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New semester, new class!

I really enjoy being a student. If I could do it professionally, I would. This semester I went with a class that I didn’t need for my degree but could use since I am also taking an income tax course what will take up a lot of brain power. I took a class called Process of Communication ’cause that sounded damned interesting. And it’ll be useful to learn how communication occurs when I am trying to help people file their taxes. Win-win!

Or so I thought until I was served a big ol’ helping of Nope.

The instructor first warned everybody that if they took this particular comm course to avoid public speaking, they were going to be disappointed since there were a couple of public speaking assignments. Meh, I’m not too bothered by doing speeches or presentations. No big. She went over the assignments and said APA format would be required and I quivered a little at that, but figured I needed to suck it up and finally stop dodging APA. It’d be cool.

But when she said, “The course will mainly be done in small groups,” I nearly stood up and went “Oh, hell no!” and storm out.

I don’t do small groups. I equate small group work to nails on a chalkboard or a chili pepper enema or underwear with worn elastic. No, Just no. God, no.

Therefore, I began to subtly pack up my things and wait for a good time to make a break for the door in case the instructor wanted to start her grouping on the first day. And then something horrible happened. She started telling us all the things we would learn in class, and damn it I want to learn that stuff. It is right up my alley of exploration. I even started thinking of changing my major to communication studies, which I do every semester that has a class I totally dig (I’ve decided to be everything from a biologist to a mathematician to a business manager).

So, I’m stuck. The teacher is awesome, funny and smart, and the material is incredibly intriguing and engaging. But I must traverse my own personal hell to get to it. Save me.

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Smart idea!

Brain: Hey, Body, I know how bummed you’ve been since we hurt our neck and shoulder and haven’t been able to do a whole lot but whine about the pain.
But I have an idea! Let’s lift weights and work the kinks out. Get some energy. It’ll be great.

Body: Ok!

Next morning, unable to move.

Body: Well, Brain, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.

Brain: …

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My 12-year old daughter just got another loose tooth out of her head.
The sad part is that now that she is older and no longer believes in the Tooth Fairy, she handed me the tooth and asked, “Can I have a quarter?”

On the other hand, what had been a stressful night-maneuver in the bedroom of a girl who woke to her door opening has now turned into an easy business transaction.

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It’s been raining for two days. Thunder and lightening! And raining very hard! With wind! It’s glorious!!

I live in the desert. We are all very, very happy.

When we moved into our house, it had a bad roof (that the roofer [paid by the bank] okayed. He really sucked.) So it leaks. But we bought five years ago and the drought was getting into full swing so it hasn’t caused us too much trouble. My roof leaks and I’m still very happy it’s raining.  However, with the predictions of a wet winter (yay) we might have to get someone out to look at the roof. Pretty sure we need a new one. I know we can’t afford it. This is a sucky place to be.

But IT’ RAINING! Woo hoo!!

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This is pretty damn spot on. It makes me laugh, and sigh with a shake of my head.



The idealist temperament makes up about 15 to 20 percent of the population. According to psychologist David Keirsey, this temperament includes the Myers-Briggs personality types INFJ, INFP, ENFJ, and ENFP. Idealists are passionately concerned with self-growth, yearn to help others, and dream of making the world a better place. Below are some of the characteristics that make being a dreamer in a world of practicality a constant struggle.

1. You’re never completely content with how things are.

Whether it’s your job, your relationship, or what you had for dinner, being a future-oriented perfectionist means you’re constantly thinking about how to make things better.

2. You find it extremely difficult to live in the moment.

You envy your friends who can seemingly act without any regard to future consequences, since that’s basically all you ever think about.

3. People rarely seem to take you seriously.

Idealism is often a trait associated with…

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Poor Stevie Wonder could not hook up his electronic piano to the computers and sound system he needed to. Poor guy was just flummoxed. Luckily I happened to be striding by the stage he was on and helped him out.

Dreams are the cleaning out of all the gunk that gets stuck in your brain. Why Stevie Wonder? I happened to see a title for his biography while looking for another book. That’s it. But for some reason he got stuck in my grey matter. Weird brain stuff.

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No, not the kind that involves sweating. The kind that involves the writing muscles. They need to be stretched and strengthened, you know. Very important for circulation.

