Horrible Horoscopes

concept-astrology-aries-universe-159668I had another one of those unhoroscopes today:

“In one culture, it’s unlucky to wear your clothes inside out. In another, getting married on Tuesday spells relationship doom. You’ve your own ideas on the subject, and they’ll dictate what you’re willing and unwilling to do.”

Here is my idea on this horoscope subject: HOW IS THAT A HOROSCOPE? It’s not a forecast, not a prediction of any future events. What it is, is a factoid (two actually) thrown in with a rather loose opinion.

Willing or unwilling to do? So I may or may not do something? Based on my very own ideas? That pretty much sums up living for…well, pretty much the human race. It’s called free will, Horoscope Writer Person.

I mean, that’s a real job, y’all. Sheesh.

Anyway, I would be even more upset this morning if I hadn’t used one of these unhoroscopes to inspire my post at The Muffin: The Extroverted Introvert (In Other Words, A Writer). So I suppose I did have my own ideas on a subject and I was willing to write about it.

Huh.

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I’m a Believer

Remember back in the summer, when I mentioned a story I wanted to tell you but I didn’t because I believed it might be perfect for the Miracles and More topic at Chicken Soup for the Soul?

Yeah, this story.  And now it’s in Miracles and More, along with 100 other stories of angels, divine intervention, answered prayers, and messages from heaven.

All of which I see evidence of pretty much every day. Of course, we see what we believe, and I believe that Shakespeare had it right: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

But you don’t have to take my word (or Shakespeare’s). Come join me and lots of the writers in Miracles and More as we share our experiences and wonders in a Twitter party:

Miracles and More Twitter Party Final

I’m looking forward to hearing more about these miracles–come join us. I’m a believer, y’all, not a trace of doubt in my mind, and we’ll make you a believer, too! (And come on, you know you want to sing that song with me, now, right?)

When Things Get A Little Creepy

pexels-photo-160107So a week or so ago, whilst cleaning under the bed in my office, I came upon a laptop. (To be fair, there’s a LOT of stuff under that bed, and the laptop is not the strangest thing under there.)

Huh, says I, that must be one of the Juniors old laptops, left behind back in the day. But when the Juniors happened to both be here yesterday…

Me: John, you see that Toshiba laptop? You left it here.

John: Nope, I know exactly where my laptops are and that’s not one of ’em.

Joey: Don’t look at me.

Me: Hmmm. I know it’s not your sister’s…where the heck did this laptop come from?

At which point, several things happened. John opened the laptop. (My, I thought, that looks like a pretty new laptop…) Joey astutely noted that Precious the Laptop is a Toshiba so my power cord would work. I remembered that I’d seen a Toshiba power cord in my closet (I feel like the whole world probably has a power cord in their closet so that’s not weird, either). We plugged in the laptop. And bam! It fired up!

It had Mister Man’s name on it. WHAT WAS THIS RELATIVELY NEW LAPTOP WITH MISTER MAN’S NAME ON IT DOING UNDER THE BED IN MY OFFICE?

OOOOooooooooooOOOOOOooooooo.

So we needed a password. Fortunately, Mister Man was a smart but rather predictable guy when it came to passwords. After the third try, we were in.

Now, it did not take long for us to figure out a couple of things. Namely, that this laptop was not used very much, and also, it hadn’t been used since Mister Man’s untimely demise. And though I sat there puzzling till my puzzler was sore, I could not figure out why the laptop was under the bed. Why did Mister Man put the laptop under the bed?! I mean, he did some strange and/or bizarre things in his lifetime, but this? This was beyond the beyonds.

Until, as I sat at the new laptop today (and do I need to add that once again, I’m having to learn all kinds of new stuff for THIS laptop?) and realized one important thing:

Mister Man would’ve had to get down on the floor and squinch between the wall and the side of the bed and carefully slide a laptop under there.

Twenty years ago, when that man was more limber (but still very predictable), he wouldn’t have squatted on the floor, squinched into a small space, and hidden a laptop under the bed. But I do know someone who sometimes goes out of town and slides Precious the Laptop under the bed so the boogers won’t get her.

Um…yeah. Apparently, Mister Man gave that laptop to me and I put the cord in a safe place and hid the laptop under the bed. I guess I figured that one fine day, when I had a little time and was ready to give up on Precious, I’d switch over to that Toshiba.

So turns out, it was not creepy at all. And I would just like to say, in case Mister Man heard me yesterday, that he was not at all weird or bizarre in his old age.

But I know someone who is. Pffffft.

 

 

 

But I Have A Good Excuse

bird-crow-black-animal-53187I’m just going to say it: the universe is trying to teach me a couple of lessons in humility. Because every time I write a Muffin post about a certain topic, I’m caught eating crow.

This time, the topic is “The Importance of Being Current,” which honestly, is VERY important. And yet, here I am, taking a look around in various digital spots, realizing that I have not, in fact, been so good at keeping things current.

Well, that’s okay, because that’s pretty much what I admitted to in the Muffin post. And I even tried to update my bio at SCBWI but because they’ve had a recent (and terrific!) update, I’m unable to change my photo and perhaps make other changes.

But here, at my website and blog, for cryin’ out loud, I thought I was pretty darn current! I said as much in my little blurb at the end of the post. I bragged about my currentness (and yes, that may not be a word but I’m in too much of a state to think of the right word. That’s how bad this situation is).

I HAVEN’T ADDED MY OWN BOOKS THAT CAME OUT LAST SUMMER.

Ahem.

pexels-photo-633432There were two books. And I’m going to jump on that ASAP. And add ’em to my SCBWI bio as soon as I can get into my SCBWI bio. (But if I’m being perfectly honest, ASAP may not be that soon. I’ve taken on a new position in Southern Breeze, my SCBWI region, as Co-Assistant Regional Advisor, and I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Hopefully, I’m making more sense than a chicken without its head, but I can’t make any promises. Still, I managed to circle back around to a bird, so there’s that.)

 

Whatcha Reading?

pexels-photo-264635

The reality of my book shelves

Writers tend to be voracious readers, don’t they?

Of course, I was more voracious before I started writing so seriously; now, I squeeze in my reading in odd little increments here and there. Still, I savor any snippet of reading time, and I’m sure I’m a better writer because of reading.

During early days of writing kidlit, I read a lot of kidlit. Because I was drawn to writing middle grade and chapter books and humor, those are the books I sought out in my library. And then I immersed myself in picture books because I had a hankering to write a picture book or thirty-seven. Then back to middle grade and YA novels where my heart was calling. If I wanted to write kidlit, I figured, I needed to be kidlit.

Or something like that.

But a funny thing happened. I missed adult books. I missed mysteries and women’s fiction and award-winning novels. I hungered for Brit wit and classics and Neil Gaiman’s fairy tales. Oh! And ghost stories! I love true ghost story collections!

books-shelves-architecture-wood-442420

The book shelves of my sweet dreams

And so I began to sneak in an adult novel here and there, or a cheesy ghost story paperback, into the old TBR pile. To be honest, those sneaky books would always somehow end up on the top of the pile. So I’d practically read ’em under the covers– and get back to my serious kidlit reading before anyone caught me.

Until one day when I realized that any reading–even the really bad stuff– is good for me and my writing.

Goodness. That was a long way to go to ask what are you looking forward to reading in 2018? Do you have reading goals? I hit my goal over at Goodreads for 2017, thanks to a pile of terrific rhyming picture books I read there at the end of the year (and a ghost book or two).

So. I started this year with a book of essays, I WAS TOLD THERE’D BE CAKE by Sloane Crosley.

And you know what? I’m enjoying every delicious minute of it!