Posts Tagged With: blogging

Picture1

I’m realizing why it’s been so hard to blog lately… I’m not really doing anything.  My week mostly looks like me coming home exhausted from work, putting on my pajamas, and reading until I pass out.  I feel a little like a fuddy-duddy.  I let Brian make me dinner every night.  I haven’t even been working on projects, to be honest.  The quilt is still mostly done, and so is the Totoro mobile

Instead, I’ve been reading a weird combination of romance novels and parenting books, rotating back and forth between them.  I consider this the equivalent of Target putting the underwear section next to the baby stuff. Ironic, yet with plenty of precedent.

I have been going through old “inactive” employee files at work, and it’s been a hilarious and poignant time-capsule of documents.  There are pictures of nerdy scientists in those thick-rimmed 1960’s glasses, or wearing vibrantly striped ties from the 1980’s.  The documents are mostly type-written, and my favorite are the ones that are obviously tissue-thin mimeograph copies that someone stuck in their file, some stretching all the way back to the 1940s, in dusky brown.  There are form documents, too, where most of it is typewritten except where the Dean wrote in the person’s name by hand.  Or student evaluations that are also hand-written and then copied for the file.

It’s a strange treasure-trove of old scoldings, merit raises, newspaper articles and pamphlets, and sometimes obituaries.  I found one for a Botanist who was almost sent to a Japanese Internment Camp, but was able to find a home on the east coast with a family in South Carolina instead, to finish his education.

The task itself isn’t supposed to be interesting.  I’m just supposed to run this stuff through the scanner and then save it to the electronic drive.  I got lucky that many of the files are fun.  We’ll see what turns up next…

Categories: Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2017 Reading List – So Far

Oh man…

I’ve been trying to blog.  Really I have.  There are a million half-finished things on my computer just waiting for the internet.  For some reason, though, I just couldn’t seem to finish anything.

I started a new job about a month ago, my responsibilities much more low-key than the old one.  I didn’t realize how much stress I was under at the old until I wasn’t under it anymore.  I feel like I’ve been handed my life back.  And not just my life, but my pregnancy.  I get to enjoy this time now, instead of being worried that I didn’t quite catch everything I should have, cycling through to-do lists as I try to sleep through baby kicks.

All this is basically to say that I’m terribly behind on this thing.  And I’m so behind that I don’t even really know how behind I am.  The students are talking about returning. I haven’t posted the things I’ve read last semester, let alone over the summer.  All my posts on the baby are super-outdated now.  Everything is a mess.

I’m going to start with the easy thing, which is the reading list this year.  I don’t remember where I left off, so I’m just going to give you the books I’ve read since January 1st, and a quick blurb on what I thought of them.  We’ll worry about the rest of stuff next week.

For those keeping count, I’ve passed the half-way mark until I meet this kid in person, and we’ve reached the first viability marker too.  If he was born today, he has a 1/3 chance of surviving.  Admittedly not great, but at least he has a chance (and so far there’s no evidence he’s not staying baked for a while). He’s still moving around like crazy, but he’s lumping up on my left for some reason, tucking himself in there hard.  Not a big deal until I try and get up to pee in the middle of the night and fall over sideways in my delirious state…  He’s doing well – measuring in the middle of everything like he should.

Alright, here’s the 1st half of 2017 Reading List.  Beware: it’s mostly baby, self-help, and romance.  What can I say?  I’ve needed that comfort reading.

