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Showing posts from 2015

Life with Facebook

I both love and hate Facebook for what it brings into my life.

The Positives: I've been able to reconnect with long-distance friends and family members.  There are the high school friends that I haven't seen since graduation.  Then there are the aunt and uncles, the cousins, that I might only see at sporadic family reunions, weddings, or funerals.   I really appreciate that I get to learn about their daily interests, their struggles and triumphs. It makes me feel connected to those I wish I did a better of job of interacting with on a daily (weekly?  monthly? yearly?) basis. I get to keep in daily contact with the people I do see on a regular basis. Apparently, I just can't get enough of them!  Pictures.  Oh, how I love pictures! I get to see newborn babies, adorable pets, messy kids, sassy teenagers, sunsets, sunrises, beaches, mountains...oh, the list goes on and I am glad that it does. Silly memes.  Funny memes.  Goofy memes.  I'm all for it.  The memes my friends an…

Some Thanksgiving Humor

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This post was inspired by a Book Riot post. Given my love of both wine and books, I thought I'd poke a little fun at myself.

The first glass of wine....

I'll probably go with something safe because I will still be sober.  I'll try to persuade my brother- and sister-in-law to read this science fiction book because its 80s pop culture references are not only fun, they're a bit nostalgic.  Also, there's a puzzle to be solved and who doesn't love puzzles!



The second glass of wine....

I'll still be sober.

After finding out if they're watching the new Super Girl television program, I'll move on to other iconic female characters, which would remind me of a book I read recently that retold some of the most famous princess stories.

The SIL will humor me, while her hubby wonders if the wine has already gone to my head when I try to persuade him to read it, too.



The third glass of wine...

I'm going to be feeling this one.  Wine is potent.

However, I won't…

Read Harder Challenge

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Over on Book Riot they have a 2015 Read Harder Challenge that I decided to join.  In the spirit of the thing, I also joined their Goodread's group where I am one voice among many recording my reading accomplishments.  Those posts get lost, though, so I thought I'd create a blog entry to highlight the challenges I completed.

Spoiler alert:  I completed all of the challenges!

Challenge:  Read a Collection of Short Stories For this task I selected Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist-Fight in Heaven.  I had picked up this Kindle version a few months prior and thought of it as soon as I read the challenge.  If double-counting a book were allowed, I could also use this to satisfy the "Read a Book by or About an Indigenous Person".  Instead, I've elected to count it toward my short story reading goal.

I've read Sherman Alexie's work before and quite enjoyed it.  This time was no different.  The stories were interesting and thought-provoking, gran…

My Week of Walden

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Okay, I'll admit I've never read Thoreau's Walden.  That doesn't prevent me from thinking I know what it's about, though.  It's about a guy who goes off to live in the woods near a pond and does some crazy, in-depth self-reflection, right?  Or are his thoughts more of a contemplation on humanity, society, and culture? Maybe he just needed some time alone to write?

Maybe I should read the book or change the title of this post because it's obvious my knowledge of the book is limited to a guy alone in the woods on the edge of a pond. 
Nope.  I'm sticking with the title. Reasons why:

  Reason #1: I vacationed by myself for a week.
  Reason #2: There was a pond and a forest.
  Reason #3: I was writing!

My week alone in the woods was spent in a lovely, modern campground with full hook-up, which means I had electricity, water, and sewage.  Temperature control.  A microwave.  Television. My fan. My computer.  Phone.  And chargers for all!



The only modern convenie…

StoryCorps - Grandma Sherman - Take 1

I stopped by Grandma's little trailer to do more than check in on her. I had high hopes of getting her to agree to let me record her answers to a few questions. To my delight, she was willing!

We used my cell phone to record these StoryCorps audio files.

Washington D.C. Departure and Day 1

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Artist Date - Week 1

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This post is late.  I should have written it up sometime during the week of April 13th.  That didn't happen, though, so here we are.

