Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day we collectively as a nation sit around watching football, eat too much food, and most importantly, remember the things we are thankful for. I myself am thankful for so many things. My friends. My family. The husband I still can't quite believe I get to call my own and the six books I've been saving for holiday reading. 

I'm also thankful for a nice home and a warm place to sleep during these cold, November nights . . . a blessing so many in this country live without. I would like to urge everyone in the spirit of this holiday of gratitude to think about giving back. Organizations across the country are collecting food, clothing, and warm blankets for those in need. If you're feeling blessed this year, take some time to give a little back. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Note: If you're looking for ways to make a difference this Thanksgiving, check out this site. You can type in your zip code and find organizations in your area that are looking for volunteers and donations. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blogging from A to Z Challenge - 2015 Team

Today is a big day over at the Blogging from A to Z site -- they're announcing the team behind the upcoming 2015 challenge. And though I've been posting there for the past two months, this is the first time I'm making the official announcement on my own blog that I will be making my team debut this coming April. I am so thrilled to be apart of this challenge, and I can't wait to get started!
So head on over to the Blogging from A to Z site and meet the rest of my amazing cohort! And don't forget that it's never too early to start thinking about themes and what you might want to write about for next year's challenge. Happy blogging!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. I am honored to be one of this month's co-hosts, along with Donna Hole, LG Keltner, Lisa Buie-Collard, and of course, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you're an insecure writer or just looking to give some support to those of us who are, check us out here!

Two days ago a friend of mine posted something on my Facebook about writing -- it was an excerpt from Amy Poehler's newest work 'Yes Please', and it was dead on. On the subject of writing, she says: 

Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea. They talk about their “morning ritual” and how they “Dress for writing” and the cabin in Big Sur where they go to “be alone” — blah blah blah. No one tells the truth about writing a book. Authors pretend their stories were always shiny and perfect and just waiting to be written. The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of s***. It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver.
- Amy Poehler, Yes Please

I hate the term 'lol', but I literally (and I mean literally in the literal sense, not figuratively as people often do) laughed out loud when I read this. Because she's absolutely right. When I write, it's not lovely. It's not some BBC version of the melancholy artist, shut up in a beautifully sparse attic diligently hand writing great works of literary fiction. 

It's ugly. It's typing out two pages of text, only to delete all but three paragraphs. It's reminding myself over and over again "show, don't tell" or "active voice, active voice, active voice". It's cursing at the monitor or taking a two hour "break" to binge watch cat memes because I have no idea where my story is going next. And when it's done, it's endless hours of edits and revisions. Of changing things that seemed to make sense at three in the morning when you originally wrote it. 

And though I can't imagine doing anything else, it's rarely fun. It's work. It's hard. And it's what we do. So let's go out there and do it. Happy blogging people, but more importantly, keep up the good work and keep writing. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's-A Mario Party

I'm sorry to see the end of October, and with it, the passing of Halloween. The sun may be setting on my 20's, but I'm still child-at-heart enough to love dressing up for the holiday. Every year my friends and I go to the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Spirits and Skeletons party, and this year was no different. 

With our critical success last year with as the cast of Firefly (check our costumes out here), we knew we had to come up with something spectacular if we wanted to continue our upward momentum and outdo ourselves for 2014. And thus an idea was born. 

It started out with this . . .

A few refining details . . .

The we added a little paint . . .

And voila, we were ready to go Mario Kart-ing . . .

From Left to Right:
Princess Peach, Mario, Toadette, Yoshi, Waluigi and Luigi

My husband and I as Luigi and Princess Peach.
Don't we look awesome? It was a lot of work making those karts, but we are nothing if not committed. And by god if we didn't have the best costumes at the party (which, by the way, I hear reached over 8,000 guests). We were stopped over and over again to have our pictures taken by our many admirers, and even had fellow party-goers helping us pop each other's balloons (I survived the night with one balloon still remaining). 

It was a blast! Anyone else have any great costumes this year? Or go to an amazing Halloween bash perhaps?