  1. Grin and Beard It, Penny Reid – I love this series by Penny Reid, and this is my second read of it since I found it last year.  A+ for all of it.  The newest book is coming out soon, and I’m so excited.
  2. Beauty and the Mustache, Penny Reid – Part of the same series, and great.
  3. Truth or Beard, Penny Reid – Which could really be said for ALL of these books
  4. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman – You know, I felt like this book didn’t quite live up to the promise that was the first book.  But I still loved it, and will buy the 3rd as soon as it comes out.  The concept is just too perfect, and Gilman handles it so well.
  5. Beard Science, Penny Reid – More beard books are coming out soon, but not fast enough for me, ever.
  6. Friends with Benefits, Penny Reid – The entire Knitting In the City series is completely unlikely, and hard to buy, this one is no exception.  Despite that, though, it’s kinda fun.  Wouldn’t call it my favorite, but solid if you’re in a dry spell.
  7. Daring Greatly, Brene Brown – Another re-read.  I LOVE Brene Brown.  Her books make me feel okay about being flawed, and that I’m on the right path to connection at least.
  8. Seven Minutes in Heaven, Eloisa James – I was a bit worried about this one, since it supposedly contains a kidnapping.  But it doesn’t really – I should have trusted James completely.  And it was GOOD.  Some of the best of James’ work, which is saying a lot since I love everything she’s ever written.  Bonus points for governess tropes.
  9. Rising Strong, Brene Brown – Another re-read, and probably my favorite Brene Brown book, which is saying something.
  10. The Care and Feeding of Pirates, Jennifer Astley – No, no, and just no.  Not only was it badly written, but I got angry at the absurdity of it all and the stupidness of the heroine.  I don’t think I read past the first chapter, and I was incensed.
  11. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Heidi Murkoff – The quintessential pregnancy book, and for good reason.  I wish the organization was a little more straight forward since she tries to kinda guess which month you’ll be going through xyz, and puts everything there.  I wish the months were months and the advice was advice, and the two weren’t buried together.  Otherwise a great read, though, and VERY helpful.
  12. Pregnancy Week to Week, Month to Month, Joanna Kendis – I didn’t like this book.  It seemed overly simple to me, and I gave up after the first chapter. Didn’t contain anything that What To Expect didn’t, and it was written much worse.  There were even a few grammar mistakes that made me cringe.
  13. Love Hacked, Penny Reid – I picked up this series in a drought of Beard books, and feel like it was fine, but not amazing.  This one was a little strange, with the guy being inexplicably weird for a while.  Also, no sex until the very end – but worth the wait.
  14. Happily Ever Ninja, Penny Reid – Another book I didn’t quite buy the premise of.  It was good, though, and features an already married couple with a fairly good relationship, though, which is rare in romance novels.
  15. Big Girl, Kelsey Miller – I LOVED this book.  It was a sad memoir in a lot of ways, but this is now the 3rd book I’ve read that tells about the dangers of dieting, and it was told in such a human way.
  16. When a Scot Ties the Knot, Tessa Dare – Good and very solid, with an interesting premise.  Fake guy the heroine has been writing to (and who she killed off) turns out to be real, alive, and on her doorstep.  I ended up thoroughly enjoying it, though he seems a little forceful at times.  Would recommend.
  17. How the Duke was Won, Lenora Bell – I had a hard time jogging my memory on this one, which doesn’t bode well.  However, I do remember enjoying the spunky heroine.  Not amazing, but certainly solid.
  18. The Truth About Lord Stoneville, Sabrina Jeffries – You know, I don’t know why I REALLY enjoyed this series, but I did.  It’s a silly premise, but the characters were so great that I ended up not caring.  This one is a too-unsuitable-to-marry trope, done VERY right.  The Grandmother is epic.
  19. A Hellion In Her Bed, Sabrina Jeffries – I liked this one A LOT, too.  It takes place in a brewery, which is unusual for a romance novel.  The Heroine, who keeps going despite her tough family situation, is my favorite kind.  And smart, too.
  20. How to Woo a Reluctant Lady, Sabrina Jeffries – I enjoyed this book, but not as much as the two before it.  The heroine is hilarious, though.  She takes out an ad for a totally unsuitable husband to piss off her grandmother.  Also, she’s a writer.
  21. Say Yes to the Marquess, Tessa Dare – It was definitely cute, but not one of my favorites.  It was kinda fun to see the hero lavish all these crazy presents on the heroine.
  22. Dating-Ish, Penny Reid – This was one of my favorites of the Knitting In The City books.  Awkward online dates included.  A solid choice, though it still suffers from a bit of the unbelievability of the rest of the series.
  23. To Wed a Wild Lord, Sabrina Jeffries – After a few “meh” books, I returned to the Hellions series.  This one was pretty good, actually.  Up to the old standard again, for sure. The hero was the cause of an accident that killed the heroine’s brother.
