Category Archives: My Ramblings

A Day in the Life…


Wednesday Randomness is here again! This week we are welcoming a new member to our little group, everyone say hi to Jenny Trout!

Today we are walking through a day in the life of…us. Check out the blogs of Bronwyn Green, Jess Jarman, Kellie St. JamesKris Norris and Jenny Trout to find out out how we spend our days.

I’ll do my very best not to bore you with this description of my daily activities, but most days I feel like a hamster on a wheel.

But, you know, one of those flesh eating hamsters that kicks ass.

Anyway, my day starts with me pulling my zombified self out of bed. A morning person I am not. Usually there is a bit of tripping over my cat while I get ready and that’s the excitement in my morning, followed by a half hour drive to work. A nice drive in the summer, a horrific drive up the lakeshore in the winter that makes me feel like I live north of The Wall.

I then proceed to spend the next 9 1/2 (sometimes less an hour for lunch) in front of my computer manipulating Excel spreadsheets. Now don’t get jealous everyone, I know you would all rather be in my place. Admit it.

I suppose I may be exaggerating a bit, but I do spend the vast majority of my day playing with Excel in my duties as a senior financial analyst. And that folks, is all I’m going to say about my job. We don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.

It’s after my half hour drive back home that the fun really starts. That’s when I get to do the stuff I love. Sometimes I cook, depending on my mood. I actually like cooking, I think it’s fun in a weird way. There is something satisfying about taking raw ingredients and turning them into a meal.

Then I usually spend some time reading or writing, depending on my mood. Sometimes I binge on a new favorite tv show (Supernatural is the current obsession). Every once in a while I tackle a home project. And I try to exercise a few times a week, at least a walk on the treadmill. Oh, and I can’t forget practicing the piano for my weekly lessons.

Then it’s bed.

These are my days during the week, pretty boring and fairly repetitive. Things change some depending on the season. In the summer, I spend time in the garden.

My weekends tend to be all over the place. My husband and I have a lot of freedom since it’s just the two of us, but that will change soon when our puppy finally comes home (yay!). And, I’m starting an online fiction writing class this week that will, if nothing else, force me to write on a daily basis.

So, that’s a day in my life. For better or worse.

What about you? What’s a day like in your life?

What Can’t I Live Without?


This week the Wednesday blog group is looking at the top five things we can’t live without.  We have some new people joining us this week, welcome to Kellie St. James and Tess Grant!  

Click one of the names below to read the other posts:

Okay, so five things I can’t live without. I’m going to stay away from the serious things, family members, friends, pets, etc…. I think those are kind of a given.

So, here we go:

     1. Books. I can’t imagine a life lived without books and hopefully I’ll never have to.

      2. Unfortunately…my phone. I never wanted to be a person that relied on their phone, but apparently I do. I text mostly (talking on the phone is practically a phobia for me) but I also check my email and social apps obsessively. I’m not sure if it’s out of boredom most of the time or if it’s really a desire to know what’s going on.

      3. My Converse. I love Converse shoes; the classic, old school Chucks. For some reason I always feel more like myself when I put them on. I wear them year round, except for when we have four feet of snow on the ground because they aren’t very good cold weather shoes. I have a few pairs, but I always seem to stick with black or purple. My two signature colors.

      4. Ponytail holders or anything I can use to get my hair out of the way. Occasionally, I try cutting my hair short and it bugs me because I can’t pull it back. However, the minute it gets long enough, I rarely wear it down for a whole day. I think I look more like myself with my hair pulled back, if that makes sense.

      5. My purple, crocheted afghan that my husband’s grandmother made for me for Christmas the year before she passed away. Purple is my favorite color and the blanket is soft and big enough to wrap around me and I just love it. I rarely let my husband use it, which he says isn’t fair because his grandma made it. Too bad.

      So, those are the five things I can’t live without. What about you? What do you have in your life that you can’t imagine being without?

Whatcha Listening To?


It’s time for another Wednesday blog and Bronwyn, Jess and I are exploring our musical loves. We’ve hit shuffle on our music collections and we’re seeing what comes up in the first ten songs.  Read Bronwyn’s post here and Jess’ here.

