Topic Tuesday: Be The Best You

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Isn’t this something we struggle with our whole lives? From the moment we begin interacting with others, we have to deal with their expectations. If we don’t meet those expectations, then watch out. Rejection. Bullying. Aversion. Topic of Gossip.

I wish that I could have embraced myself years ago. So much heartache could have been avoided. Did everyone like me when I was in school? No. Did I have at least one or two friends? Yes. Did my family like me? When I wasn’t being a sassy little brat, yes. Did they love me? Always. That’s really what counts.

Mary is in the third grade and 8-years-old. One of the biggest things I’ve been trying to get her to believe is that she is awesome. It doesn’t matter if that little boy called her an idiot or if they claimed something ridiculous about her so that she would be laughed at. She has a few friends who know her and love her for who she is.

She often hears me saying, “You are the only one who can allow you to be offended.” When you give that person the ability to hurt your feeling by simply using their words, you’re giving them too much power over you.

So be weird, if that’s who you are. The ones who love you will love you either despite of that fact, or because of it.

Topic Tuesday: Daylight Savings

Daylight Savings Time is ludicrous. Why do we lie to ourselves about the time for several months out of the year? If you like seeing the sun so much, change when you wake up or go to sleep, but don’t make me do it. /rant

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Note: If you would like to save your own daylight, get this solar powered light jar. Then you can save as much daylight as you want.

Meme Monday and Topic Tuesday: Kindness Should Be Free

Pink Scales

One of the major themes in The Talented Turtle is being willing to accept help and friendship when it is offered. At first, Mary is too shy to even speak to anyone, but eventually realizes that life is so much better with friends.

Even as adults, we can find ourselves trying to do everything on our own. Have you ever been having a rough go at it and someone says, “If you need anything, please let me know”? I have. How many times have you taken that person up on their offer? If you’re like me, probably not often enough.

There are many excuses for that. Maybe it was an empty gesture. You don’t want to be a burden. You need to look strong and like you have everything together. There isn’t time. It doesn’t matter what you tell yourself, there really isn’t a good reason to not accept assistance from a friend.

Put yourself in their shoes. You see a friend having a rough time and you offer to help them, but they never take you up on your offer. You stand by and watch them spiral, helpless because they won’t take your hand. It’s hard when you see someone you love suffering.

The next time you’re sick and someone offers to pick up your kid, or someone dies in the family and someone offers to cook you a meal, accept the offer. Not only will it make your life a little easier, it will give that person great joy to be able to help you in your time of need.

Topic Tuesday: Whistle While You Work

Multitasking is an artform that is just about a requirement in this day and age. Look at your tabs in your browser right now. How many do you have open? What about your taskbar? Do they even all relate? Is your television or radio (or other form of music player) on? Are your kids asking you questions? Is your husband or wife in the room with you?

I’ll answer these for myself. I have three tabs and five programs currently open on my computer. Not everything is related. No television, music, or daughter at this moment, but my husband is in the room and pipes up with a question every now and again. Mainly, “Do you think this is going to work?” To which I say yes to every time, even though I have no idea what he’s working on.

Prior to putting up this Topic Tuesday, I finished getting the domain set up for marysmemoirs.net (not running yet) and fixing the brightness flickering on my screen. As I started writing this, I got a call from my MIL upstairs asking me to sign for a package. Then, I made a cup of coffee for my husband and some tea for myself. In a little less than an hour, I have to run to the bus stop to pick up my daughter. AND in all the tiny moments between, I’m working on this, the ebook cover and bookmark for The Talented Turtle (Mary’s Memoirs Book 1), checking my social media and email, trying to decide if I want to invest WAY too much money into having a table at this year’s Emerald City Comic Con, putting the final touches on The Talented Turtle, and starting Anomalous (Hope in Concordia Book 1).

“How are you today, Katie?”

“Fine.”

My favorite Disney princess has always been Snow White for a variety of reasons. Admittedly, the main reason is that her coloring matches mine and what fun is that? Another reason is that no matter her circumstances, she is bound and determined to stay joyful. Stepmother treats me like a servant? I’ll sing a song by the wishing well. A huntsman chases me down to carve out my heart to give to said stepmother? I’ll run away and make friends with the animals and seven strangers. Little cottage a royal mess? I’ll clean it and bust out into a musical number. Dead? Nope. Just sleeping. Who’s this handsome man? My prince! Happily ever after.

Snow White had plenty of opportunity, and some would say valid reasons, to give up, but she never did. When life threw a million things at her, she stayed stressed with a  genuine smile on her face.

So, today, when you feel like the huntsman is on your tail, shake yourself out of it and whistle while you work.

Whistle While You Work

Topic Tuesday: Snow in Western Washington

Don’t think we can’t hear you laughing your butts off at us for declaring what we have right now “Snowmaggedon”. I thought I would write a little snippet explaining the apparent overreaction to the snow we’ve had over the last couple weeks. We aren’t afraid of snow. That’s just silly. One problem is that we get so little of it, our DOT is never quite prepared for it.

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This is a major highway just last night. If this is what high-traveled roads look like, can you imagine what our rural roads are like? Nick saw a picture of a snow plow in a ditch because they couldn’t figure out where the road is. I couldn’t find it to post here, but it is out there on the interwebs.