  24. A Lady Never Surrenders, Sabrina Jeffries – I never seem to love the books where hero is supposed to pick heroines intended or vice-versa, and this is one of those.  Well done for something I probably wasn’t going to love to begin with.
  25. The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband, Julia Quinn – Oh man, I LOVE ME some Julia Quinn, and this one hit all the right spots for me.  Colonial America, redcoats, unspoken love, Quinn’s great writing.  Yes please, to all of it.  Another favorite romance novel of all time.  I’ll be re-reading this one tons.
  26. Becoming Wise, Krista Tippett – Oh, what a magical book.  If you’re a fan of the On Being podcast, this book is 100% for you.  If you aren’t a fan, you not only need to read this book immediately, but you need to also become a fan.  Tippett is amazing, and gives so many life-changing ideas.  Like knowing the will of God through your own wants, or listening as an act of love, or grief as something humans innately know how to do.
  27. The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson – A great, quick book on how you can help your child integrate all parts of their brain as they’re growing, leading to adults with healthy brains.  My favorite parenting book that I’ve read so far.
  28. Parenting from the Inside Out, Daniel Siegel & Mary Hartzell – This seemed to be the adult version of Whole Brain Child, but it got a bit overly technical for me and ultimately didn’t contain much new info.  Stick with Whole Brain Child.
  29. Romancing the Duke, Tessa Dare – I actually found this novel to be hilarious, and awesome.  The heroine’s father’s fans (he’s a writer) are my favorite thing ever.  It’s like if Ren Faire was set in the early 1900s.
  30. Birthing From Within, Pam England – Meh.  It was a little hippy-dippy for me.  I stuck with it over half way to give it a good try, but ultimately I just couldn’t buy its premise that art is necessary for a fearless birth.
  31. Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton – For me? No.  Even though it was award-winning. I thought the premise was interesting in that it was kinda like Jane Austin, if only everyone was a dragon.  But I kept getting turned off when everyone ate their young, and I couldn’t get over it.  Didn’t like, wouldn’t recommend; unless you enjoy the sordid-type Victorian novels like Wuthering Heights.
  32. The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater – The next four books are all a series, and I re-read them.  I’m DYING to read them in Virginia when I go to visit my sister in law, since that’s where they’re set.  But I love them.  So much better and creepier the 2nd time around, and they were GREAT the first time.
  33. The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater
  34. Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Maggie Stiefvater
  35. The Raven King, Maggie Stiefvater
  36. Strengths Finder, Tom Rath – Interesting, and part of the reason I knew I needed to switch jobs.  All of the stuff I was good at wasn’t at all in my job description.  Basically, if you need me to research something and then explain it to you clearly, I’m your girl.
  37. The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater – I keep finding these books about topics I’ve been thinking about in my own writing, and seeing that they’re CRAZY well done.  That is basically to say that I’m in love with this book and need to own it so I can re-read it every November.  Kelpies, poverty, Ireland, and a desperate race for life itself.
  38. Goddess of the Hunt, Tessa Dare – You know, I have a very love/hate relationship with Tessa Dare.  In that I often love her work, but just as often I hate it.  This was her first book, and it’s great.  Girl next door marries family friend.  Would recommend.
  39. Surrender of a Siren, Tessa Dare – I feel like I enjoyed this one more than it deserved.  The premise is a little silly and the hero a TOTAL ASS when you first meet him.  It probably should have killed my enjoyment of it, but it totally didn’t.  I don’t know why.
  40. A Lady of Persuasion, Tessa Dare – This one returns to being almost as good as the first one.  I’d recommend as well.  Foreigner turns fancy and gets a rake to commit.  Yay!
  41. Rules for a Proper Gentleman, Jennifer Ashley – I read this before I read the rest of the McKenzie series, and I LOVED it.  A lot.  It’s another one of those that isn’t quite a member of the series, though.  Only very loosely connected.
  42. The Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie by Jennifer Ashley – Okay, caveat that these are dirtier than your normal brand of romance novel.  I still liked it a lot, and found it hawt despite the Asperger’s of the hero.  Good mystery, too, where everyone is trying to protect everyone else and it’s a mess.
  43. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin – This is my favorite book so far on giving birth, and I’m SO glad I found it.  It was incredibly empowering to read, and I would recommend to anyone considering natural birth.  And even if you’re not, it’s still helpful I think.
  44. The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, Jennifer Ashley – The hero has a SUPER tragic past, and it’s a little hard to take at times.  But otherwise I’m in love with this book 100%.  Especially the heroine’s love of cake.