I’m very interested to see what comes up for me in this little experiment. I have a lot of different music playlists depending on my mood or task at hand, but for this I’ve hit shuffle on the whole collection on my iPod.  Here we go…

1. Working My Way Back to You – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons:  I love so called “Oldies” and my favorite group is Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Listening to them never fails to cheer me up. And of course I try to hit those high notes, it’s not pretty.

2. Careless Whisper – Seether:  Yes this is a remake of a cheesy 80’s song by George Michael but I don’t care. I really like the vibe to this version, I’m not even sure why.

3. Electrical Storm – U2:  While not one of their more well known songs, I enjoy the way this starts out quiet and builds…like a storm. U2 is one of my all time favorite bands, if not my favorite band. I never get tired of listening to them and almost every song brings me back to a specific place or time.

4. Pray Your Gods – Toad the Wet Sprocket: Another one of my favorite bands. They fall under what I call “Mellow Dude Rock.” It’s a genre. This song is off the Fear album which I recently realized has been out for 22 years. God, that’s depressing.

5. She is Love – Parachute: I’m not sure I know any other songs by this band but I heard this on the radio once and really liked it. Also very mellow…which seems to be a lot of my musical tastes.

6. Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes: Awesome 80’s awesomeness.  What more can I say?

7. Hate Your Way – Nina Gordon: She was the singer from the 90’s band, Veruca Salt. She has a very distinctive voice (although that never stops my husband from asking if she’s that girl from that band). I’ve been listening to this album regularly since it came out in 2000 or so.

8. Canto Alla Vita – Josh Groban:  I’m honestly surprised only one of his songs same up in this little exercise, I have all of his CD’s. I find his voice very soothing and inspiring at the same time.

9. Gentleman Who Fell – Milla: Another song from the 90’s (this is a trend, I tell you). This is the only song of hers I’ve heard, but you may recognize her as the woman in all of the Resident Evil movies, Milla Jovovich.

10. Read My Mind – The Killers: This song always reminds me of a book I read once. For some reason it’s very thought provoking.

There a couple of things/groups that I’m surprised didn’t come up. The Counting Crows, for one. They make up a large part of my musical collection. Also, no Broadway songs. I’m not even sure the number of Broadway soundtracks I have on my iPod, but oh well.

So, this is what I’m listening to. How about you?

What Do You Keep In There?


This week’s Wednesday blog takes us on a different kind of adventure.  Bronwyn Green, Jess Jarman and I are sharing a bit of ourselves on the topic of what we keep in our bags/purses.  Check out Bronwyn’s post here and Jess’ here.

I admit I don’t usually carry a lot in my purse, but I have a few essentials.  And the most important starting point is, of course, the bag itself.  This is my “I hate winter so I’m going to buy this purse to cheer myself up” purse. I love it.  Isn’t it such a fun, springy color?

So, what do I keep in there?  The essentials to start with, of course…wallet, sunglasses.

And, because I’m a good little writer, I always carry a notebook and pen. And these are the only pens I use.  I’m a pen snob.

The next items are my awesome Bronwyn promo/swag. If you see her at a book signing, hit her up…they are both fantastic.

I’m obsessed with chapstick, I have some everywhere so of course I have a tube in my purse.  I always use Burt’s Bees, I swear by it.

Okay, two items left.  Below is the most useful thing I carry.  It was a gift from my dad years ago and it is in my absolute favorite color. It’s not a very good picture color wise, but it’s purple.

And last but not least, my keys (on top of my winter hat).  I’m including them here even though they don’t always make into my bag because, yes, that’s a TARDIS. It is actually an LED flashlight and it’s dead helpful. And I love it when I have my keys out somewhere and people notice the TARDIS and comment on it. Fellow Whovians.  🙂

So that’s what you might find in my bag. What about you? Anything you can’t leave home without?

Take Me Away!


This week, the blogging adventure with Bronwyn Green and Jess Jarman is taking us elsewhere.  We’re looking at five places we want to visit during our lifetime.  I don’t know about these ladies, but I’m so beyond tired of winter and snow that I find myself constantly wishing I were someplace else, so this is a very timely post. Check out Bronwyn’s post here and Jess’ here.

These are in no particular order for me, but here goes…

The first place on my list is somewhere I have always wanted to go…Egypt.  I want to see the pyramids and the temples that are still standing.  I have been fascinated by the ancient Egyptians and their mythology since I was a kid, I would love to see pieces of it in person. Truth be told, I wish I could have lived in the early 1900’s when Egyptology was all the rage and people vacationed there in the winter. But, I’ll take what I can get.

