About Me

Piano

It’s been a little over a year since we got our piano, and I’m pleased to say that I have played it nearly every day since.

I like teaching myself a lot more than the structured lessons that I took as a kid. For starters, if I want to dedicate an entire month to classics like “Jingle Bells” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, I am completely at liberty to do so. I learn new songs when I want to, and replay my favorites when I’m in the mood for something familiar. Being completely free from any outside pressure has made it much easier to practice every day.

I think that’s one of those things that makes me weird — I CANNOT handle external pressure. Most everyone else that I’ve broached the topic with always says that they work better with a deadline, but I very much don’t.

I’m also much more patient with slowly plinking my way through new songs, and repeating them over (and over) until I’m more comfortable playing them. When I was young, I expected myself to start good and get better without much effort, and it was frustrating when that didn’t happen.

Not to mention, these days I have a couple of dancing toddlers accompanying me. What’s not to love about that?

About Writing

NaNoWriDon’t

I’m going to go ahead and say this again: I don’t NaNoWriMo.

This is the wrong time of year to put the pressure on.

You see, I’m one of those weirdos who has a family.

I’m currently designing children’s clothing and shopping for fabric, I’ve got Thanksgiving to plan out and execute, which will be shortly followed by preparing for Christmas … and Animal Crossing is a mere 3 days away from a major update. I don’t have the time or energy to write 50,000 words this month. Or next month.

Instead of trying to write a novel as fast as possible, I’m a huge advocate for creating sustainable writing habits all year long. It’s important to have the space to live and breathe as a person, as well as the time for ideas to fully mature before they’re set down into words.

Frankly, NaNoWriMo is another aspect of a Fast-Food culture where everyone wants instant gratification at the cost of quality. Let’s face it: people are going to churn out something derivative this month, then spend the next year flogging it to death on social media to extract out as much money as possible from mindless consumers. Rinse and repeat.

So go ahead and spend the next four weeks furiously rewriting someone else’s ideas — I’m perfectly aware that nothing is going to stop you.

About Me

Samhain

It takes a lot of energy to maneuver five kids through various Halloween activities, so I decided to break up our celebrations into multiple days.

We made and decorated donuts, carved pumpkins, went trick-or-treating, played Animal Crossing, and ate way too much sugar.

I’m exhausted.

But it’s a good way to start the dark half of the year.

About Writing

Negative Attitudes Towards the Romance Genre

A few months ago I wondered if I should pull back on the romance label to help broaden the appeal of my writing, but recently I saw a youtube comment (on this year’s overtly capitalist re-imagining of Cinderella of all things) about how women are constantly attacked and shamed for liking romance.

I thought about my own personal experiences, how I was treated like I was too stupid to appreciate more sophisticated story lines, and how I was told repeatedly through my childhood and teenage years that I needed to settle on a career because no one was going to find me lovable. Not to mention, the frequent accusations of romance novels being nothing more than porn …

So I decided that the world needs to change. What I went through is messed up, and society needs to stop inflicting that on women and girls.

And I can’t change the world if I don’t own the fact that I write romance novels.

I love romance. I love deep emotional connections. I love happily ever afters.

This is a subject that I have researched and lived, and despite romance being considered a “stupid” genre, it takes an enormous amount of knowledge and skill to write emotionally engaging relationships that don’t fall flat.

A good romance novel is inspirational.

I’m not going to downplay the nature of the novels I write. I’ve already endured an enormous amount of criticism for being who I am, so there’s no reason to back down now.

About Me

Existential

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I do this, morning sickness doesn’t get any easier to deal with.

I managed to stay active with exercising 2-3 times a week (yay!), but I also felt absolutely awful in the evenings (morning sickness is such a misnomer). You know, after the kids were in bed, during the time I usually spend on my stuff. So instead of doing my thing, I focused on not throwing up while feeling tired.

I’ve also been very existentially moody about the direction society has gone.

The other day I looked at a line of moms sitting with their faces glued to their phones, and I wished that they would look up to see the world in front of them. They could have watched what their kids were learning and chatted with each other, then left for home feeling happy and fulfilled, but instead they chose to be checked out and miss everything.

Just fricken’ look up already.

One day you are going to die, and the only memories you’ll have will be of staring at a screen. What a waste.

Anyway, I didn’t really feel like publicly complaining while I was dealing with morning sickness.

Of course, feeling better also means that I’ve got a lot of catching up to do with the housework, because even though my family has been very helpful, they aren’t an expecting mother full of nesting instincts, lol.

Not to mention, Halloween is coming up fast.

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