  45. The Duke’s Perfect Wife, Jennifer Ashley – This one is also pretty dirty, but SO well done.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  In fact, I think I may need to buy this series in hard-copy.  At least the ones with the brothers in them.
  46. The Day of the Duchess, Sarah McLean – McLean is one of the few romance authors I auto-LOVE.  This one was not as good as her previous, though I still enjoyed it.  I think it was more the concept than the writing, and also the context – the Duke of Haven is someone I’m used to loathing, and the plot seemed contrived. Still would recommend.  McLean’s meh is better than others’ best.
  47. Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage, Jennifer Ashley – Oh man, I really loved this book too.  It again hit on some of my favorite things;  debauched painter for a hero needs heroine as his muse.  All those painting sessions spent alone.  So great.
  48. Howl’s Moving Castle, Dianna Wynne Jones – This might be the 5th time I’ve read this novel or so… I love it every time.  Especially Howl and his black slime.  ❤
  49. The Seduction of Eliot McBride, Jennifer Ashley – I have to say that I did like this book, but it was billed as being a McKenzie novel and it really wasn’t.  The folks in the book are maybe mentioned in passing in another one.  Not what I expect from a “sequel” but still pretty enjoyable.  I don’t quite trust Jennifer Ashley with everything yet, but I’m getting closer.
  50. The Wicked Deeds of Daniel McKenzie, Jennifer Ashley – This book hit a bunch of the right notes for me – supernatural mediums, balloon rides, one of my favorite characters as the hero, a very smart heroine.  Would 100% recommend.
  51. Never Seduce a Scot, Maya Banks – Recommended to me by Tumblr, and actually I did enjoy it a lot, though it’s set in a more medieval period than I prefer usually.  The heroine is deaf, (or really, Hard of Hearing), which I’m a sucker for since studying ASL.
  52. A Night to Surrender, Tessa Dare – There’s so much hype around Dare’s Spindle Cove series that I felt I should give it a fair chance.  I wasn’t wild about this book.  Nothing wrong with it per-se, just that I didn’t feel connected to the characters really.
  53. A Week to Be Wicked, Tessa Dare – This is more what I was expecting from the Spindle Cove hype.  Minerva is perfect, crazy-smart, and her beau keeps calling her by the wrong name on purpose for added fun.
  54. A Lady by Midnight, Tessa Dare – I’m not 100% sure I liked this book.  The dog was perfect, but I think I just knew too much about Thorne and his weird ways to make him a convincing hero.  I think I would probably have liked it had I not had context in the prior two books.
  55. Any Duchess Will Do, Tessa Dare – This is a re-read, and I kinda HATED it the first time.  I think reading the rest of the Spindle Cove books made me like it more.  Also, it’s a rarity in romance, with the heroine being totally dirt poor which probably also gave it novelty.  Would read again.
  56. Once More My Darling Rogue, Lorraine Heath – I mean, it’s basically Overboard, if set in the Victorian Era.  I liked it, but didn’t think it was anything special.
  57. When the Duke Was Wicked, Lorraine Heath – I just couldn’t get over the hero’s name to enjoy the book.  Lovingdon?  Really? I probably liked it less than it deserved, but still.
  58. The Happiest Baby on the Block, Harvey Karp – Not a fan of his writing style.  It’s very simple and repeats often.  But the info in here is GREAT.  Must borrow baby and learn to swaddle NOW.
  59. Brain Rules for Baby, John Medina – Love this book.  Medina has a humorous yet smart writing style that pulls you in, and the info in here is AMAZING, although he is fond of weird analogies.  A 100% Must if you’re going to read parenting books.
  60. Seducing Harriet, Mary Ballough – I never like Ballough’s writing, but every once in a while I convince myself I haven’t given it enough of a try, since she’s award-winning and all.  I didn’t like this one either.  I think they’re a little too old fashioned for me, and too full of angsty drama.  I go to romance novels for fun, and Ballough’s are rarely fun unless you find heartbreak fun.
  61. Minx, Julia Quinn: A re-read, because I love this book. The heroine is such a great tomboy, and I love her.  Not to mention the hero, who is kind but definitely alpha.
  62. Three Weeks with Lady X, Eloisa James: Another reread of my favorites. This is my 3rd re-read since I found it a few years ago and it doesn’t get old.  In fact, I laugh more and more about the letters they send each other every time.
  63. Fool For Love, Eloisa James: I forgot how much I just LOVE James’ work, so of course I had to continue… Another re-read.
  64. Beard In Mind, Penny Reid: I really loved this book – bonus points for a heroine with OCD. But I sometimes felt like I needed to reread all of them, since this one happens concurrently with some of the previous and I couldn’t remember the exact stuff she was alluding to.
  65. Meet Me at Willoughby Close: A pretty clean romance, all said and done, but also a great one. Sexy professor hero, a nutty rich neighbor in a manor house, a dog named Marmite, and a great single mom and daughter make this kinda magical.
  66. Positive Discipline, The First 3 Years: LOVED this book, and I’m gonna make Brian read it. It covers everything from discipline, childcare, self-care, and biting, to how to recognize disabilities and problems.