The second place on my list is Rio de Janeiro, it seems like such a vibrant, exciting city.  I think it would be great place to experience. But maybe not during Carnival, that might be a bit much for me. I don’t know that I can party that hard.

Next on my tour of the world is London…and also Ireland.  I think these qualify as one place since I can easily visit them in one trip. And it’s my list so I can do what I want. The British Isles have always been a source of fascination and imagination for me. I love the various cultures, the history. While I am not English or Irish (or Scottish or Welsh for that matter), I feel like a part of my soul might be. There is something about those places that just calls to me.

The next two places on my list bring to mind sunny beaches and relaxation. The first is the Bahamas. I never thought I was a beach person until I went to a resort a couple of years ago and loved it, so the Bahamas are now high on my list. And with the way the weather has been in the Mitten this year, the beach sounds like a little slice of heaven. I mean, check out the pictures.

The last place is one I had probably never heard of until I read the Harry Potter books, but I feel like they mentioned it a couple of times. And I’ve since learned that Majorca is a popular vacation spot for Europeans.  Doesn’t it look glorious?

So, those are my top five places I want to visit. For now. I’m sure it will change again. I love to imagine myself in different places, its one of my favorite pastimes.

What about you? Where do you want to go? What places are on your list?

Three Things I Want to Learn


As is obvious by the date of my last post, I have been absolutely horrible about blogging. I thought about giving up on it, but after some consideration, I decided instead of giving up I was going to try to dive back in with, well maybe not gusto, but at least with a concerted effort.
And, because they are both so awesome, Bronwyn Green and Jess Jarman are letting me tag along on their tandem blogging adventure.  This week the topic is Three Things I Want to Learn; you can read Bronwyn’s post here and Jess’ here.
1.  The first thing I want to learn is to make my own pasta.  I’ve seen people make it on cooking shows and it looks like something I could do, but I have yet to get up the courage to try it. I have a feeling its one of those things that looks deceptively easy, but will be a real bugger to actually do.
2.  Learn to speak Italian.  I’ve been fortunate to be able to visit Italy twice over the years, and I think the Italian language is just beautiful.  It’s amazing how much one year of high school Latin can help you get around, but it’s nothing like being fluent in Italian.
3.  I would love to learn how to re-finish/paint furniture so that it doesn’t look like a five year old did it. In particular, I have this old hutch that is currently stained dark brown and I would like to re-finish it in a light blue, sort of distressed look. Very shabby chic, I think. It would be one less piece of oppressive furniture in my house, that’s for sure.
What about you?  Anything new you’re dying to learn? 

It makes me sad…


It makes me sad that today’s society functions in such a way that I feel nervous being home by myself when two guys come to install a new front door.

The thought of being in the house with these two guys I don’t know has been freaking me out to the point that I pretty much told a friend of mine I would be IM’ing her while they were here in case they tried to attack me or something.

To be honest, the likelihood of something like that happening is not high, but it COULD happen.  I mean, they work for a reputable company so I assume they have had background checks and all that.  But, the possibility is there so that’s all I’ve been able to think about.

And I kind of hate myself a little bit for being nervous, because I’m treating these (so far perfectly nice and professional) men like criminals.  Or potential criminals, anyway.

But, and this conversation has been had so many times recently because of the cases making the news, our society teaches women to do what they can to not be attacked.  So,  here I am sitting in the comfort of my own home trying to take precautions against something bad happening to me.  Instead of being able to trust that the strangers I’ve met have been taught that it’s just wrong to attack someone.

The more I write about this, the more ashamed I am about having these feelings and thoughts.  And that’s just another sign of what’s wrong!  I shouldn’t be ashamed of wanting to protect myself.  But, as a female, I’m supposed to be nice to everyone and welcoming to people.

Ugh, I don’t even know where I’m going with this.  Nowhere I guess.  It’s a frustrating sign of the way society currently functions.  But, I will be online with my friend until they leave, just in case.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award


So, I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by the very inspiring Chris Allen-Riley.