I have a book for writing prompts but it, well, sucks. Its target audience is high school or middle school kids. Boring. Very boring, I say in a huffy teen way. So I thought, “Hey! My phone does everything! I bet it can give me writing prompts!” And yes, yes it certainly can. All hail Phone!

I went with Writing Exercises and Prompts made by JG Applications. I chose this particular app out of the many because it offered different styles of prompts. You can have first line, story plots, random subjects, or random characters. Pretty damn nifty. And that really helps stretch and work those creative muscles which is basically the core muscles of your writing body, really. They always say that you can’t let your body get complacent and you have to change up your exercise and this goes doubly for the mind. Humans are incredibly efficient machines and if it can go on auto-pilot and work less hard than it did before, then it will, the lazy sod. So I pick one for the day, always changing the style of prompt and this really helps me think, and ok, sometimes struggle to come up with something. And yeah, there are times I think, “Damn! I should have written this for the prompt today!” But I let them stand. I’m not going to edit a freakin’  prompt, inner editor, so shut it.

So, I lied. It can, indeed, involve sweating. Often there is also groaning and huffing. But no pain, no gain! Feel the burn!

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Audio books

Read by Kevin R. Free

I’ve never really liked being read to. When it comes to my reading, I want to be in the driver’s seat. I want to be the one who decides how someone sounds, such as their particular accent or timber or how they say what they say. I’m usually ok with older books being read to me, such as Dorian Gray. Maybe it’s all the time watching Masterpiece Theatre as a child, I don’t know. But modern books? No, those are mine and I’ll decide how everything will sound, thank you very much.

And then I started crocheting a lot. The kind that requires more attention than what I have when watching TV, which is when I usually crochet. I needed my eyes elsewhere, but I’m a multi-tasker and also feel that since I’m having a good time with my crochet, I can’t just be sitting on my butt playing in yarn and not, at least, do something else constructive. So I tried out an audio book (because reading is totally constructive and necessary to life, obviously). Amazon lets you do it for a month for free, so I thought I’d give it a go since the book I wanted to read next happened to be in audio. Josh Lanyon’s All She Wrote. This was going to be tricky. I’m a huge Lanyon fan and there was a major risk that the narrator was going to totally jack-up Christopher Holmes’ dry wit and particular voice. I had just finished reading the first book in the series, so that was an even bigger threat against it.

I have to say, though, that I really did enjoy Kevin R. Free’s narration of the book. It wasn’t perfect, of course. But each voice was distinct, and recognizable. Free hit Christopher’s voice wonderfully, making me laugh and wince and thoroughly enjoy the adventure. J.X.’s voice was done really well. At first I was a little hesitant about the “roughness” but it did work.

I was also hesitant about the “intimate” scenes. I mean, it’s aural sex, yeah? Other than having to listen to those parts when the kids were out of the house, it was good. Ok, fine, it was hot. Not any more or less hot than the scenes would be if I had read them, and that makes this particular narrator perfect for me. I’m not gaining or losing anything when it comes to switching between the two formats, so this makes me very happy.

I’ve started listening to The Boy With the Painful Tattoo, now. I’m painting my kitchen cabinets and listening to Holmes and Moriarity and am quite content. In fact, I would say that just possibly my painting has gotten better. Ah, stories always make everything better!

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I dunno, man. I’ve been through a couple of publishers. I liked one over the other: they got my book into a ton of locations, that’s for sure. And they actually do an amazing job editing. But marketing is still set firmly on the author’s shoulders. And isn’t it always about the marketing? A phenomenal story is still phenomenal but nobody knows that if they don’t read it, ya know? (Not, of course, that I would put my stories in the “phenomenal” category, just yet.)

Maybe I’ll shop my historical novel out and see what some publishers think and what they can do. My first choice is to go with Fantastic Fiction, of course. My editor there, Rylan, is really great. And I think FF would go for it. I hope they would, any way.

I really hate marketing, though. I just want to go through the blood, sweat, and tears of creating this amazing story and then hand it off for someone else to get it into the right mass’s hands. Shedding more blood, sweat, and tears over marketing is just too much. Especially when you’ve got to fight for space among the people who don’t even take writing seriously enough to read what they just wrote. They’re just excited women who want to make some money off their poorly written fantasies. (I’m looking at you Myers and EL James.)

Ah, well. Let me get another manuscript ready to be offered on the altar and see what the writing gods will gift me.

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