Friday, October 31, 2014

This is Halloween

Halloween isn't my favorite holiday.

I've always thought it was okay. Some years I even quite enjoy it. Other years? I really don't care all that much.

This week I came down with a nasty case of the sickies. Tonsillitis kind of puts a damper on any sort of a festive mood. Couple that with the fact that a) I couldn't come up with a costume that interested me and b) I am not going out tonight anyway, nor do I have any desire to do so, and Halloween is really just an excuse to eat candy and curl up with Chris and have him protect me during a scary movie.

Actually? Tonight is going to be pretty much perfect.

But this is Halloween and it's Friday and I have one last spooky story to share. I'm not sharing the spookiest of my stories. That one isn't really mine to share, and the details are kind of hazy these days. But trust me, it's a doozy.'s story goes back to the house I shared with Emily. The one with Peggy.

When I've talked about that house before, I only talked about the last days. The days when we had the house blessed and the couple of weeks of relative quiet afterward.

But things in that house were rarely quiet leading up to that day.

In fact, a LOT of things happened in that house.

Aside from the day we had the house blessed, though, there is one night in particular that stands out.

All three of us (Emily, Amy and I) were home. It was the middle of the night and everyone was asleep. I woke up. It was 2:30am and our basement apartment was pitch dark. I thought I could see shadows moving around in my bedroom, but decided it was the lack of light playing tricks on my eyes.

I had to go to the bathroom, so I hurried down the hall and was back quickly. But when I walked back into my room, I had the strongest feeling someone had just been there. I turned on the light, but everything looked fine. Nothing was disturbed. Everything was just as it should have been.

I turned off the light and climbed back into bed. Snuggled into my blankets and was just on the brink of falling back to sleep when suddenly, the blaring of my alarm clock shocked me awake. At 2:33 in the morning. I shut it off, turned the lights back on and checked out the clock to see if anything was amiss. Everything looked normal.

So I snapped off the light, climbed back into bed a little more spooked, but fine.

And then shadows started moving again and I convinced myself that I was seeing things.

And then the alarm on my watch went off. The alarm I had never been able to operate.

I shut it off, turned on the light, and left it on the rest of the night.

Man, that house was spooky.
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blog Tour: My Writing Process

This post was supposed to go up yesterday morning, but I've been battling the sickies all week and didn't even touch my computer from Monday until last night. Sigh. It's been rough. It's no fair having to use sick days for actual sickness. But that's the way it goes sometimes.

When it comes to blogging, the things I cherish most are the friendships I've been able to forge over. One of those friendships is with Miss Angie from My So-Called Chaos. She said some incredibly kind things about me in her own Blog Tour post. The post itself was great too, and you should all go read it.

So today I'm talking about my writing process. I think this post is more helpful for me than anyone else because it's actually forced me to really think about what I'm doing, what my goals are, and how the heck I'm going to achieve them.

What am I working on?

I've been writing a novel for the past five or so years. The same novel. It's finished, but I have been dragging my feet on the revisions and editing for a really long time. I don't know why. Am I afraid to finish it? Or am I just lazy? I think it's probably some combination of the two. The point is, I just need to finish editing the thing and then I can say, absolutely, that I wrote a book. And maybe, just maybe, one day I can say that that book is available at

How does my work differ from others in my same type/genre?

I don't know that I'd say my work is particularly different from others in my genre. It's a chick lit/romantic comedy type novel and those are a dime a dozen. What sets mine apart, I suppose, is that it's a story I haven't read before and it's {loosely} based on personal experience. But I think, like Angie said in her post, that there really isn't much out there that's different or all that unique. And yet, there's room for everyone. I hope.

Why do I write what I do?

I write what comes into my brain. I've dabbled in all different genres, from legal thriller to science fiction. Chick Lit feels like the right fit for me. But that doesn't mean I'll confine myself to only one genre if/when I become published. I like the idea of having a diverse collection of work that appeals to a lot of different types of readers.

How does your writing process work?