That’s it for right now. As always, happy reading!

Categories: Book Reviews, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

A Change, and a Vignette

2017-01-06_14-47-06

I’m all off this week because of the holiday.  Mondays off always throw me for a loop – not that I’m complaining.  But the Thursday blog entry is now a Friday blog entry since everything is a day removed.

Speaking of which… I’ve had some time to review this year in blogging and have decided to make a change and post book reviews here MUCH less in the new year.  Caseykins.com was always meant to be an author site, and I feel like it’s getting away from its purpose if all I do is post about books that often aren’t even in the genre I’m writing in.  So… I started another blog for the reviews.  I’ll likely still post the quarterly reading list here, and blog anything I totally fall head over heels for.  But in general I’m trying to keep all things novel to Book Dragon.  And that way if you like the book reviews, you can get that almost exclusively.  And if you like these little writing process and slice of life things, you can get that almost exclusively too.  This year was the first year I didn’t see a dramatic growth in people visiting the site, and I feel like the confused image might be some of the problem…

One of my tasks for the New Year was to incorporate more practice into my writing.  I’ll most likely be trying to substitute the book posts with these little vignettes.  I wrote this after visiting the Santa Monica Pier with Brian on the 1st.  It was crazy-busy down there, but still a good trip:

 

Brian and I sat on a concrete bench on the busy, bright pier for quite a while, just watching the waves crash on the thick barnacled supports beneath us.

A family came soon after we sat and took the other end of the bench.  They weren’t speaking English. I don’t know if it was French or what (I don’t think it was French really), but they were all older people, the men with close-cropped hair and the women wearing bright floral scarves tied under their throats. One of the men was pushing an empty stroller, and in the arms of the other man was a small girl with the curliest and reddest of hair. She was wearing a pink fuzzy coat with yellow butterflies clipped all over it. Their crepe wings fluttered in the ocean breeze. The family sat down next to us, and she threw herself backward in the arms of her father? Grandfather? And squealed every time the orange roller coaster swooped past with a rattle.

Eventually she started to fuss a bit, and the man started to sing to her. I didn’t recognize all of it, but one of the verses seemed to be a question about kilometers. And then he sang her Frere Jaques. That was her favorite, because she sang it back, her little voice not making all the syllables. She squirmed to get down, and continued singing while yanking herself backward on the steel pier railings, her little feet, in white tights, still on the wood deck.

It was sweet, and it made me smile.

The family took a selfie with the waves in the background, the shoreline stretching like a crescent behind them into oblivion.  And then they bundled their things and strolled away again towards the food booths.  The little girl was probably too young to remember her trip to California. Not through anything other than pictures of herself.  But I’ll remember her now.

 

Photo credit to Brian.  Thanks, dear!

Categories: Fiction, Life, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lyra Marsh, and Camp

SketchGuru_20160429085930

Camp NaNoWriMo?  Over tomorrow.  And I realized again why I never do camp… it just doesn’t feel urgent enough.  Which isn’t to say it wasn’t worth it.  I’ve started all 4 stories and finished 2 of them (one, it turns out, is going to be incalculably long.  The other involves domestic violence and was harder to write than I anticipated).

I have decided to let myself be a “winner” by validating, though, because I wrote well over the 10,000 words I committed to.  I think I may have even gotten 2 things that are publishable out of it, though they will need a lot of work.

The one GREAT thing that came out of all of this is Lyra Marsh.  I’m not sure what kind of a thing she will eventually be, but I might end up setting her up a blog where she can write about her trials and tribulations as an undergrad at Pragnum.  That’s my first thought.  I’m trying to share more of my work on this thing, so I made an inspiration board for her on Pinterest, here.  And below are the first few of her entries as a teaser.  A HUGE thank you to everyone who has ever drawn a witchsona, because you all are inspirational and Lyra is the proof.  J

I’m sort of in love with this girl.  Picky-Picky is also my favorite.

Lyra’s Blog:

Okay, so isn’t the first post on a blog supposed to be about who you are and why you think you want to blog?  That’s what they tell me.  Here goes:

I’m Lyra Marsh, student at Pragnum College, majoring in Warding, with a minor in Charms.  I used to live in the dorms, but my cat, Picky-Picky, couldn’t be there with me.  She’s a tortie; a mostly black cat with a splotch of orange on her eye and chest and little white feet.  Which means we broke the rules, of course, and got thrown out.  Picky-Picky is a non-negotiable subject.

Oh, not thrown out of college.  Just thrown out of the dorms.  I’m not that crazy.

Besides, what else would I do?  Go to a regular college and major in Colonial Salem?  I mean, there’s only so much history can teach you about how it’s better to just shut up about magic.

You would think that Pragnum would be more understanding about familiars, wouldn’t you?  But supposedly I’m “too young” for one, as they “only come to older witches who have reached their majority.” Maddening.  We don’t all work on a schedule, Pragnum.  As someone who knows about protection, I can tell you that familiars come when you need looking after the most, not when you reach some sort of predetermined age.

All that shit about not needing protection now that I’m living in the dorms, where the school will protect me.  Nice try.

I don’t know.  Maybe Picky-Picky has too many cat like qualities to pass muster or something.

Wow.  I really got off subject there.

So, in any case.  Picky-Picky and I are looking for an apartment.  With no roommates.  I just got a job at Brew-tiful, the café down the street, and the owner is willing to work around my school schedule.  With that and the money I’m bringing in from selling charms on Etsy, it’s looking like I can afford something, anyway.  And I’m gonna ask mom to pitch in what she was paying for my dorm room.

