Things That Cheer Me Up

Between the election and some particularly terrible personal stuff that’s been going on, it’s been a rather craptastic couple of weeks. I haven’t had the time to get all of my writing and house chores/baby prep done, but when I have moments I find myself lying sideways on the bed, staring at the wall. But even as I sink into these moods that range between heart-twisting sadness and an echoing emptiness, there are some things that cheer me up and lift me out.Read More »

Writing Problems: How Weird I Must Look

Sometimes I wonder how weird I must look while I’m writing.

I rock back and forth in my chair.

I shift my position so I’m cross-legged, sitting on my feet, gathering my knees up to my chest, all within a handful of minutes.

I write frantically, hunched over my desk.

I lean back, sitting straight, writing slowly.

I stop writing entirely to draw circles and weird sketchy faces in the margins of my notebook.

I take long, slow, loud breaths, like I’m trying to calm down, or I’m pacing myself for a jog, while I try to get out the dozens of sentences screaming in my head all at once.

I whip out my phone and check Twitter, even though I’m obviously mid-paragraph, sometimes mid-sentence.

I chew on my pen and stair out the window, watching raindrops hit the road, or sometimes absolutely nothing at all.

I do a bunch of other strange little habits that I don’t even notice, because my brain is somewhere else entirely, and I’m no longer aware of what my body is up to.

Basically, I’m glad it’s usually just the dog in the room with me, snoring on the floor; anyone else probably wouldn’t be able to keep from asking what the heck is wrong with me.

Bookish Problems I Have

Though there are not ten listed here, this post is part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme: what are some bookish problems you have? Some of these are goofy, some have to do with space, and some are just weird ways I read.

  • Not Enough Shelves. Though I’ve done some culling in my book collection, I still deal with double-stacked shelves and books piled under desks (I’m kicking some right now). I’ve gotten my collection down almost to it’s purest form, so the next solution is more shelving! …Except that there are no more walls.
  • Too Many Books to Read. Sometimes, when I’m shelving books at the library, I look at all the new books and think, “Wow, I want to read a dozen of these.” Then I remember all the books on the graphic novel shelf, in the fantasy section, the classics, those children’s books, and then all the unread books back home…I have to stop touching the books then before I slide into a tear-soaked panic.
  • TSUNDOKU. I know I have books to read at home. And I have library books I’ve been renewing for weeks. But then I go to the store and suddenly I have five more books. It is a very real problem.
  • My Dog. Sometimes when I’m reading she starts licking the corner of my book, trying to figure out what’s more fascinating than she is. Or I’ll be dutifully rubbing her ears, but god forbid I stop for 1.5 seconds so I can turn the page, causing her to nudge my arm or whap me with her paws until I start again. (Yeah, much worse problems to have. And I realize, I made her this way, but she’s so dang cute.)
  • Can’t Always Visualize Characters. I feel like this sounds bad, but I don’t always manage to fully visualize people when I’m reading. If I slow down in my reading to think about it, I realize that most of the time people are like fuzzy outlines in my head, and unless I put a considerable amount of conscious effort into imagining them — THIS is what their hair looks like, THIS is what the dress looks like — they stay that way the whole time. Maybe that’s why I like comics so much…?
  • Flipping Ahead. I flip ahead through pages to see how much longer a chapter or an entire book is, so I can measure how many pages I have to go. Sometimes this is good — I don’t want to start 20 pages of unbroken text when I want to go to sleep in 10 minutes — but it makes me feel impatient about finishing a book, and I’ve even accidentally spoiled things for myself in the past, and I hate spoilers with a fiery rage. Reading on my Nook helps with this, since I can’t easily flip ahead, but then I find myself overcome by WANT to flip forward.

There’s my list — do you have any bookish problems? Let me know, or make your own list!

Reasons I Like Winter

photo credit: Tree Of Snow via photopin (license)
photo credit: Tree Of Snow via photopin (license)

Winter is probably my least favorite season of the year. I don’t like being cold, snow sports are far from being my thing, my dog often refuses to pee because of the low, low temperature, and I get at least two awful colds before spring finally arrives (though this is less the fault of the season than of the public. The horrible, disgusting public.)

Even so, I get annoyed when people overly complain about the season, wishing for snow to never appear, that it should stay 60 degrees at all times. As much as winter drives me to madness, I feel like a lot of these people are really missing out on some pretty good things.

  • Snow storms. I’ve made it clear how much I love bad weather, the coziness of it as I sit on the couch with a cup of tea, or huddle at my desk with some coffee (always with the caffeine). When everyone else is freaking out and panicking about the possibility of snow storms, I scour the weather forecast hoping that a storm will come, that feet of the stuff will dump on the ground. I feel a little guilty when I think about it too much, since I know I’m lucky to not have to worry about shelter or food or heat or even entertainment, but I yearn for blizzards all the same.
  • The actual snow. It’s cold. It slows my car down. My dog’s too short to run in it when there’s more than 6 inches on the ground. But goodness it’s pretty, and there are few things more perfect than a swath of shining white as yet unmarred by boots and paws.
  • My dog loves it. It’s too tall for her now, and she gets cold way too fast, but one of my top ten favorite things to watch is her, bounding through chest high snow, as awkward as a seal on a beach.
Run, doggy, run.


  • The mornings. I like waking up when it’s still dark. There’s something calm and comforting about that, like the early morning is trying to wrap me up in a blanket. In the summer, the sun rises too early, and I basically have to be in a bout of insomnia to be up and moving around before the sun rises, but in the winter, the timing is perfect.
  • The appreciation. I’m human. As much as I roll my eyes at the complainers, by the end of February I’m done. Things are turning to gray slush, and I feel perpetually damp. After suffering through all of that, the spotty green of buds just starting to open on all the trees spreads a small simple bit of hope inside.

What do you like about winter? (Please don’t tell me nothing.)

Rainy Day Comfort

Rainy DayI’ve said before that I love rainy weather. It dampens down my brain in a pleasant way that makes it easier to think, and focus, and just create. But I also just feel comfortable when it’s raining, the right amount of sleep to cushion everything while I’m awake.

On Friday after I took the dog for a walk through the warm, misty, soft air, we came back inside. I sat at the computer with my breakfast and the dog jumped on my lap, ridiculously warm and floppy with just the right amount of heaviness, like those beanbags you warm in the microwave and lay on your aching shoulders. I had written some already, enough for an early morning, so I caught up on vlogbrothers videos and ate my toast, dropping crumbs on the dog’s back while she dozed on.

Eventually, I had to go to work. I put off getting up as long as I was able. Rain outside the window, dog on my thighs, Hank Green singing J.K. Rowling songs on my screen, all backed by my desk lamp’s soft orange glow — I could have stayed there all day.