Chris is not only a fantastic writer, but super talented at all sorts of creative, crafty awesomeness.  Check out her blog at the link above for a sneak peek at some of her cross stitch (and to learn more about her).  Also, she’s going to help me build a fort with a moat and long bow archers.  How can you not love her?

As part of the blog award, we’re supposed to reveal seven interesting things about ourselves and then nominate 15 other bloggers.  I’ll be honest, it took me a little while to come up with the seven things (hence the time lapse since her blog post), but once I did, I got a little long winded.  Oops.

Also, when it comes to nominating people, I don’t think I’m going to.  It’s not that I don’t find others inspiring, I absolutely do.  But instead of nominating people, I’m going to direct you to the links on the right side of the page to blogs I read/follow.  I find each one of these people inspiring for different reasons, I think you might, too.

Okay, so seven things about me.  Here I go…

1.     I am terrified of fireworks.  Not the little ones you can light in your driveway, but the big overhead 4th of July celebration kind of fireworks.  Terrified to the point where when I was a kid, I used to try to bury myself in the ground.  Now I just avoid them.  Instead, I watch Pops Goes the Fourth or A Capital Fourth on TV and see the fireworks from the safety of my living room.
2.     One of my dreams is to live in a house with a turret, with my office at the very top.  There are a few houses in my town like this.  I drive past them every so often and sigh with longing.
You can’t see me but I’m there at the top being clever and creative.  🙂
3.     I rarely (very rarely) swim in natural bodies of water.  Because…I was once caught in a jellyfish migration off the Gulf Coast in rough waters.  I was stung repeatedly by the jellyfish as well as detached tentacles that broke off in the waves.  I don’t recommend it.  However, side note, if you are ever stung by a jellyfish put meat tenderizer on it.  It helps with the pain but I have no idea why.  My aunt used to keep a spice jar of it in her beach bag. 
4.     I love anything related to Ancient Egypt.  One my of my life goals (I refuse to create an actual ‘bucket list’) is to learn Hieroglyphics.
5.     My cat, Noah, once saved me from being locked out on my balcony.  The balcony door had a security bar in the middle of it (as opposed to on the floor) and while I was outside, the bar fell and I wasn’t able to slide the door open.  My ever-curious kitty decided to see what was going on and started batting at the security bar.  I tapped on the other side of the door near the bar trying to get him to play with it.  Eventually (after less than 10 minutes), he wrapped his paws around the bar and pulled on it.  He moved it enough I was able to slide the door open and get inside.  He got a catnip reward for that one.
Noah in his Halloween costume, its a rooster hat.  Can you tell how happy he is? 
6.     I have this…thing, for lack of a better word, where I have intense reactions to certain sounds.  Usually it’s something like another person coughing or chewing, but basically I get incredibly angry and I have to bite my tongue to keep from yelling at the person.  I have learned that this is a real condition and there is a name for it, but I can never remember it (it has to do with sensory overload).  Instead, my husband has taken to calling it my “climacaphobia.”  (And if anyone knows where that is from, I’ll send you chocolate.)
7.     When I was little, I had a killer goldfish named Charlie.  He lived well beyond the normal lifespan of a goldfish and killed every other fish we put in the bowl with him.  He either ate them (we found the leftovers) or would somehow convince them to commit suicide and jump out of the bowl.  I think we went through three or four fish before we decided Charlie should probably just be a loner.

This blog post got totally out of control, but there you have a few things about me.  I encourage you to check out Chris’ blog and the others I follow.  You will be inspired by them just as I am.

