Category: Uncategorized

Just Don’t Do It

This was quite eye-opening. I’ll admit, I read the article by Ellen Leanse, and my initial response was “well, that does describe me, perhaps I could take a few pointers from this.” But, as I finished reading this article, I am now walking the line. She has a point – men aren’t criticized nearly so frequently for the way they talk. So, why must women talk like men? Why must we be scrutinized for how we look, how we speak, and why must it be our fault so consistently that we are often objectified, ridiculed, and made to feel like we must change everything about ourselves in order to NOT be victims of discrimination.

Why must apples pretend to be oranges to be treated fairly? And why do we women buy into this mindset? That in order to succeed, the key is to stop being women and pretend as hard as we can to be men?

It’s certainly food for thought, at the very least.

language: a feminist guide

This week everyone’s been talking about an article in the Economist explaining how men’s use of language undermines their authority. According to the author, a senior manager at Microsoft, men have a bad habit of punctuating everything they say with sentence adverbs like ‘actually’, ‘obviously’, ‘seriously’ and ‘frankly’. This verbal tic makes them sound like pompous bullshitters, so that people switch off and stop listening to what they’re saying. If they want to be successful, this is something men need to address.

OK, people haven’t been talking about that article—mainly because I made it up. No one writes articles telling men how they’re damaging their career prospects by using the wrong words. With women, on the other hand, it’s a regular occurrence. This post was inspired by a case in point: a piece published last month in Business Insider, in which a former Google executive named Ellen Petry Leanse…

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It Never Happens the Way We Think It Will Happen

Such a beautifully written and poignant expression of grief and frustration. And it’s so true. It never happens the way we think it will happen. As much as we may plan for it, whatever it may be, we often don’t even know the moment is upon us, until the moment is already gone.

The Beaver Lake Library

imagesI am walking my dog when it happens. The woman does not see me. The woman does not see my dog. The woman points her car my way and guns it, and when I see she doesn’t see me—doesn’t see my bright blue shirt nor my arm waving ‘hello neighbor’ in the air nor my big yellow lab standing at the side of her driveway—I dive to my right and the bumper of her car clips my hip and I tumble down and over the newly-mowed grass of her lawn and the next thing I know I’m lying there, just lying there, pushing to get up and looking at my dog looking down at me with her tail wagging, wagging wagging wagging. The dog licks my hand. We are alive, the dog seems to say. We are okay.

For the last decade I’ve been walking my dogs in a downtown…

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An Open Letter To All Of My Friends Who Take Selfies

Yes. Yes. I have heard so many folks slam selfies, even selfies of moms or dads with their kids. It’s egocentric. It’s shameless attention-seeking, promoting the same for the next generation. You know what’s awesome? Getting a pic of yourself being silly with your kid, so, when they’re older, they’ll see it and see the look of joy on your face, and know they were always loved. I mean, who remembers when they’re two?

My main question is this – if you think someone is posting a pic because they crave attention, does that say something bad about the person who supposedly craves attention, or that your mind so quickly went to the negative? Why must we be so hard on those around us? Why, if someone is struggling with their appearance and wants to post a pic that says, ‘look at me. I feel good today” – why can’t we support them? Why constantly focusing on the negative?

This post says it way better than I ever could! The internet makes the world a smaller place, one that is so much easier to find ways to spread love, instead of hate.

So, I see you! I’ll post a selfie shortly. 🙂

The Belle Jar

Dear Friends Who Take Selfies,

I want you to know that I love it when you post pictures of yourself. I know selfies get a lot of bad press, but I think they’re rad. They give me a little window into your life, and you’d be amazed at how much I can get out of one little photo.

I love your pictures because I love seeing what you’re wearing – the outfits you build give me ideas about how to mix it up with my own wardrobe, and seeing you work your shit gives me courage to try clothing that I otherwise might have thought was too outlandish or revealing.

I love seeing how you do your hair and makeup. You look like a hot babe and I wish you would make YouTube tutorials explaining how you get your eyeliner just so. I want you to post pictures every time you change your…

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Walking Through the Witches

Awesome artistic exploration – and I think the message can be applied to any kind of artistic endeavor. Even if it seems a little freaky or wonky, keep going, and it will turn out all right! I’ll keep this in mind with my final revision of my current (and first) novel.

Happy Friday, everyone!

busy mockingbird

People ask me sometimes about ballpoint pen and how I use it in my drawings. They’ll say that when they use it, it smears or gets discolored. And I say, “that’s because no one in their right mind should be using ballpoint pen.” But I can’t help it–that’s what I like. It’s what I’ve ALWAYS liked, and what I’m most comfortable with. It’s cheap, portable, easy to find, easy to carry.

But it does have a couple of issues.

Don’t be scared, though! When I was younger, information was a lot harder to find, and I was about the only one I ever knew that drew with a PEN. Nowadays, there are TONS of fine artists that use ballpoint (sometimes they call it “biro”), and do some AMAZING work. I don’t know what they go through, but here are some things I’ve learned…


I’ve learned that I…

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Serial Kid Producer Reveals Top 10 Reasons Not to Have Kids

Oh, my, this is hilarious, and completely, and my sleep-deprived mind had to share this. And with that, a bid you good night. If my children decide I am worthy of sleep…

Barb Taub

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

imgresI was lying awake last night, trying to memorize the feeling of everything being right with my family. We’re all healthy, happy, and remarkably satisfied with where we are in life at this exact moment. Even Child #4 has just taken her last ever Uni final, and pronounced herself ready to go off the family payroll.