Basically, that’s why I’m starting this thing.  I thought people might like to know the exploits of me and Picky-Picky as we adult in the real world.

With tips for living as a magic-user of course.  There aren’t many of us, but we matter too, damn it.

#

Found an apartment!  It’s super adorable, and I can’t wait to move in.  It’s tiny.  Just one bedroom, and I’d be surprised if it was more than 500 square feet.  But it’s perfect.  There’s a bowed window in the front that didn’t quite show in the photos, where my work desk will fit perfectly.  There’s also a strange, scrolling radiator in the bathroom.  The house is quiet and peaceful, with a lot of light coming in, too.  The bedroom will fit a double, I think, if I push the bed up against the wall on one side.  It’s one of those bungalows built in the 1920s that all look out on a central lawn.  There’s even a little porch.

I didn’t take Picky-Picky with me to the open house, of course, but she liked the pictures on craigslist.  She only stopped purring when she started patting at the rent amount.  Damn cat.

I can afford the rent.  Alright, so I’ll have to sell a few more charms or pick up an extra day at Brew-tiful.  I can make it.  It’s the deposit I’m going to have to ask mom for.  Which she might give me, though I’ll definitely have to sit through a lecture about my rule breaking propensities first. Again. Ugh.

I know what you’re thinking and I DID check out the other tenants before I filled out the credit check form.  Can’t be too careful.  I touched the stoop railings with my hands when I was walking past: in love; cozy and safe; kinda sad; exuberant; and placid, is what I read from all of them.  No red flags here.

And also, I gotta admit that I told the paper to make me look responsible after I filled it out.  Which is cheating.  But I really love this place.  We have to have it, Picky-Picky and me.  Have to.

#

So, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about magic, and I want to say that it works differently for everyone.  You just sort of have to learn how it goes as you do it.  For me it feels a lot like breathing, I guess.  I mean, I breathe things in and I know about them, or I can breathe words out and tell things how I want them to be.

That’s how I figured out the neighbors.  I breathed in and could sort of taste the ‘in love’ on my tongue, or the ‘sad.’  And that’s how I told the page to make me look responsible.  It’s totally controllable, when I’m using it and when I’m not.  It’s like the difference between saying to yourself “raise your arm,” but leaving your arm at your side, or actually raising your arm up.  I can tell a thing to be something without making the telling magic.

Which is why when I told my last boyfriend to go to hell, he didn’t actually go to an alternate plane of fire, just back to his mom in San Francisco.  Although…

No, I’m kidding.

There’s also like a… how do I say this?  I’m not super strong or anything.  I’m getting a little skill in warding because of all the classes I’ve been taking, but I probably couldn’t have sent Kevin off to hell if I’d legitimately tried.  That’s too big for me.  Keeping pots stirring while I’m on the phone?  Sure.  Telling my favorite shirt to come to the top of the hamper?  Of course.  But I can’t even make the busses in this damn town run on time.

The reason my charms work is because I think really hard at them while I’m putting them together, and they want to make bad guys overlook that TV set you have in the living room.  I mean, as an example.  I’ve coached them into wanting it.

It’s why I’m so good at wards and charms.  They’re subtle, and they last longer and are more potent if they think they want to do what you want them to do.  There are some kids in my class who are that “wham-bam” kind of magic you think of, but that’s not me.  And it’s not most of the folks in my major, either.

So the answer to any magic question is that it varies so much that it’s crazy.  And I happen to be the subtle kind, not the explosion kind.  But maybe you know a little more about me now?

And P. S.  No, I’m not revealing the location of Pragnum.  That’s stupid and could get me in a lot of trouble, since it’s supposed to be secret and all unless you’re a magic user.  No, it’s not like ‘Hogwarts,’ (which doesn’t exist, by the way) and you could go there if you were able to find it.  In fact, it’s pretty easy to find.  Which is why I can’t say anything more about its location.  So there.

