Category Archives: Just Because

Suicidal Butterflies

Part two of my Realm Makers trip!

So I left off with random Converse. Here are some random people during a break.

RM

 

Met up with my critique group for dinner. We take great pictures.

Also was able to spend time with my closest writerly buds, Hannah Prewett and Rosemary Johnson

Amigas

Don’t let this picture fool you. They are waaaaay dorkier in real life:

I had the chance to meet with a handful of editors and get to send in some manuscripts for consideration. No, I won’t say who or how many, thankyouverymuch. Took a couple of classes and left partway through the closing session with the keynote speaker, Ted Dekker. Now, since the conference has ended, there are a metric ton of things flying around about people’s thoughts on his sessions. I, for one, thought they’d be more centered around writing. But hey, not everyone will fit into a box. And if there’s one thing everyone attending Realm Makers can agree on, it’s that Ted Dekker fits in no box.

I stayed up waaaaaaay too late and ended up posting this lovely video.

My only regret is missing the Nerf war! I had my guns and ammo, but had to skip out on the fun.

The drive back was mostly uneventful. I was stuck behind a flatbed truck at one point, and flakes of red bark kept hitting my window. WAIT! Those are butterflies! Yes, my readers, I was on a fairytale road filled with thousands of red butterflies.

And then they started smacking my windshield and it wasn’t so magical. Snow White and Cinderella didn’t have to deal with suicidal butterflies.

When I got home, I was so tired that I fell asleep face down on the living room floor (there’s no photographic evidence).

Since returning, I’ve been writing, and Phish lends me her expertise:

amwriting

 


I’m Not Special. Perfect.

I’ve been absent for awhile. And there are a plethora of lame and valid excuses. But it all boils down to this: I am not that special. I have a handful of blog, Facebook, and Twitter followers. Not everyone cares about my latest contest rejection, the tasty ice cream flavor I’ve discovered, or that my kitten had tapeworms. It’s true. And gross…but the vet bill is even worse.

 

I guess that I backed away with purpose this time. Nothing new to report and frankly, I’m not an over-sharer. I’m just not that special. My teeth are okay, I don’t have any abdominal issues, and don’t check into every location.

not special

(designed by zonia)

 

Being a writer is a waiting game. A long, long, looooooong game. It’s worse than a fully-played Monopoly or Risk game. And I’m not special enough to have skipped to the front of the line. I wrote a short story for an anthology next year, received my first “professional” rejection, and am having a ball writing for Geeks Under Grace.

 

So, no news is NOT good news. It’s exactly that: no news.  I have no special headline. I still haven’t met Jami Amerine, don’t have a book contract, and am still writing. But the Lord knows my skills, so I wait.

 

Until my next post, I’ll be basking in my ordinary sarcasm. Which is exactly the point of this post–I am not special. I’m not fishing for, “Hey, Sarah, God loves you and you are special!” Yes, yes, I know that my mom thinks I am special. But seriously, people, I’m about as important as the color of a shoelace.

sarcastic

And also, my hubs certainly should have an award for dealing with me. I’m sure I act “special” some days.


Slow Drivers

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve checked in with my twelve readers, so here’s the scoop:

 

I was involved in a confidential matter where a teenage girl feared for her safety. