My Life’s Mission Statement

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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.

Jess  *  Paige  *  Deelylah  *  Siobhan  *  Kris

Wordless Wednesday: Holidays at My House

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The holidays at my house look a lot like this…calm, serene…quiet. But if you look closer…

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Loki’s a little intense.
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Willow’s trying to get a good view of god knows what since there’s a curtain over that window.
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Kitsune’s just confused.
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Morrighan would like everyone to leave her the hell alone so she can take a nap in her happy place.

And me? I’d just like the tree to stay upright.

Be sure to check the other bloggers’ posts to see what the holidays look like at their house.

Jess  *  Paige  *  Gwen

Top 10: Gifts for Writers

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As usual, these are in no particular order, because why change now? Also, as a gift recipient, I think you’ll find I’m pretty easy to please.

10.) Books! Booooooooooooooooooooooooks!

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9.) Cool journals.

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8.) A new iPad with a keyboard case.

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7.) Washi tape! For important bullet journal needs.

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6.) A personal chef. Because I hate cooking. And it would leave me more time to watch Poldark write.

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5.) A self-cleaning house.

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4.) A head and neck massage. I really, really need one of these.

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3.) This bracelet from Etsy. I covet it. A lot.

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2.) Time. Glorious uninterrupted time.

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1.) Aidan Turner. I promise I’d take really good care of him. I’d feed him and make sure he got lots of exercise.

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Be sure to check the other bloggers’ posts to see what’s on their gift idea list.

Jess  *  Paige  *  Kris  * Gwen

 

Musical Musings: Last Song Heard, 1st Song Alphabetically on Device, Last Song Alphabetically on Device

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Yay for an easy blog post! I’ve been running around like mad trying to get everything done. It’s that time of year where I frantically try to make all of the presents. *sigh*

Someday, I’ll learn. This, however, is not the year.

So, without further ado, here’s  the song list.

The last song I heard was: Flaws (the live version) by Bastille.

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Alphabetically, the first song on my phone is: Albatross by Susan Mckeown and Chanting House.

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Alphabetically, the last song on my phone is: You Belong to Me covered by Kate Rusby.

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I think Paige is the only other blogger blogging this week, so be sure to check out her post, too.

Wordless Wednesday – Autumn Where I Live

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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.)

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Local apple orchard. 
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Farm near the orchard. 
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Autumn road. 
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Reflections in the pond. 
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Faery gold on the water. 
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That weird autumn light. 

Autumn roses in my mom’s garden. 

Changing leaves. 

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Changing colors under an autumn sky. 
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Peering through the reeds at Merlin’s Place. 
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Patchwork sky. 
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Secret woods.
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Autumn moon. 
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Homemade split pea soup. 
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The autumn survival kit: nebulizer, albuterol, inhaler, allergy pills, airborne, and Gypsy Cold Care tea. Oh, and Kitsune looking very concerned. 

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ photos of autumn where they live.

Jess * Gwen * Paige

 

What I Gained–or Lost–by Taking a Risk

This bird is my Patronus.

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.

Be sure to check out Jessica and Paige’s risky behavior, too.

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Where I Live

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It’s another edition of Wordless Wednesday, and as usual, mine will probably have words.

There are some things that piss me right off about Michigan, but the landscape isn’t one of them. No matter the season, it’s almost always freaking gorgeous. Here are what some of my favorite spots look like in summer.

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Northern shore of Lake Michigan. We had so much fun swimming in the waves.
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Lake Superior in Gay, Michigan
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Lake Superior in Eagle Harbor, Michigan
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Lake Superior in Gay, Michigan
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Lake Superior in Munising, Michigan
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Lake Superior at Whitefish Point, Michigan
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Sunset on South Manistique Lake in Curtis, Michigan
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Floatie parking on South Manistique Lake in Curtis, Michigan

As you may have guessed, I really like being by (and in) the water. I try to spend as much time by the water as possible in the summer–as long as I have my SPF Vampire handy, that is.

Be sure to check out the other blogger’s posts to see what summer is like where they live.

Jess * Gwen * Kris * Paige * Jessica