If you’re looking for the most recent Top 10 List, flash fiction story, or just the latest randomness from yours truly–including the Boho Barbie’s Dream Bath update, please join me here. I’ve combined the blog with my website to keep everything in one place–lest I get more distracted than I already am!
Okay, so I don’t know how exciting this is going to be for anyone, but my bathroom is on my mind. Constantly. There is so much drama in there right now, I’m having a hard time focusing on anything else.
Let me explain.
We live in a pretty old house. It was built in 1927, and it’s very much a product of its time. This is it from the back. I have no idea why there are no pics from the front. But I’m not going outside now. It’s cold.
Also, Jenny Trout refers to it as a “witch’s cottage”. Whatever, Trout.
So, as you can see, it’s a 91-year old house. And like most 91-year olds, things tend to start falling apart. Like my toilet that’s leaking into the basement. And my bathroom sink that’s also leaking into my basement.
The short version of this frustrating story is that both the toilet and sink are irreparable and need to be replaced.
Our bathroom is super teeny-tiny. I mean really small.
The slightly longer version is that I am a bargain hunting goddess–which is impressive since I loathe shopping.
But, we got a recommendation on a good toilet. It was $80 bucks–but then we saw it had a $30 rebate. Score!
We went to one of those places that salvages usable pieces and parts from old houses and found a porcelain sink that’s likely from the 30s and is in mint condition for $12! <–that is not a typo!
However, it’s a basin sink. This means what little counter space we had is gone. so, my husband is going to build a new base for the sink to sit in. And I’m going to go to the University of YouTube and learn how to tile and grout a new countertop and backsplash with these glass tiles that I found for $24.
And, of course, we’ll need to paint. So, the cream is for the walls, and the siesta dreams (4th one down) is for the cupboards and wainscoting. $50 (plus there’s a percentage off rebate, but math…)
These are my lovely $20 glass reproduction knobs.
And my $25 shower curtain.
Project total? $195
EDIT: I just found these gorgeous antique tiger’s eye glass door knobs on Etsy for $14.95. But I had a giftcard from my mom, so…free!
And here’s the best part of all. Hiding under the hideous, fugly linoleum are these gorgeous turn of the century porcelain hex tiles! Clearly, we have a lot of glue and backing to scrape off, but it’ll be worth it!
I’m now referring to this project as Boho Barbie’s Dream Bathroom.
I’ll post pics when we’re done!
Now, go check out what the other bloggers are dumping.
Hmmm… I guess I never really thought of individuals having personal mission statements, but let’s go with it.
I write because I have these stories in my head, filled with quirky, delightful people I adore (and some that I super loathe – looking at you, Nigel) and I want to know how their stories end. I share them with you because I want to give us both an escape hatch into other lives because I not only need a break from reality, but I also need hope, and I figure you might, too. Sometimes life can be pretty depressing, and I want to create worlds where, even if it’s a struggle getting there, good prevails over evil, and love wins–and wins fucking hard. Ultimately, I guess I just want to make the world a little better–even if it’s only temporary and make people smile.
Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ statements.
It’s not quite the 25th, but it’ll be here before we know it. And, even though I’m writing this post early, if I know me (and by now, I’m familiar with my work) I’ll still be frantically making all the presents when this post goes live.
But, it’s been a rough year–full of fear, disgust, horror, loss, and so much more. But it’s also been a year of resilience, ferocity, strength, and love. So, this holiday season, and this coming year, I’m wishing for so many things for all of you and those you care about. I’m wishing you all the love your hearts can hold, peace and contentment that settles around you like a warm blanket, so much laughter and smiling that your cheeks and stomach ache a little, good health, excellent healthcare coverage, safety, security, and acceptance.
I hope that no matter which holidays you celebrate, or even if you celebrate none, that your hearts are full and and happy and that all of your dreams come true.
Okay, so…three writing career wishes…what would I wish for…
- To make enough off my writing to support myself and my family–some bestsellers would be great.
- To have time to write all of the stories I want to tell and to tell them to the very best of my ability.
- To have multiple annual writing retreats all over the world so I could hang with all of my friends and continue to grow as an author.
What three wishes would you want a genie to grant you?
I’m thankful for a lot of things, so let’s get to it.
I’m thankful I don’t have to cook Thanksgiving dinner (other than fancy green bean casserole). Because I really hate to cook (but green bean casserole is easy). And tasty. But I do get to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Which is great because I like to eat.
I’m thankful for my amazing family–both immediate and extended. These are the most amazing, hilarious, loving and supportive people on the planet. And despite our wild differences, we’re incredibly close and I love them so much.
I’m thankful for my friends–my family of the heart. I’m so lucky to have these amazing people in my life. Without their love, encouragement, creativity, silliness, support, acceptance, understanding, honesty, strength, and therapy I wouldn’t be the mostly functioning person I’m attempting to be.
I’m especially thankful for my husband and kids. They’re the pieces of my heart that live outside my body. Sometimes, they’re lucky to continue living… *strangle strangle strangle* but I wouldn’t trade any of them – even when they drive me nuts.