#

Move In Day has officially come and passed.  Whoo hoo!

Except, damn it mom, I don’t need you to send me any more charms.  She’s freaking out about me living alone, even with Picky-Picky around.  And she keeps sending me these stupid amateur charms that just stink of incompetence.  I can make better stuff than that and I’m not even out of college yet.  Geez.  And does she think I don’t have any warding on my place at all?

I’m not stupid, mom.  I’m being careful.  I put the “nothing valuable, nothing magic” ward on my place the night I moved in, and I have charms at every window and door now too.  Ones I made, not that crap you sent me.  Yeah, it’s imperfect because I had to do the inside of the house and not the outside since I share a couple of walls, but that’s what the charms are for.

The place came with a refrigerator and a stove, and nothing else.  The fridge is an old mustard colored thing with a peeling sticker on the handle that’s supposed to make it look like wood.  But it cools, so that’s all I care about.  The pilot lights on the stove always stay lit, too, so I’m going to have to watch Picky-Picky.  She knows better than to bat at that stuff, but if it flickers she wants to eat it.  Too cat-like for her own good. SMH.

Mom doesn’t live around here, but Jules, my old roommate, is from just down the street.  Her parents were awesome and let me raid their garage for furniture.  I have a funky mirror, an end table for the bed I bought, and an old desk with some chairs for a kitchen table.  The desk is this huge sturdy thing that someone painted army green, and there’s one tiny drawer in it.  None of the chairs match, but all of the seats are upholstered in this awful gold brocade.  I started knitting colorful covers for them yesterday.  They’re gonna be like a patchwork rainbow when I’m done.  Granny square for the win.

I bought a mattress at Goodwill (it’s refurbished, not used.  Don’t get grossed out).  I bought my couch at Salvation Army and I LOVE it.  It’s one of those low-backed things from the 60s covered in green velvet.  Who cares if the pillows are too slouchy?  The only room that has curtains is the bedroom, and that’s also the most furnished.  I mostly just moved my dorm stuff in there, and it looks good.  Even if I am sleeping under a twin comforter on a full sized bed.  I’m the only one sleeping in it anyway.

The most important part is my work desk.  That was in my dorm, too.  Can’t go anywhere without it.  I set it in the little bowed window, and I can look out on the big tree in the neighbor’s back yard while I work.  Kinda like living in a forest.  It’s one of those Victorian roll-top desks with a thousand cubbies for all my stones, seeds, pits, feathers, wires and things.

Picky-Picky has already gotten into a spat with the neighbor cat down the street.  I told her it isn’t fair of her because she turns on the super speed and the other cat doesn’t even have a chance.  She doesn’t seem to care.  In fact, she turned her upright tail to me when I was lecturing her and cleaned her face.  I get it, brat.  Now leave the neighbor cats alone.

So basically we’re right at home.

Categories: Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m New To This

Do I realy have anything to say?  That is the prime question.   Brian, my excellent husband, and I were talking the other night about ordinary.  He says that ordinary uptight people like us have no future as writers because we simply have nothing to say that is interesting.  We have no strange bohemian experiences to relate, no tales of being stranded, no stories of our travels.  When we have a day off from work (which is never) we go to Disneyland or the movies without fail, when we go to a resteraunt we order the same exact thing on the menu that we always have, and we’ve only ever traveled to see family.

I don’t believe that living an ordinary life bars you from having something to say.  There are plenty of authors that write about everyday life as most of us live it.  Garrison Keilor and Louisa May Alcott, for two.  Everyone has an opinion, everyone has relationships, and everyone has experiences that are worth while.  No matter where you live your life or how many things you’ve seen.  Lack of experience does not make you any less of a human, or your life any less meaningful. 

This Blog is intended as an experiment.  To see how long I have something to relate.  I think I can keep going for quite a while, but you never know.  I guess we’ll all find out.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.