Take a Chance and Be Brave


So I did something brave this weekend, something that was so nerve-wracking to me that it actually made me a little sick to my stomach.
I shared two of my WIP’s with someone, my mentor in my writer’s group actually.  The only other person I have shared my projects with is my friend Stephanie.  We’ve known each other for years and know just about everything about each other, so I have nothing to hide from her.  It still made me sick to give her my partial manuscripts.  So, imagine the nerves I had when sending the two files to a published author who also happens to be an editor at a publishing company. 
It all started because I was lamenting on Twitter about not knowing how teenage boys interact.  My mentor happens to have two teenage sons so the conversation went from there.
I’ve been really stuck the past month or so (maybe longer) for a number of reasons.  Some of which I’m just now figuring out, some I still don’t know.  So, my mentor offered to read my current project and after talking about it a little bit, the other project as well.  The two stories have quite a few things in common.  I started the first one and really liked some of the aspects of it, but didn’t know where it was going.  When I started the second one, I had a fully fleshed out idea that was plotted (at least loosely) for a four book series.  I ended up incorporating some of the characters from the first into the second. 
But now, I can’t seem to make progress on the first of the series I have plotted out.  I sit and stare at the screen with no idea, or no desire, to further the story.  I don’t know if I’m just stuck in a part of the story that I don’t like or if I don’t like the entire story anymore.
I don’t think that’s true though.
When I think about the story in the abstract, I’m still excited about it.  I like the IDEA of it, I’m just struggling with getting it out on paper, or the screen as the case may be.  I end up with these huge blocks of time in which I could do nothing but write, but I don’t.  I find anything to do instead, or nothing to do and just ignore my computer.
I’ve come up with all kinds of excuses.  After looking at a computer all day at work I don’t want to when I get home (yet I spend the evening messing around on my iPad).  I hate to ignore my husband (true, but he understands and doesn’t mind).  I don’t have time (flat out lie – sure I have a full time job, but I know people with a lot more going on than me who find the time to write).
So, what does all of this have to do with being brave?  By sharing my projects with someone else, I have to accept what is wrong with them (in the form of feedback) and acknowledge that I need to get moving on making progress.
Part of our monthly writer’s group meeting is to celebrate who met their goals for the month.  I have yet to meet my word count goal I’ve set for myself on a monthly basis.  That changes this month.  That’s another part of being brave, putting my goals out there and keeping track of my progress in a public way so others can see how well I’m doing (or how much I’m missing the goals, as the case may be).  
Here are the goals for the January meeting on the 12th:
        – 15,000 words (I didn’t specify a project, just word count on something, not including blogs)
        – Complete four Thursday’s Children blogs
        – Post on the GRRWG blog on Dec. 15
Now I just need to buckle down and get to work.  And not make myself crazy waiting for feedback from my mentor.
Here’s hoping these little acts of bravery get my back on the right track…

A Letter to Teenage Me


I follow a blog called Chatting at the Sky.  The author of that blog, Emily Freeman, recently had a book released (

As part of that release, she wrote a letter to her teenage self and has asked others to do the same. So, I thought, why not?

It was harder than I thought, but here it is; a letter to teenage me.

Dear Me at 16:

Lighten up.  People are going to tell you this your whole life and it will annoy you pretty much every time someone says it, but it’s true.  You need to lighten up.  I’m not saying never be serious, because seriousness has its place.  But so does fun, and wackiness….just be a little bit goofy.  So what if someone laughs, it might be because they actually think you’re funny.  You’re future husband sure does.

And that’s another thing.  You will get married to a wonderful guy you who loves you and makes you happy.  I know things aren’t great now; not having a boyfriend in high school seems like a catastrophe.  It’s not.  I’m not trying to be harsh, but I am trying a little tough love, you could use it.

In a couple years you’re going to go to college.  Don’t sell yourself short.  If you want to go to a big name school, apply.  Just see what happens.  You might get in, but then again you might not.  Maybe it will be expensive, but you’ll figure it out.  And, find what you really want to do and do that.  Don’t do something just because you know it will pay the bills.  There’s more to life than paying the bills.  Do something that will make you happy.  Even if that means struggling to be a writer and having to work jobs that aren’t so much fun in the meantime.  Stick to it.

Talk to your brother.  He lives in Ann Arbor now and is only a couple of hours away.  In a few years he’s going to move to Seattle and it will just be that much harder to build a relationship with him.  Start now when he’s close enough you can go see him on your own.  Take advantage of that and try to come out of your shell a little bit.  He’s your brother, who cares what he thinks (or what his girlfriend thinks).

Oh, and one last thing, the clothes.  I know you like to hide in baggy clothes bought in the men’s section, but just try something a little more feminine.  You might be surprised at how it makes you feel (and look).

Things are rough right now, I know.  But stick out it and things will get better.  You will meet some great friends in college and at your job during college.  Stay in touch with them.  And when someone you sort of know asks you if want to go on a blind date with this guy who’s maybe related to your best friend’s husband’s sister’s boyfriend, go for it.  You’ll be glad you did.  But wear better shoes on your second date.

You at 32