I’m also thankful to have cats. They’re warm and cuddly little assholes. But I love them. And they make me laugh. Even if they do run away with my knitting needles.
And finally, I’m thankful to and for every person who reads this blog whether it’s the super rando flash fic, the stock photo rants, or the personal milestones and fuckery of life–whatever you’re here for, I’m thankful for you. And I’m thankful to all of you who read my books, too. I appreciate that more than I can adequately express. It’s a gift to be able to do what I love best, and I’m so incredibly grateful.
Dear Stock Art Sites and Photographers who Sell Their Work There,
What are you even thinking?
No, really. I mean that in all seriousness.
What the actual merciless fuck is the matter with you?
Have you seen some of the weird shit that ends up on royalty-free photo sites?
Look, I get it. Not everyone who uses your site is trying to find appropriate looking models or images for cover art and promo for books. I realize that a lot of pop psychology articles and/or think pieces feature a good many of your photos. As do myriad advice columns, and blog posts (including yours truly) but dudes, I’m mostly there for photos that my brilliant cover artist can turn into cover art for my books. Honestly, a lot of people are there for that reason. So, we need to talk. There are some things you guys need to cut the fuck back on.
Unless you’re new here, you won’t be surprised to learn that I have a list of things
that annoy me we’d all like to see a lot less of. So, let’s begin, shall we?
Why are there so many photos of people taking selfies and/or using phones in inexplicably weird ways? Yes, I’m aware that many think pieces have been written about people’s selfie fixation. Then, there are the memes and bitchy, self-righteous facebook posts. The people making memes are usually using actual selfies, not stock art. And while I have no problem with people taking selfies, (Do it up! I wish I had that skill.) as far as the stock art goes, literally no one needs hundreds of pages of photos of people taking selfies. No. One.
While we’re on the topic of phones, I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the plethora of photos of people talking on their cell phone at weird and unlikely times.
If you really want to show people using their cellphones in their natural habitat, there would be page after page of people sitting on the toilet chatting or playing Words with Friends while waiting in a school parking lot for their kids.
While we’re on the topic of people doing inexplicably weird things whilst on the phone, we need to talk about the preponderance of Santa hat photos. No really. There are so many. Like…a terrifying amount. I mean, I like the holidays as much as the next person, but the sheer volume of models in Santa hats makes literally no sense. You guys, there are thousands.
Another common stock art standard is the thumbs up pose. I picked this one because Santa hat. (See? They’re everywhere.) Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to use the thumbs up pose sarcastically. Like when my husband asks me how the story’s coming.
But all the people on the stock art sites seems so damn earnest in their thumbs up giving. Why? Why are you people so earnest about it? Is the photographer blackmailing you? Is that what’s going on here? Are you signaling for help? (Oh, and the selfie douche? Scroll back up – he’s also giving the thumbs up. What the hell, man?)
In keeping with the technology theme, I’d like to address headphones. You find a model that you’d really like on a book cover (not this guy) and bam! giant headphones lousing up your cover art vibe.
Look, I like being outside. I even like working outside. However, you can’t sit in direct sunlight and expect to be able to see anything on your screen. Also, what the fuck is with this guy. Have you even computered before, dude?
There are also an alarming amount of pictures of women posing “seductively” with their blowdryers. I am…not sure what’s happening here. Or why. But I do know that I’m profoundly uncomfortable.
Also, please stop with the stupid hats that ruin otherwise cute-ish photos that could work for cover and promo art. Just lose the damn hats. They’re ruining everything.
See? This kid knows the pain of a bad hat.
We need to talk about all the hearts. They’re everywhere on stock art sites. Paper hearts. Puffy hearts. Dough hearts. Rock hearts. Balloon hearts. They’re like a flea infestation in a dairy barn. Weirdly, the majority of the hearts are hiding people’s faces. What does that mean? And why are so many people hiding behind hearts? I need someone to explain the psychology of this to me.
Please just stop already with the hearts.
Apropos of nothing, what is with nearly every couple having a Jack and Rose pose on stock art sites?! That shit needs to stop.
While we’re talking “romantic” images, what the hell is it with one partner looking really into it, but the other one looks…
Speaking of couples, are these two about to get it on in their kid’s preschool classroom?! What the actual merciless fuck are we supposed to get from this photo besides a deep sense of discomfort and shame?
Speaking of kink…
I would very much like someone to explain the absolutely baffling fuckery of this photograph.
Tiny apartment sized ironing board? Check.
Itty bitty travel iron? Check.
Portrait of judgmental cat? Check.
Late 80s bridal lingerie? Check.
Dude with sardonically arched eyebrow and buttchin? Check and check.
WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE????
Then…there’s this. I have zero words for this super low-budget ren faire photo, and that’s coming from someone who actually enjoys ren faires.
I could go on for pages about stock art.
And probably days.
No, I could definitely go on for days. There are just so many inexplicable photos there. Which stock art photos baffle you the most?
