I still haven't grown up, and I'm not convinced I ever will.

Anyway, I have several answers for this one.  I've always been obsessed with space, so I originally wanted to be an astronaut.  Of course, I wanted to be an astronaut that also wrote books. Then I saw Jurassic Park and decided that I wanted to be a paleontologist.  Of course, that meant I wanted to be a paleontologist who also wrote books.  Then, I got a little older and realized that, while I may not have all that it takes to be an astronaut, I could be an astronomer and still spend my life among the stars. Provided I could still write books, too, of course.  Then I got far enough into my college-level calculus and physics courses to realize that I didn't have quite the right mind to hack that kind of thing.  Don't get me wrong, though.  I still love it with a passion.

So, I looked at my life and noticed a common thread running through it all.  I guess it doesn't take a genius to recognize it.  I ultimately decided that I wanted to write books. Since I write science fiction, my mind still spends a lot of time floating among the stars.  It seems rather fitting, doesn't it?

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Underrated Treasures Blogfest

Today is the Underrated Treasures Blogfest, and it's hosted by the enigmatic Alex J. Cavanaugh.

TV Show-Babylon 5
     This is one of my all-time favorite shows.  I enjoyed all of it, but seasons 2-4 were the best.  If you've never seen the show in its entirety, you're seriously missing out. Sure, it had its corny moments, and the acting was a bit of a mixed bag, but I can still sit down and re-watch it over and over again.

Book-The Dosadi Experiment by Frank Herbert
     Everyone knows about Dune, but not nearly as many people are familiar with Frank Herbert's other novels.  The Dosadi Experiment was the first Frank Herbert novel I read, and the world in it is so rich and engaging that I couldn't put it down.

Movie-Safety Not Guaranteed
      Three people who work for a magazine set out to do a story when they see an ad searching for a companion to go traveling through time.  The main question that surfaces is this: is the guy crazy, or is he really able to travel through time?  This was an enjoyable little movie with interesting characters.  Some people say that the ending spoiled the movie for them, but for me, it was perfect.

     This band has been gaining in popularity, but some of my favorite songs from them are virtually unknown to most people.  I haven't yet heard a song from them that I've disliked.

What underrated treasures would you like to share with the world?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-September 19, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

I'm a co-host, along with these other wonderful bloggers:

Diana Wilder
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

I'm celebrating a return of wonderful weather.  After some gloomy, rainy weather, it's been warm and sunny these last few days.  I know it won't last forever, so I've had the kids outside enjoying it while we can.

The kids are continuing the enjoy the school year.  I can't help but celebrate the fact that both my boys shout "Yay!" when I tell them it's time to go to school.  I hope that enthusiasm lasts.

I haven't done as much writing this week as I might like, but I have done a lot of reading, which is such an enjoyable activity that I can't complain.  I plan to get some writing done this weekend, though.

What would you like to celebrate?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Express Yourself: Collections

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: What do you like to collect?

As a kid, I collected pretty much everything.  I collected postcards, keychains, pogs (I wonder how many people remember what those are), rocks, baseball cards, basketball cards, and books.  To this day, I still collect books, and I seem to collect notebooks as well.  Even if I don't currently need a notebook, I'll buy a new one if the cover appeals to me.  I also collect pens.  I like to have a wide variety of pens ready for use, and I also want to make sure I have enough that, no matter how many of them I lose, I won't run out.

What do you like to collect?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things-September 12, 2014

It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

I am a co-host for this weekly meme.  The other co-hosts are:

Diana Wilder
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom
CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse

I started babysitting a couple of kids to help earn some extra money.  It isn't an every day thing, but it gives my kids someone to play with after school, and they love that.  It gets a little crazy from time to time, but that's the nature of things when kids are involved.

I'm going to a few garage sales tomorrow to see if I can get any good deals on clothes for my kids.  It's probably the best way of getting clothes for my boys, because they grow so fast, and they're rough on things anyway.  It hardly makes sense to pay full price for everything.

My husband got sick earlier this week, but he seems to be feeling much better now.  Yay for speedy recoveries!