It's pretty simple, really. I write like crazy until I can't think straight. And then I stop working for 6-8 months, pick it back up again and work on it some more until I hit another snag, take another few months to work out the snag, and resume writing again. This is why I've been working on the same novel for five years. But I really think if I had a contract with a deadline, I would be much more disciplined. Not having consequences for not finishing allows my lazy inner procrastinator to have full control.

Blog Tour

And now it's my turn to pass this on and introduce you to a few of my very favorite bloggers and friends.

Emily from Emily's Thought Blog is one of my real-life best friends. She was one of my college roommates and is actually the person that inspired me to start a blog all those years ago. She's an amazing friend, a great mom and a fabulous writer. So I hope you'll take the time to get to know her.

Tayler from The Morrell Tale is someone I just recently met. We were matched up in a Bigs and Littles activity and it has been a blast getting to know her. I don't know how good of a Big Blog Sister I've been to her, because I'm pretty sure she's taught me WAY more than I've taught her. But she's awesome and go meet her.

Lauren from Lot 48 is a blog-friend-turned-real-life-friend. She is sweet and funny and talented and her faith is so inspiring to me. She's also a very talented writer and tells terrific stories. You really want to get to know Lauren. She's amazing.

So that's a little bit about my writing process and some of my favorite writing friends. I hope you'll stop by and see them!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Music Monday: Melody Road, a Review

I have a musical confession for you.

I kind of a little bit love the music of Neil Diamond.

I know.


But I can't help it. 

It's definitely my musical guilty pleasure.

So when the One 2 One Network gave me the opportunity to review his newest album, I jumped at the chance.

And I have to say, this is pretty standard Neil Diamond. Decent songs with decent lyrics. Nothing particularly spectacular, but then, he's never been particularly spectacular. There's just something so comfortable about turning on Melody Road and listening to songs that are at once new and, somehow, familiar.

The album was released last week, on October 21, and is available on iTunes and at Amazon. Fans of Neil Diamond won't be disappointed.

And you can check out one of the tracks right here:

I participated in the Neil Diamond Melody Road album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Flame-Throwing Squid, Gallery Walls, Introverts, Broken Backs, and Halloween Movies--The Weekly Round-Up

I haven't done this in a couple of weeks because life has been busy. But I'm back today with another round of some of my favorite posts from the week. Enjoy!

The Weekly Round-Up

NOOOPE.--Jenny Lawson of The Bloggess shared this creepy post about a flame-throwing giant squid attacking a Greenpeace submarine. Watch the video. It's creepy, but worth it.

How I updated my gallery wall for under $30--Kallie from But First Coffee shared this fabulous how-to on updating her gallery wall on the super cheap. I can't believe I didn't think of some of this stuff. Serious duh.

True Life: I Was an Introvert Raised as an Extrovert--Brenda from Don't Stop Believing wrote about her childhood as an extrovert. The only trouble is, she was really an introvert. I'm sure I'm not the only one who could totally relate to this post.

Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones: An Anniversary--Lisa Jakub wrote about the anniversary of the time she broke her back doing something seemingly inconsequential and how that experience taught her the value in small moments.

Top 20 Movies on My Halloween Watchlist--Miss Angie from My So-Called Chaos gave us a list of her favorite Halloween movies. Some of them I've seen and some of them are getting added to my Netflix queue STAT.

So...what have YOU been reading this week?? Join in and share!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

The Woman in Purple

It's almost Halloween!

And I have ANOTHER spooky true story for you.

I'm telling you, I have A LOT of these stories. They follow me. I'm like Carol Anne in Poltergeist, except without the adorable chipmunk cheeks and getting sucked into the television by a crazy old preacher man.

So a couple of weeks ago, I shared the story of The Attic. If you missed it, you should go back and read it. Seriously creepy.

Today I have another story that takes place in the same house.

Now, this particular house we lived in was one of those where doors would open on by themselves and the cat would get freaked out and run out of the room. We constantly heard footsteps going up and down the stairs.

One time, I was in bed, trying to sleep. The lights were off and it was quiet. And then I thought I heard someone walking. I definitely heard something fall off my dresser. And the next morning, a small trinket that had been on my dresser was mysteriously moved over to my desk.

But that's not the story I was going to tell.


