Brief Humor & Check-Ins

New Seasons: Writing & Life Updates

We put away the last of our Christmas decorations today, tree included. Out came Valentine’s Day. New seasons; new changes. Sparkly red hearts, red garland, and heart decals. You pack each Christmas item away carefully, holding the ornaments and tinsel, wondering how your life will be different when you go to unpack them in eleven months. Or at least I do. Time is a complicated, strange thing.

Writing wise, I finished a novella recently, titled The Cellar Door. This started as a short story and developed into a feminist horror tale, set in post-war England in the early 1950s. The main character, Alice, popped into my head one day. I saw her standing by a window, half hidden by a brown curtain, looking outside to a dreary, overcast England. She was in deep thought, with shadows flickering across her eyes. Fellow writer and blogger, Mike Nevin, helped me get the English dialogue and speech right for the English characters and provided other valuable (and patient) feedback, including historical photos and documents. Fingers, toes and elbows crossed that a publisher scoops it up and gives it a big hug. If you know of any good publishers or agents wanting horror novellas, let me know.

Exercise wise: I have biked 75 miles so far this month on my indoor bicycle. It’s a goal of mine this year to take better care of myself and this is one way I do it–clear the cobwebs of my mind and body through pedaling. I have an iFit membership which I’ve found marvelous for this introvert. I tend to put on closed captions to follow along with the trainer, and listen to instrumental music.

Music wise: I’ve been listening to a lot of My Chemical Romance (the Helena acoustic is beautiful and haunting) , Taylor Swift (Anti Hero has beautiful vulnerability), Green Day (love this instrumental of 21 Guns), 21 Pilots (Chlorine) and some other goodies (Lord Huron, Sharon Van Etten, whatever I come across). I downloaded a self-care app recently and one goal I picked was to listen to a song I like every day. Voila.

Spiritual wise: I’ve been doing my daily Bible reading and journaling, and catching-up when I miss days. I have a difficult time reading the OT–it’s an honest depiction of the fall of humanity and the cultural context and history sometimes passes high above my head. It’s both frustrating and saddening. Figures like Jacob, Rachel, and Abraham run past me, saying this and that, doing this, not doing that–and I struggle to piece it together in my 21st century mind. But with patience and effort, and God’s grace, I trust He’ll guide me through this. 2022 was a very difficult year for the Saint and I. I am clinging to Jesus’ robes to continue in strength and faith, and to make changes in 2023. He is with me; He is with us.

Hope you are all well and continue to pursue your own writing goals and journey. For any readers in Ukraine, I am thinking of you and continuing to fly your flag. Take care and God bless.

Brief Humor & Check-Ins

The Sublime Art of Falling on One’s Face (Humor)

I tend to ask a lot of questions. I like to poke at things and ask why things are done the way they’re done. I turn contraptions of our society upside down, walk around them hemming and hawing, chewing and spitting out the occasional sunflower seed, and even kick at the tires. In effect, I make people nervous. Especially those silly people who follow rules and leaders blindly. They’ve never learned any 20th century history, most likely.

I’ll stare at rules, laws, meeting agendas, policies, handbooks…anything I’m presented with really, as it’s all fair game for the mind to tackle. I’ll ask for guidance on next steps; ask for the big picture from A-Z. I’ll bend down, check out their undercarriages, peer at them suspiciously, ask them who their leader is while throwing up a Spock hand signal. I’ll chew gum and blink; see if it blinks back in Morse code asking for help and mercy. And then, eventually, I’ll ask the question that has toppled empires, dethroned monarchs, and even stopped people from enjoying their ice cream before it melts on a hot summer day: “Why?” In essence, I can thin your patience quicker than a locomotive running over a shiny penny. Choo choo!

I did this recently with a work task I was assigned; I was volun-told to be the hiring coordinator for an interviewing committee. Swish, swish– the questions went out through the gate faster than Greyhounds chasing the Easter bunny. I watched through my webcam as people’s smiles twitched and their patience frayed like a 1930’s pair of Levi jeans. Eventually I did what I do in awkward situations–I fell on the sword. I said “I know I’m probably driving you nuts with all my questions.” Oh, that was the pebble holding back the Hoover Dam. And over I fell–splat!

The act of falling on your face can be seen as an art. Sure, you’ll look stupid–you might even find’s someone half chewed gum on the floor stuck to your cheek. But the knowledge gained–the conversations to be had with the ants found on the ground. The funny way people look when you’re staring up at them, as they stare at you like a constipated bull frog. It’s a true experience, not likely to be forgotten. And eventually, someone helps you up, dusts off your disheveled hair, and says “Job well done; thank you for your work today.” You see–all those questions paid off, eh?

And then you can lolly-skip your way back home, ice cream and ant farm in tow. Now you’re free. You’re free to ask questions of the seagulls, the sky, animals and God–especially God. So shout it loud, shout it proud–I am a questioner. And I sometimes fall on my face doing it.

Cheers and happy writing.

Novel Updates

Update on GOTD: Maniacal laughter

Over Christmas break, I finished writing GOTD, my second horror novel. I am in the process now of tidying up the last third of it, smoothing out some wrinkles, and sweeping up some dust that escaped into the corners. But by and large, it is done. I hear the angels singing from on high…

If you know of any good agents/publishers looking for a spoopy tale, please drop me a message and let me know. I am going to try the traditional route this time. Prayers and encouragement are also appreciated for this bumbling human as she continues along this journey of writing and life. They will be returned in full.

Also, my thanks to Mr. Mike Nevins for reading drafts of GOTD and providing great feedback and also encouragement. He’s a writer as well and I encourage you to check out and follow his blog. It’s full of funny, and often insightful tales.

Cheers and happy writing to you all. May we all keep being encouragers to one another.