My Goals for March

Time for a new slice of curious life!

Yes, in my quest to be the most interesting person in the world (or at least in my own household), I have a new category that I am going to add to this blog: ACHIEVEMENTS!
And no, I don’t mean like recognition from other people for all the hard work I’ve done over the years——pffftt, can’t even finish that sentence without laughing. I mean, like, personal achievements, goals met, that sort of thing. You play Xbox, yes? Yes? So you know I’m talking about Xbox Achievements, right? Right?

Here, have a Wikipedia article to get you up to speed: click here! And here’s a quote from said page! Look here:

“In video gaming parlance, an achievement, also sometimes known as a trophy, badge, award, stamp, medal or challenge, is a meta-goal defined outside of a game’s parameters. Unlike the systems of quests or levels that usually define the goals of a video game and have a direct effect on further gameplay, the management of achievements usually takes place outside the confines of the game environment and architecture.[1] Meeting the fulfillment conditions, and receiving recognition of fulfillment by the game, is referred to as unlocking the achievement.”

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. And man, do I really love that definition. Meta-goals defined outside of a game’s parameters… These goals that I am hoping to achieve are like playing Life outside of the normal daily quests. What are daily quests? Hoo boy…maybe I should put a gaming tag on this…For example, my usual daily “quests” are as follows: brush the dog, dress the child, make dinner, do the dishes, etc. It’s like the normal upkeep for normal living, or something like that.

But these achievements are meant to be something more. Something not entirely necessary to life, but that will enhance it! So without further ado:
My March Achievements *insert big dramatic orchestra music here*:

1) Finish  my online Mindfulness Course
2) Throw a dinosaur birthday party for my daughter
3) Join the April A-Z Blogging Challenge
4) Commit to and make a cabin for Camp Nano
5) Become a better dog owner (start the 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog book)
6) Finish taking notes on my Library Books
7) Do Story Sketches 3 times a week.

As you can see, it’s a rather varied list, but trust me, I narrowed it down from even more ridiculous things. And I will make sure and keep this blog updated with my progress, don’t you worry. And I’ll explain a little bit about the topics as I get to them…whoo, commitment, yeah! But for now, it’s just enough to just make the goals. I mean, achievements. Stick to your own words, Christine…

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What achievements are you setting for yourself this month? Or have you reached them already, you glorious over-achiever-type cool person? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to support you/gaze jealously at you from afar!

Getting Back to It

Here’s a shortish list of everything I’ve been doing besides blogging for the last few months:

Celebrating Halloween
Celebrating Thanksgiving
Attempting Nanowrimo 2015
Throwing my dog a birthday party
Celebrating Christmas
Making New Year’s Resolutions
Lounging
Daydreaming
Watching the birds
Fighting the good fight against never-ending household chores
Just plain nothing

 

Yeah…I’ve been gone for a bit. But enough about the past. Let’s talk about the present.

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I have actually been quite busy lately, but busy in my own way. Random library books, documentaries, general parenting, and, y’know, stuff. But I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug recently and would like to give it another go. I don’t like to question my urges; I just ride them out until the next one comes along.

Since deciding that I wanted to blog again, I’ve done a lot of thinking about why I want to blog, and what this blog is supposed to be, and its purpose in my life, and a bunch of other silly thought exercises, but right now, I don’t think all that deep thinking matters. At least it doesn’t matter to you, Dear Reader a.k.a. Random Cool Person. Maybe someday I’ll nail down a topic for this blogthing, or try to fit it into a profitable-type theme, or maybe I won’t. What matters is that I have this little piece of the internet, so why not experiment with it a bit?

In the forecast for next week: Random curiosities, my attempt to be a more interesting person, and lots and lots of run-on sentences. Until then, let’s agree to have a magical weekend that’s worth writing about, shall we?