A friend asked if I ever regretted having so many kids, or the time/money/everything that it took to raise them. She said her book club (having dispensed with the required 8.5 minutes of book-related discussion) were all talking about the reasons their grown children were not producing grandchildren.

That reminded me of this blast-from-the-past I wrote a few years ago.

Top 10 reasons not to have kids

There are actually LOTS of reasons not to have kids. As a serial kid-producer, I offer a revised list:

10. Vermin =…

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Heart-wrenching and beautiful. My heart aches for Rara in her time of loss, so hauntingly described in this post.

Stories that Must Not Die

Our beloved and much missed blogging dinosaur, Rara, sent me the following words to share with the Stories That Must Not Die community.  I had planned on just posting them here for you all to consume as is, but considering I cried while typing them up, I figured I should probably warn you, before you read, her words are powerfully sad and explode with her pain and grief.  So, read them, definitely read them, but do so cautiously, and then write her another letter to tell her it isn’t her fault, and she is so much more than how she is feeling now.

Today my husband died.

Maybe it was 26 days ago, but the shock of his absence has permanently stained my present moment.  Every Today will always be the day he died.  I wake up, suffer the sunrise, and lose him all over again.

I am not…

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Remembering Her Light, Four Years Later

In many ways, today is remarkably similar to this very day four years ago. This day back then, like now, was pretty typical of the Willamette Valley – cloudy, rainy, with interspersed moments where the sun breaks through the clouds, and we Eugeneans feel the promise of Spring. We feel the hope that the light brings with it.

Four years ago, my mom passed away.  Her passing was peaceful. A harpist played music for her for an hour and we watched as her face relaxed, listening to the music. After the harpist left, my little sister and I began manicuring her nails. Within minutes, her breath slowed, and we each put down our instruments and held one of her hands. I whispered in her ear that I loved her, and that I would share with the world the light she brought into it, that I would remember her light. Just as she released her last breath, the sun shone through her window, and I felt the darkness in which she had lived so much of her life was finally lifted – that she was finally free.  With everything I had just told her, about remembering her light, I knew with every fiber of my being that she was at peace.

After that moment of release, however, my own world was plunged into what felt could only be an interminable darkness. I had lost my mother – a piece of my soul, a piece of who I was. As many of you know, who have lost loved ones, I ached in a way I had never thought possible. I tried to smile, but I felt a gaping hole in my heart. I felt ashamed for all the things I did and didn’t caring for Mom before her death.

Today feels so similar to that day, except I feel that hope again. I feel the promise of Spring and better things. As I have relayed previously, in my blog Three Years and Some Change, I feel my mother is here with me. I don’t see her in the streets as much as I used to, as I wrote about in my previous blog. But I do feel her with me.

As my family gets ready to accept our second child, I feel closer to my mother than ever. When my two-year-old daughter told me: “I love you, too” the first time, or when she curls up next to me on the couch, I feel the joy I know my mom experienced. Whenever I begin to feel that pang of sorrow while thinking about Mom, I remember that joy. I remember the look Mom got on her face when she described how much she loved us. I remember how she told me that I wouldn’t understand the joy, sheer terror, and love that being a parent involved until I had a child of my own, and I know now she was right. Now, I feel her in my own hand. She’s there when I hold my daughter’s little hand as we cross the street, when I stroke my daughter’s hair (much like she stroked mine), when I put on my daughter’s little shoes and she leans on me for balance. I feel the same little tug of pride intermingled with sadness I am sure she felt whenever my daughter tells me confidently, “No, Mommy. I got it.”

I still feel my mother everywhere around me, but mostly, I feel her inside of me. I know she is still with me. Every day. And while she didn’t get to meet my daughter, or my soon-to-be born son, I know has already met them -because she is a part of me, and will always be a part of me.

So, Mom, I wanted to tell you again: I love you, and I will always remember your light. I am still working on sharing that light with the world, but I’m getting there.

Your loving daughter, now until the end of time,

The Rambler

First Draft Complete!

As of June 24, 2012, the first draft of my very first novel is complete. In my excitement (okay, in my happy exhaustion), I completely neglected to post on this blog. So here is the announcement:  It’s done!

Starting next week, the editing begins. I will not lie – this will be a long and ugly process. There are many plot points that need complete overhauling. If I were tracking changes, this would be an UGLY redline.

I can’t wait!

-The Rambler

Beer and stories to come…

So, I am sitting down to drink some wonderful beer. It is pure bliss to a nursing mother who rarely gets to taste beer for fear of ruining the precious milk supply. But little girl is asleep upstairs, and I have cracked open the yummy Oakshire Overcast Espresso Stout and am about to drink it all! Mwa-ha-ha! (Please don’t wake up, little girl.)

Anyway, I have been thinking about what I want to do with this blog and I decided that I will soon start posting some short stories. If folks so desire, they can get a taste of my writing style, offer thoughts, criticisms, or pour all the praise they want on my very grateful ears. By and large, the short stories will most likely be horror. There may be some fantasy, too. I may even write a collaborative short story with my very creative husband.

First, I need to finish up my draft of Waking Dreams. Now that I have posted this random little tidbit, off to write one of those final chapters. This time next week, I hope I am writing an update that says merely: “DONE!”

-The Rambler