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Express Yourself: Reading and Writing Places

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: Do you have any special writing/reading places?

Before I had kids, I made frequent trips to whichever coffee shop was near where I was living at the time.  Coffee shops have the perfect atmosphere for me to read or write.  I love the smell, I love the fact that coffee is readily available, and it's a social setting where I don't feel too pressured to interact.  That's important for an introvert like me.

Nowadays, I write whenever I can snag the time.  I mostly write in my living room when I don't have kids jumping on me, but I take my notebook with me everywhere just in case I get a few spare moments to scribble something down. It's the same whenever I'm immersed in a good book.  It travels with me wherever I go.  So, in a way, every place is a potential writing/reading place for me now.

Do you have any special spaces where you read/write?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunflowers for Tina

Today we celebrate the life of Tina Downey.  If you would like to join in and share a tribute of your own, you can sign up HERE.  She was a bright light in the blogging world, and she will be greatly missed.  Her cheerful outlook on life inspired me, and I'll always remember that about her.

I didn't think it would work out too well to plant a sunflower in Iowa at this time of year, and I wanted to put some time and thought into my tribute.  In the end, I decided to buy some art materials and turn it into an art project that I could share with my kids.

The sunflower we made is now prominently displayed on our refrigerator.

Tina's family has also set up the Downey Education Fund.  Any donations made will go toward a college fund for Tina's two boys.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Express Yourself and Celebrate the Small Things-September 5, 2014

Today I'm doing a combination post.  I kind of got lazy after a nice holiday weekend and didn't do my Express Myself post on Tuesday like I normally do. Then I was going to do it yesterday, but I got too wrapped up in a project and forgot all about it.

First of all, it's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

We had to buy Jude a new pair of glasses as the other pair has yet to turn up. The good news is that, even with the holiday weekend we had, the glasses came in six days earlier than the estimated time I was given when we ordered them.

The holiday weekend turned out to be a pretty good one.  The weather cooperated when we needed it to, and we had a good time with family.

What would you like to celebrate?

Now let's move on to the second half of my post.

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question for this week is: What books do you have lined up to read for September?

As far as the month of September goes, I don't have any specific books lined up. I figured I'd just read whatever I happen to get my hands on.  However, there is one book in particular that I would like to buy in the near future, and if I manage it, I'll definitely be reading it right away.  It's The Art of Neil Gaiman by Hayley Campbell.  Anyone who has followed me somewhat regularly will not be surprised by this.  I haven't exactly kept my love of Neil Gaiman's work a secret or anything.  I would have bought and read it already, but every time I've seen it anywhere, it cost between $30-$40.  I think it would be worth it, but with two kids and all the expenses that go along with that, it's hard to justify the expense. Still, it will be worth it.  I'll end up with that book in my hands one way or another.

What books would you like to read this month?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group-September 2014

It's time for another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  This group was started by the always awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh for the purpose of providing fellow writers with a way to express their insecurities and receive support from others.  This month, the co-hosts are Laura @ My Baffling Brain, Mark Koopmans, Shah Wharton, and Sheena-Kay Graham.

Be sure to check out the IWSG Website if you haven't already.  It's an amazing resource for writers.

This month my insecurity has to do with rejection.  All writers have to deal with some sort of rejection, and though it is a necessary part of this business, that doesn't make it easy to handle.  I've been submitting a lot of short stories over the last month and a half, and I've started getting a lot of rejection letters as a result.  Some of them have been the standard, run-of-the-mill "no" that tells you nothing about why the story was rejected, but one letter was so encouraging that it only inspired me to keep submitting.  Still, as those rejections pile up, it can be difficult to keep your determination from wavering.

I won't lie.  I've felt my confidence waver on multiple occasions over the last few weeks.  It's hard to see a story you poured your heart into turned away for reasons unknown.  Still, I won't let myself give up.  I know the rejections aren't personal, and when a magazine is looking at hundreds, or even thousands, of submissions, a rejection doesn't automatically mean the story you submitted is bad.  It's not personal, so even though the denial stings in a very personal way, I'll keep trying.  I am a writer, because I can't picture myself ever giving it up.