In Which I Answer Random Questions From a Friendly Stranger

(Guys! Guys! I’ve officially fixed my August Blues! I’ve successfully made some goals this month thanks to my Nano Cabin, my husband, my messy house, and dog faces. How have these things changed me? Tune in next time, same-ish time, same-ish week to hear the thrilling conclusion!

And now for something completely different!)

The very pleasant deviantdaydream nominated me for an award awhile back, and I’m finally getting around to it. It’s the Sisterhood of the World award, and it comes with questions for me to answer! Yay for me not having to come up with things all by myself! These questions are from deviantdaydream herself, so here I go!

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1. Morning bird or night owl?

That, dear friends, is a complicated question, although it didn’t used to be. A younger self would say “Night Owl” with a cheery, dreamy look in her eyes, all innocent and free from the responsibilities of adult life. Present Me scoffs at Past Me, as she wonders if 9pm is too early to go to bed.

To be truthful, I never thought I could love the morning. I always felt more alive and productive at night, and never had any problems staying up past the midnight hour. But now that I have a kid and stuff to do during the day, I’ve had to make the change. Fun little fact for you non-parents out there: children don’t sleep in. Which means you won’t either. Ever.

But you know what? It hasn’t been that bad. I now successfully get up at 5:30am nearly every day, 6:00am at the latest, to do this whole writing thing before my household wakes up. Past Me still can’t fathom it and wants to state that she has an evening soul, whatever that means.

2. Favourite food?

All of them. Like, really, I just love food so much. I wish I didn’t, but we can’t change who we are, can we? *innocently ignores the previous answer*

Some of my favorites include taco salad, chicken strips, chips and salsa/nachos and cheese, pickles, cold leftover pizza, spaghetti, and chocolate everything. Yes, I do hate dieting, why do you ask?

3. What’s your favourite season?

Yay, an easy question! My favorite season, hands down, no comparison, is Autumn. I am in love with it. In fact, other than friends and family, it’s the thing I miss most about the Midwest. I love the changing of the trees, and the nip in the air as things turn chilly. I love wearing hoodies and jeans. I love seeing piles of crunchy leaves on the lawn. I love Halloween and just everything about it. I love going to an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch and going on hayrides. I really just love the whole season, which sadly doesn’t exist in the desert. I think the trees in the mountains change colors, but it’s just not the same.

4. Favourite movie?

And back to the hard questions. I am not a movie-person, but there are some I like…but to declare a favorite? That’s a bit too difficult. Here’s a list instead:

Wall-E, The Incredibles, Iron Man, The Brothers Bloom, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, How to Train Your Dragon, and I’m sure there are others but I just can’t think of them…Notice all of these movies are older, because I’ve really stopped watching movies in the last few years (I make an exception for Marvel movies, because they are just too much fun not to watch.)

5. Favourite book?

Again, too difficult:

The Phantom Tollbooth (I think I had this book checked out of the library for an entire summer in my youth. I remember my dad would return it for me, and I would ride my bike back to the library the next day to check it out again.)

Speak and Catalyst, both by Laurie Halse Anderson

anything Stephen King, especially his short stories

I would have a longer list, but my personal library is currently in storage across the country, so I can’t go cheat and look’em up.

6. Best memory?

Pft. How in the world would I even begin to choose? Um…

-picking mulberries in my grandma’s backyard

-Reading books while sitting in the fork of a tree at my other grandmother’s house

-Meditating by a lake during summer camp

-riding my bike with my golden retriever running alongside me by the river

-all the freakin’ times my daughter has done something new and adorable and has made me tear up with tears of motherly joy at totally inopportune times

-going to my first anime convention with my best friends and we did a group cosplay that was super-cool like you don’t even know

-Trekking around Chicago, just me and my husband (can’t remember if we were married at the time), seeing the sights, wearing Converse sneakers because the Doctor wore them (David Tennant for life!). First trip on our own, first time on a public bus/subway/taxi, first time riding the train back to home.