Autumn, in Michigan, is stunningly gorgeous. And it’s my favorite season. Though, there are days that I’m not sure why, since every year, it actively attempts to murder me. (All photos taken by me.)
Autumn roses in my mom’s garden.
Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ photos of autumn where they live.
Right now, I think we can all agree that the world is a pretty shitty place. There’s so much unrest and misery everywhere we look, and honestly, sometimes, it’s so overwhelming, I don’t know where to put the time and energy I have available into fixing it. I know a lot of the people I talk to feel the same way. So, I’d like to share a low-effort, impactful way you can help at least one group of people.
In August, I went to the Rust City Book Con, and I was lucky enough to meet Marie Piper. She’s a fabulous author, and all around awesome person. She’s also part of a project that’s raising money for Chicago-area charities who provide services for area’s homeless population.
Winter is coming, and winter in Chicago is absolutely brutal. Marie and eight other authors donated their time and talents (as did the cover artist) to put together a spooky anthology that releases on October 17th. All proceeds are going the above mentioned charities.
I just bought my copy. I hope you’ll pick up a copy, too. Every little bit helps, so I hope that you’ll help R. Diamond, Harley Easton, Gregory L. Norris, Randi Perrin, CM Peters, Marie Piper, S.B. Roark, Sienna Saint-Cyr, and Katey Tattrie help the Chicago-area homeless.
A shadow at the window…A creak in the floorboards…
The air is getting colder and the leaves are beginning to change. Halloween is just around the corner. This October, let R. Diamond, Harley Easton, Gregory L. Norris, Randi Perrin, CM Peters, Marie Piper, S.B. Roark, Sienna Saint-Cyr, and Katey Tattrie give you the shivers with HAUNT, a collection of nine brand-new and wide-ranging tales of haunted dwellings.
Roommates by Katey Tattrie
Redemption Hill by Randi Perrin
By Tethers Bound by S.B. Roark
The B Room by CM Peters
Error by R. Diamond
The Shut-In by Gregory L. Norris
Jessie by Marie Piper
Possessed by Sienna St. Cyr
People who live in Glass Sanitoriums by Harley Easton
*All proceeds from HAUNT will go to Chicago-area charities that provide services for the homeless population.*
Available October 17th, 2017 via Amazon.
For more information, visit Marie Piper
So, I’m not really big on risk-taking, really. I like to be comfy. I like warm sweaters and toasty slippers. I like cwtching up under blankets and reading books. I like tea and toast. I like rainy autumn days.
I guess I’m basically a hobbit. I think that explains everything, because I also like second breakfast. And elevensies.
But anyway, like I said, I’m not into risks. Which isn’t to say I haven’t done stupid things that were also risky. But typically, I only realize the risks after I escape certain death. (Crossing the Mackinac Bridge about 45 minutes before the poor driver of the Yugo was blown over the side in her car, hiking on the rock formation that makes up Devil’s Wash Tub on a high wind/heavy wave day, driving through a stretch of road that Lake Superior was in the process of washing out at the time. All risks–all stupid as fuck because I am so, so bad at math.)
But, I guess I’ve also taken some intentional risks, though they’ve mostly been the emotional kind. Like this whole writing gig. No, not all of my books are written from personal experiences–I’m not out banging ghosts or lesser known Celtic deities, or killing vampires, or dealing with bad tempered Scottish authors who look like Aidan Turner. Though, I’d totally sign up for that one. But I think there are always elements of every writer in the stories they tell. I think that someone who knows me decently could easily pick out the bits and pieces of me that end up in any given character.
A lot of writers have a cool public persona. I hate to disappoint anyone, but I’m not one of them. What you see is what you get. Mostly, because I don’t have the time or energy to cultivate anything else. You either like me or you don’t. And that’s absolutely fine. I don’t imagine that I’m everyone’s cup of tea, and I’m okay with that. After all, not everyone is my cup of tea, either. But it is a bit of a risk to put myself, my feelings, my opinions, my whatever, out here like this on the regular.
But here’s the the thing, even though sometimes I feel awkward and exposed and self-conscious, the benefits outweigh the risks. Depending on the prompt and what I’m motivated to write about on any given day, some posts end up working as an online journal. Some posts end up being therapy where I learn new things about myself/life/etc. And some posts end up forging connections and friendships, and those are things that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
If I hadn’t taken the risk to pursue publication and put myself out here, awkward weirdness and all, I never would have met so many of my fantabulous friends. Absolutely amazing people that I only get to see once or twice a year. Some even less than that. Some that I haven’t met IRL yet, and some I may never meet physically. But these are all people who are very dear to me, and I’m grateful for all of you.
Being oneself as unapologetically as possible isn’t always comfortable, but the risks are more than worth it when the result is the friendship and camaraderie of some of the best people I’ve ever encountered. In addition to a career that I love, I got a tribe that I love just as much, if not more. No, more. Writing wouldn’t be half as much fun without you. So, I’ll probably continue to do stupid shit and realize later it was risky, but I’ll also keep on taking this particular risk. The gains are too great not to.