I don't know why I struggle with this task, but I do.  I'm not even sure my "date" was really a date.  I needed some costume pieces for the 80s Fest in Frankenmuth that I plan on attending on April 24th. Each year I attempt to do something just a little bit different from the year before.  This year I really wanted to go as Toni Basil from her Mickey video. 

I looked online for a cheerleading costume in the right colors.  The problem is the sweater.  I could find a skirt, but the top was impossible.  This has led me to the conclusion that if I plan on wearing this next year I will need to learn how to sew.  Or beg my mom to make it for me.  Frankly, though, I think learning to sew costumes would be a good thing because I also enjoy dressing up for RenFest and Comic Con
Yes, I really should learn how to sew. 
In the meantime, thoug…

Getting Started With Scrapbooking

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I sent a friend of mine a list of supplies today that I thought would help her get started on one of my favorite hobbies: scrapbooking!

She made the mistake of expressing an interest and saying she'd like to join our little group on our annual scrapping trips.  I almost feel sorry for her husband because he has no idea what's in store for him as she starts building her supplies....
The list I sent was text only because I was using FB messenger and didn't want to bombard her with a flurry of links to Amazon or JoAnn Fabrics.   Yet, the pictures are so very helpful when you're shopping for supplies you're unfamiliar with, so here we are.  On the blog.

I tried to keep the list as minimalist as possible.  These are the things I consider necessities when you're preparing to scrapbook your favorite family photos. 
A scrapbook to put the completed pages in.  I started with this because knowing your album size helps you determine the size of paper you're going to ne…

Reading Selections

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One of my favorite ways to spend a break at work is to look through the Amazon Kindle freebies.  I tend to gravitate toward the science fiction and fantasy categories, but occasionally I find myself looking through the literature, suspense, and romance lists.  This daily addiction has led to quite a collection of self-published and indie books in my Amazon Cloud Reader.



Now, I know that some of those books will be terrible (not necessarily the ones pictured above!).  They may not have been edited. Typos could abound.  Plot holes.  Bad characterizations.  Cringe-worthy writing.  I know this because I've seen it.  I've opened more than one of those freebies and, after a few pages, I've realized I can't continue reading because, while the premise may have been promising, the author rushed to publication.  
Yet, I also know that there will be gems waiting to be unearthed.  I've found them.  I've enjoyed them.  I've been impressed more than once.  More than one …

So Many Pictures, So Few Videos

I'm not embarrassed to admit I take a lot of pictures, maybe too many.  I use my iPhone from time to time, but I much prefer my Nikon DSLR.  I love the crispness of the photos, the ability to selectively focus, and adjust settings to work with the lighting available.  I love capturing motion without unsightly blur.  I love that even when the ISO is bumped up to insane numbers, the noise in the picture is still minimal when compared to the noise I get on my dratted phone. 
Yet, there is one thing that phone does better than my expensive Nikon equipment: it takes decent videos.  If I use my Nikon, you can hear the autofocus mechanism in the audio track.  It whirs and clicks, clicks and whirs, as the sensor struggles to keep the subject in focus. The iPhone, on the other hand, does not distract the viewer in such a way.  It just records.
The thing is, though, that I forget about the wonders of recording.  Pictures are great.  They are.  I love them and will always treasure those I…

I'm Still Trying to Figure It Out

You may recall that I graduated with a Masters degree in English language and literature a couple of years ago.  I spent a few months luxuriating in the freedom that comes with the knowledge that the last paper has been turned in and no one will be placing an eight-page syllabus in your hand anytime soon.  I celebrated by reading whatever I wanted.  Strangely, I sometimes wanted books on theory or even the occasional classic.  Mostly, though, I read the type of books I had read before I started my program.  I read science fiction and fantasy, romances, suspense, and horror.

I also tried to find my writing voice, the one that wasn't concerned with sounding smart but with good storytelling.  It was a struggle.  Years of academic writing seemed to have obliterated my creativity.  Everything I wrote seemed stilted and dry.  Boring.  Pointless.  I began to fear I had traded my creative voice for an education, and that the trade-off might not have been worth the price. 
So I turned my a…