-Everything in college: writing fanfiction after my more responsible roommate went to bed, playing my electric guitar on the steps outside my dorm, late-night winter walks with a warm hoodie for company, going to the cafeteria late so I could call my bestie every day during lunch

-Taking a road trip down to Augusta, Georgia to see my husband while he was in his army training. Drove a 13 hour roadtrip all by myself without stopping at a hotel and super-enjoyed it.

-And, more recently, taking my very first trip to Arizona. I flew all by myself (my first time on a plane ever), successfully navigated a layover, rented a car for the first time, drove across the desert for three hours, spent a week with my hubby who was already here, then flew back to Chicago to catch a train back home. Again, to reiterate, I crossed the country all by myself…In hindsight, it was probably a good way to become a missing person, but I made it! The scariest part was riding the subway and walking to the train station in the dead of night in Chicago.

7. How do you relax?

Hmm, how do I relax? I’ve been having a bit of trouble with being stressed out lately, so this is a good question for me right now. Back home, I really enjoyed walking on trails and such, but here it’s not really safe to do that alone (too many desert things that want to kill you all the freakin’ time). For bedtime, I have a sleep playlist that I made to help zone me out. I also really enjoy lying on the ground, like in the grass at a park or something (again, not something I can easily do here because the grass is not as soft, and laying out in the sun will cook me).

For just a get-away sort of feeling, video games have always been my go-to. Or shopping trips with friends usually work pretty well.

8. Why did you get into blogging?

I guess I thought it was cool?

Actually, once I decided to give this whole writer-thing a go, it was a pretty easy decision. Writers write, and I wanted a place where I could connect with future readers and write a little bit more informally. Plus it gives me a place to write about whatever topic I want to for no reason at all.

9. Most used app on your phone?

Hmm, let me look. *Gets out aging smartphone that is in its death throes*

Other than social media, I use a very pretty Digital Timer app for my writing sprints, Writeometer to remind me to write, MyFitnessPal for whenever I’m feeling like being healthy, and Cracked.com’s app, because I like funny and informative articles. Yep, pretty boring, but my phone is 3 years old and not doing superwell right now, so I don’t do much heavy lifting on it.

My tablet has my kindle app and all my games on it, but those are my mobile time-wasting shame games which are to never be shared, so too bad! You will never know how many stupid pet games and village-builders I play, mwahaha!

10. If you had 1 million pounds, what would you do with it?

Well, first I’d convert it to dollars, unless I was taking some crazy extravagant European trip, in which I would probably convert it to Euros (I think? I really have little understanding of the world, don’t judge! Ok, you can judge a little, I should know better by now.)

In my real life, I would do stupid normal stuff with it. I would pay off my debts, pay off my cars, possibly buy a new one (nothing crazy though. Probably a standard SUV/crossover thing). I would want to buy a house because renting kinda sucks a lot. I would make sure that my new house had a dedicated office room so that I could “go to work” and still stay at home. I would set aside money for my daughter to go to college. Perhaps I would get my hair colored, buy a new wardrobe, I don’t know. I’ve lived off a very tight budget for years, so spending a lot of money does not sit well with me. I would probably throw most of it in the bank until I thought of a decent way to use it (or maybe invest it, so it will grow, something responsible.)

In my fantasy life, I would go buy and stable a horse and all its accessories and take riding lessons so I could go on whimsical horse adventures. I would also take a train trip around the Western/Northern US. And probably get my daughter into some sort of preschool so I could have more time to write. Wow, don’t my exciting ideas just blow you out of the water?

Thanks for making it this far! Sorry those answers were so long-winded; I think I’m trying to compensate for not writing an article of any quality in such a long time. Luckily, that will be changing soon, so please stick around, won’t you? And thanks again to deviantdaydream for nominating me for this award! She is currently blogging her epic goal-setting summer on her site and she is doing much more interesting things than I am, so go check her out!

Have a great day, all you friendly faces!

-Christine B.

Free-Writing Is the Only Option

Free-writing. I know I mentioned in a previous post that I really hate free-writing. It’s true, I do. But right now, I have a longing, and the only way I know to get it out of me is to free-write. Every writer has to eat their words once in awhile, right?

I really missed blogging yesterday. It felt so strange to not being putting up a blog post after spending the entirety of last month worrying about it on a daily basis. Instead of feeling a sweet relief of not being pressured, I felt like I was disconnected from my blog, like it was being thrown away already. Weird, right? I have multiple other quality posts that are semi-written and that I could’ve worked on for today, but I missed the personal connection. I’ve taken to being obsessed with staying up to date on my reader, as some of you may have noticed as I stalked your blogs. I don’t know why I am doing this. Living vicariously, I suppose?

So I think I’m still going to be writing a post a day. I’m not sure whether I will publish said posts, but my brain now seems to accept that blogging is a part of my life now. And all because of a 30 Day Challenge that I made up for myself. Sheesh, brain, why you be so cray?

In other news, Camp Nano started yesterday and so far, so good. I’m impressed with my cabin’s output already and so glad I made the cabin. I don’t think I’ll ever go into a random cabin again. Everyone is very encouraging and we seem to be spread out during the day so that usually someone’s on all the time. My cabin is better than yours is what I’m hinting at (ha, no, no, I don’t mean that, probably 🙂 )

My project is going well too. I’m doing a rewrite of last year’s Nano draft, and I love it so far. It’s so much better than the original. Also, the story has completely changed so I don’t think there’s much I can salvage from those original 50k words, but that’s life. I’m chalking it up to being one hell of a writing exercise.

So that’s that. Wow, I feel so much better now. Again, I don’t know if I will be posting all my ramblings daily anymore, but at the very least I’m going to be writing them. If simply to keep me sane.

Anyone else have crazy thoughts of blogging madness? Or think their cabin is better than mine? Sound off below!

The Trouble with Networking

Networking. It’s a word that has always made me shudder in the past. My husband used to go to a networking group back when he sold insurance, and it looked like torture. Go to a meeting of total strangers, introduce yourself and what you are doing with your life and hope they’ll like it? No thanks. But he loved it. He loved meeting new people and talking about products and ideas from a different perspective. He loved making connections and learning about other people’s passions. I respected his opinion, but knew I could never do it. Until recently, that is.

Ever since I have decided to get serious about my writing, I have voluntarily spent large amounts of my free time on networking. And I don’t mean I’m trying to sell my work or anything, but just simply meeting new people who have a similar interest and finding out more about this crazy industry. During my vacation last week, I actually spent the better part of a day just looking around at blogs and twitter accounts, meeting other people. I never ever thought that little old hermit me would actually want to meet new people, but I did it without thinking about it. And it’s been nice.

What’s the problem with all this? Time. All my time spent making new online aquaintances has robbed me of my writing time, which is the whole reason I started networking. I now spend more time trying to keep up on what’s happening with everyone that I haven’t written anything for myself for a few weeks now. And since actually writing is kind of important to a writer, I have found myself in a conundrum.

The answer I have found for this is moderation. I dearly love this new venture I’ve started, but my first true love is calling me back. I’m making plans to be better organized next month and am truly excited to start balancing my life a little better. At the same time, I am glad that I spent these last two months meeting so many great people. It was worth it to see how others are living, how their passions work, and what this whole blogging thing is all about. I look forward to making this summer be something I’ll remember the rest of my life, and I hope to see you be a part of it. Happy Writing!

Apologies

I owe you an apology. I have really not been putting my normal amount of effort into my work this week. I have been in a daze, swept away by the mundane. I have spent time running from one thing to another without taking the time to appreciate life. Everything has turned into a chore this week, even the things I love. It’s an unfortunate side effect of being human.