No, instead I thought I'd regale you with one that happened to my brother.

One night, I was in my room, doing homework (hahahahahaha! Yeah right!) when my brother Marc came past my door, did a double take, and stopped.

"What are you doing up here?" he asked.

"I've been up here all night," I said.

"How did you get here so fast?"

"What are you talking about?"

"And why did you change clothes?"

Okay, now he REALLY had me confused.

It seems my brother had been downstairs in the kitchen, getting a glass of water. He rounded the corner into the living room and almost ran into someone he assumed was me. Except that it wasn't, because I was upstairs doing not homework.

There was no one else it could have been because everyone else in the house was sitting in the living room with my mom. She had a few friends over. Marc immediately went up the stairs, where he found me not hanging out downstairs waiting to be run into.

Now this is where it gets weird.

Marc said that the person he thought was me was wearing purple.

I about died.

Because I'd had dreams about a woman in a purple dress.

And once, when I was in the backyard, I thought I saw a woman wearing purple looking out of the window on the stairs.

AND that's not all.

YEARS LATER, I had this friend who claimed she could see spirits and stuff. I was never sure if she really could, but one night, she started telling me about an old woman who was always watching over me. And, you guessed it. She wore purple.

And guess what! I'm guest posting ANOTHER creepy story over at Tayler's blog today. Go check it out!

(I told you. I have A LOT of them.)

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Someone Like You

You remember that Adele song from a couple of years ago, "Someone Like You"?

I practically listened to this song on repeat for months.

Okay, there's no "practically" about it. I really did listen to it on repeat for months.

The song was released sometime after I'd gone through a particularly painful break up. It was a little TOO long after I'd gone through that break up and was still having a hard time with it. Still thinking that, somehow, some way, he'd realize the error of his ways and come back to me.

And then "Someone Like You" came along and I loved it and it was right around the time I was finally starting to move on.

So I would belt out that line, "Never mind, I'll find someone like you."

It became a mantra. I would find someone great because he would be just like That Other Guy. That guy who was so great and who(m?) I loved so much and everything was going to be perfect.

And no one came around.

I spent a lot of time being single.

I went on the occasional date, but there were no relationships.

Eventually, I became very comfortable in my singlehood. I could have stayed happily single forever. I was genuinely and truly at peace with my single self. There was no one to answer to. My schedule was always completely my own. My money was mine to spend however I wished. I could drop everything to take off for a weekend to visit Stacey in Dallas or run a half marathon in Utah or drive up the coast to see Marly. I could traipse off to Europe for two weeks and not worry about leaving anyone behind.

Life was good.

Except that someone came along.

Someone who was nothing like That Other Guy.

Someone who is, in every way, his superior.

I always thought I wanted someone like The Other Guy. It wasn't until I got comfortable in my own skin and with my own company that I opened myself up to the possibility of someone better.

And so, to Adele, and to anyone else who may be stuck in that mindset...don't sell yourself short by looking for someone like him (or her). Look for someone better. Because you deserve it.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Swapoween Goodness

I don't do a lot of swaps. Mostly because I'm the terrible swapper that ALWAYS ends up sending my package late and it is NEVER as awesome as the one I get.

So I usually don't do them.

But when it comes to Swapoween, I find I just can't resist.

And so I was partnered up with the awesome Christine from Life With a Side of Coffee for this year's Swapoween.

I put together a package of things I really thought she might like and sent it off almost completely on time.

(It would have been on time if it hadn't been for that pesky Columbus Day "holiday.")

And a couple of days later, a box showed up on my doorstep and I eagerly tore it open.

And when I tore it open, I laughed. Loud.

Now, when you look at the awesomeness of the package I received, you won't immediately understand why I laughed about it.

But the thing is, Christine and I must have been destined to be partners because we practically sent each other THE SAME PACKAGE.

Pumpkin Carving Kit? Check.

Halloween Funfetti Cake Mix? Check.

Halloween candy? Check, check, check.

She also included some other fun stuff, like Halloween straws and cupcake cups. And she sent more candy than I did.

But basically? We're two peas in a pod. I think we were destined to be friends.

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