Another problem is that since we don’t get snow very often, driving in it is a challenge for one of two reasons, especially when it dumps so fast. Either people get overconfident and drive as fast as they want despite the road conditions or they drive vehicles without proper tires or drive train for the weather. There are those, of course, who do know how to drive in the snow and are prepared for it, but there are also a large number of people who fall into the unprepared categories. Better to be like me. I know I suck at snow driving, so I stay home

All in one weekend

The combination of the two above problems creates the final problem. Deliveries cannot be made to stores or homes. Several people in my news feed have posted pictures of empty shelves at their local grocer. I have packages undeliverable because of undrivable roads and my house is a freaking winter wonderland right now.

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See how the cars outside of the carport are literally buried? There’s even a layer in the carport.

In conclusion, cut us Northwesterners a little slack. This weather is unusual for us. We’re doing our best and trying to make light of it with fun little memes, when really we’re crying inside because our kids are home from school again and on the verge of going feral.

Bob Ross Snow in Washington

 

Topic Tuesday: Writing Books and Musical Inspiration

I had two suggestions on the topic thread, and they both have pretty short answers, so I figured I’d go ahead and address both.

The first was about what writing books have helped me and how. What if I told you I haven’t actually read any? Well, besides the textbooks I had in school, which I can’t even remember. I read a lot of novels in my genre and pull from that. Not stealing ideas, but seeing what techniques are working for readers nowadays.

As far as how I write, that’s just something I’m experimenting with on my own. The Rose of Petrichoria was essentially complete by the time I started releasing it to the public, while Faith in Concordia has been one book at a time. I will likely go back to the first way when this series is complete. I tried outlining. It didn’t really work for me.

The second was what musician or song inspires me. I like a lot of music. Sometimes the lyrics speak to me. Sometimes it’s the catchy tune. When I wrote Rose of Petrichoria, I listened to a lot of Pentatonix. Harrison was actually cast as Scott Hoying from the group in my head. Rose was a young Anne Hathaway. Frank was Josh Hutcherson. Peter/David was Stephen Amell. Ella was actually my BFF, who I won’t advertise in case she doesn’t want her personal life out there on the interwebs. That’s off-topic, though.

I started writing Fire of Southland, which was angry girl music like Pink and No Doubt. Faith in Concordia has been strong ballads like Say Something by A Great Big World, and songs from the perspective of someone who prefers to be alone like Here by Alessia Cara. Everything I write has a different tone, so it has different music to match.

Is there something else you’d like me to write about? Post in the Topic Tuesday Suggestion Thread when it’s posted on Mondays.

Inspiration

Topic Tuesday: Thirteenth Doctor

Okay. First lesson learned. I’ll post the suggestion threads Monday nights instead so the post can actually go up on Tuesday. haha.

Only one person responded with a suggestion, so I’ll go with it. What do I think about the female Doctor (13th Doctor) on Doctor Who?

Anyone who has spoken to me on more than one occasion will likely pick up that I’m a Whovian. All you old-schoolers, I will freely admit that I just can’t get into the original series from before the reboot, but from Ten onward, call me a fan. I suppose Nine had his moments, but I generally have to tell people to get through the first season of the reboot, then it will get good.

Nine was meh. Ten is my favorite. Eleven was excellent, my daughter’s favorite. Twelve was also meh. When they announced Jodie Whittaker would be the next Doctor, I was a little concerned, to be honest. While I am aware there is social commentary throughout Doctor Who, I enjoy the show taking it as it is. Looking over the things that I disagree with socially. I didn’t want the show to become one giant platform. If I want to know someone’s opinion on something, I’ll watch commentators on the news or read what entertainers say on their social media.

Going into the premier, I kept an open mind. Prepared to either embrace the new Doctor, decide to stop watching until she regenerates again, or tentatively look forward to the next episode. Thirteen had an excellent first show.

The only time her gender even came up was near the beginning of the episode and near the end when she gets new clothes. When the Doctor regenerates, he sometimes has a bout of amnesia, and did in this case. New companion Yaz, a police trainee, refers to her as ma’am several times before this little exchange happens:

Doctor: Why do you keep calling me ma’am?

Yaz: Because you’re a woman?

Doctor: I am? Does it suit me?

That may not be verbatim, but close enough. Thirteen was brilliant. A strong female lead who doesn’t shove the fact that she’s female in your face. I’m a woman. I think I’m awesome because of my personality, skills, and beliefs. I don’t think I need to prove myself to anyone because of my gender (most of the time. There are always exceptions.)In the premiere, there was nothing like, “I’m this way because I’m a woman.” It was “I am this way because I’m the Doctor.”

I hope Jodie Whittaker’s reign as the Doctor continues along this vein. I’m not quite ready to embrace her, but I’ll tentatively look forward to the next episode and hope she continues to be the fabulous, eccentric, intelligent I have come to know and love over the years.

Thirteeth Doctor

Topic Tuesday: Exhaustion

Do you ever get so tired that it feels like nothing you do helps? Sleep doesn’t work. Coffee doesn’t work. Exercising doesn’t work. I get that. Normally, when I get that way, it’s because life is just too much at the moment. What do I do? Take a break and read. What about you? Do you ever get bone-tired?

Coffee Doesn't Work