A Relient K song sums it up best:

Cause if I’m restless
Then why do I
I want nothing but to rest my soul

And I don’t get this and I know why
You see sometimes things are just beyond control

But fear not! I am hopefully on the mental mend. I feel better tonight and more like myself. I have a plan for the next week, and maybe even the week after that. We’re coming up on the end of this month and the end of my 30 Day Challenge and I so desperately want to end the month with victory. And next month I have Camp Nano to attempt, in which I will either be working on my summoner story or ghost-writing a Halo fanfiction for a friend. I’m excited for both. (By the way, if anyone is looking for a cabin, I still have 5 available spaces in mine *nudge nudge*)

I’m sorry for the past few days. Thanks for sticking with me. Here’s to rough seas and the rainbows that follow.

Summoning on a Friday Afternoon

Today was my last vacation day and I’m kinda glad. Vacationing takes a lot out of ya, especially when you’re a hermit that doesn’t interact with the outside world on a frequent basis. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

To top it all off, this week my daughter got sick for the first time in her toddler life. She somehow thinks that being sick is morally bad (she kept trying to convince us she wasn’t sick and didn’t want us to be mad at her) and she kept asking, “What’s happening to me?” It was quite possibly the saddest thing I’ve ever seen her do. On a cuter note, when asked about getting sick she said she got “carsick and floorsick.” Ah, to be a child again.

Suffice it to say I spent last night sleeping on an uncomfortable futon with her and the dogface, trying to get comfortable while simultaneously making sure she didn’t fall off the futon or burn up in a fiery feverball or making sure dogface didn’t contribute to either problem. It was quite a night and I woke up thinking that blogging would be the last thing I would want to do today.

Daughter and Dogface on the most uncomfortable futon I have ever owned.
Daughter and Dogface on the most uncomfortable futon I have ever owned.

But I guess I love blogging more than sleep itself, because here I am. I didn’t have the oomph required to write a full article, but I wrote this small scene from my newest WIP and felt like it could be shared. It’s a fantasy story about summoners and that’s about all I know of it right now. Fair warning, this is a rough draft and any and (hopefully) all grammar errors will be fixed in the future. Enjoy and have a great Friday!


“Just close your eyes and concentrate. Picture the creature you want to bring into this world. Hold its form in your mind. Remember, think small for now. And don’t drop your summon stone!”
Wilder tightened his grip on the stone, and concentrated. His face wrinkled. He began to feel a hotness somewhere in his mind, like a piece of kindle catching fire to his thoughts. He imagined a powerful wolf, sharp claws, long fangs, as big as a horse…but remembered his instructions and thought smaller…the wolf lowered it’s head and it’s whole body shrank down until it was the size of a dog. Still looking wolfish, though, and tough as nails. ‘Perfect,’ he thought, ‘A wolf-dog to chase her stupid cat.’ But as soon as the thought crossed his mind, the image shimmered and shifted out of place until the wolf-dog existed no more. He heard Adeline snicker from somewhere behind him, and Mage Malley cleared his throat impatiently. The heat in his head began to fade and Wilder panicked.
‘No, no, no! I’ve got to do this!’ he yelled in his head. He grasped the stone with both hands now, but he couldn’t get the wolf-dog back, all he could see was Adeline’s smirk, Mage Malley’s disappointing head-shake, and his father’s looming face. “Any day now.” He heard someone say, but he was too far gone to realize it was only in his head.
‘Anything, please, anything,’ he pleaded. ‘Just let it be tough.’ His headspace went dark and there was sudden shock of pain from his hands.
“Ow!” he yelled, dropping the stone at once. He opened his eyes in time to see Mage Malley’s owl swoop down in front of him, catching the stone out of the air.
“I told you not to drop it.” Malley said, as his owl flew overhead and dropped it into his hands. The scholar crossed the room and handed the stone back to Wilder. Wilder was surprised to find the stone was hot and felt full of static.
“Well, go ahead then. Call your spirit.” Malley said. Adeline moved to stand behind, her pink kitten already perched and cozy on her shoulder.
“Um, okay.” Wilder held his stone out away from him. “Spirit! Release!”
The stone sparked, the heat in his head flared, and on the ground a light appeared. Wilder grinned, watching the light bend into a wolf-like shape. He couldn’t keep the smug grin off his face as he looked at Adeline.
“Wow, you really went for small, didn’t you?” she said, reaching up to her shoulder to give her spirit a scratch on the chin.
He turned back to the forming spirit, which was only about as big as his foot. The light was beginning to recede into a physical form, and yes, there were four legs and pointed ears like the wolf he envisioned, but they looked too skinny and short, the tail too long…something was wrong…the light faded completely and Adeline burst out laughing.
“A long-eared tree squirrel?! Fantastic!” she exclaimed, doubling over from her laughter. Her spirit meowed angrily as it leapt to the floor to avoid falling.
Wilder merely stared in disbelief. Sure enough, it was a squirrel, just like the ones that scurried around the grounds of farm back home. Instead of being brown, it had a dark gray, shaggy coat and tufted triangular ears, remnants of the mighty wolf warrior of his dreams. It sat up on it’s back two legs, long tail curled up along it’s back, and looked at him curiously.
“Now, now, settle down Adeline. Don’t judge a creature by its look alone. Don’t forget that one of the Forecaller’s spirits started out as an earthworm.” Mage Malley said, bending down toward the creature to have a better look at it.
“Ugh, now I”m lumped together with the Worm Caller?” Wilder moaned and took a step back away from his spirit. Adeline laughed even harder, wiping tears from her eyes.

10 Neat Songs for You

As a music-lover, I am always on the prowl for new music. It’s an insatiable need, a lust for new and improved musical adventures. It basically causes me to prowl around on Pandora and Rdio longer than I should. For any fellow music-lovers out there, here’s a sampling of favorites from my current music collection.

I’m going to admit that I stole was inspired by the blog Adventure of Lexie (link here). She is doing a 30 Day Blogging Challenge this month and you should go check it out. She is much better organized and a bit more interesting too. So, without further to do: 10 Songs in Random Order That I Think Are Neat

1) This Is Gospel by Panic! at the Disco

Picking my favorite Panic song was not easy, but I eventually decided on this one. So much piano. So much feels. There’s also the original, punkier version if you prefer.

2) Way Back When by Grizfolk

I discovered this song in a very strange way. My parents and I were attempting to take my then 2-year-old to have her first movie theater experience, and she was having none of it. My dad began theater-hopping, trying to find something she would sit through, and thus we ended up watching the very tail end of Mr. Peabody and Sherman. This song played over the credits, and I took an immediate liking to it and the band. Unfortunately, this was also around the time that my in-laws’ family dog was developing kidney problems and I am not ashamed to say I sung this to him a few times before he passed.

3) Collapsible Lung by Relient K

There are a dozen different Relient K songs I could’ve put here; this one seemed to sum them all up.

4) The Saltwater Room by Owl City

One of the first Owl City songs I ever heard. I think I had this EP on repeat for about a month straight.

5) Down by the Willows by John Davey

Love this haunting song. And I went to summer camp with the songwriter. Small world.

6) Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford & Sons

7) I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

8) La Da Dee by Cody Simpson

This song is adorable and sweet and damn that ukulele for making me feel so happy. This song played as the credits of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, which is surprisingly fantastic and comes highly recommended. If you like watching an entire movie based on food puns, this is the one you’ve been waiting for.

9) Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

A good old classic. I chose the Love version because of its beautiful intro.

10) Mountain Song by Of Monsters and Men

Hope you found some new earworms to satiate you for awhile. If you have any of your own song suggestions, drop ’em in the comments! My iPod will appreciate them!

Cleaning and the Inevitable Depression That Follows

Cleaning is a pointless endeavor. This sentence has been going through my mind all day as I have been attempting to deep clean my house. Actually, my exact thoughts were more like, ‘Cleaning is stupid, that mop is stupid, this carpet is stupid, those crumbs are stupid,’ etc. Close enough.

Why should we be obsessed about cleanliness when it is such a fleeting thing? After sanitizing/de-crumbing my kitchen counters, they looked like you could prepare a grand chef’s meal on them. Until I made lunch. My once shining counters turned into an ant’s paradise. And don’t even get me started on the floors! I carried my dog through the kitchen to keep his dirty paws off my newly-mopped floor. Carried him. A nearly-grown Labrador. Yeah.

But for that brief moment, it was all done. Every floor vacuumed, every speck of dirt swept, those ancient take-out boxes in the back of the fridge finally banished to the trash…hell, even the microwave got scrubbed and the oven was set to “clean.” For that moment, I had conquered the filth of living. And it felt good.

Now I’m going to go to bed and try not to think about all the dirt and fur and food and trash that will return. I also think I will become a zen master. I’ve certainly learned the point of pointlessness today.

True Facts, True Facts

Day Four of my summer writing challenge! So far, so good! Despite the fact that I just remembered I have family visiting this month and will have to have articles pre-written, I am feeling much better from yesterday. Partly because I don’t have as many adult responsibilities as I had yesterday, and partly because I just started three new drafts for articles coming up. Unfortunately, none of them felt right for today, so I figured I’d do one of those “get to know me” articles for your enjoyment and because listing facts that I don’t have to research is so much easier than the alternative. So, without further ado, have some facts about me, on the house!

1) I am 27 years old and I don’t like it. I think of teenagers as babies now, and I’m not okay with that. (No offense teens, you’re still soooo much cooler than me it’s not even funny and I’m just super jealous.)

2) I’ve lived in the U.S. my whole life and have never left the country. If I could though, I would go England, because I have relatives there and it just seems like a fantastic place with so much history and culture.

3) Last year, I moved from my home state of Indiana all the way across the country to southern Arizona. Although I lived in Indiana for most of my life and will always have a Midwestern Heart, I adore Arizona and it’s beautiful scenery and gorgeous weather. Yeah, it’s hot in the summers, but the rest of the time…oh so nice. And I don’t miss the snow. Just the rain.

4) I am a pastor’s daughter. It was an…interesting way to grow up. I don’t really recommend it.

5) I have one younger brother. He is six years younger than me and was an annoying little shit most of my life, but now we’re cool. And he can officially stop bugging me about not writing about him…

6) I have only dated one person in my life. We started dating in high school and just never stopped. We’re married now and have been together for over a decade, which is ridiculous. I like to tell people that and watch the shock on their face, usually followed by the question, “Wait, how old are you?” The only downside of this is that I have absolutely no dating advice for anybody. “Marry the first person you see” usually falls flat for some reason.

7) I have one daughter, who is three years old. I named her after a song and she didn’t inherit my shyness, which I’m very happy about. She also loves dragons, can recognize the TARDIS on sight, and knows how to Falcon Punch. I think I’m raising her right. Time will tell.

8) I have a dog. His name is Chester, he’s a yellow lab mix, and he’s afraid of nearly everything. He’s six months old and I have seen him be startled by small birds, the wind, and his own poop. Which is why he and my daughter have formed a posse that shadows me around the house. Have you ever tried to pee with a 50lb dog lying on your feet and toddler commentary the whole time? It’s quite the experience.

9) I worked for three years as a home healthcare provider, than worked as a CNA at a nursing home for a year and a half. I saw things, man. So many things…It was a wonderful and crazy experience ,and I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world. And it had the bonus perk of making me completely able to handle most bodily fluids and injuries. Yay for experience points!

10) If you couldn’t guess by now, I am an all-around nerd. If it’s nerdy, I either love it or know enough about it to fake it. I play video games like they were novels, I watch “fandom” shows, play tabletop games, and have cosplayed in the past. I regret nothing.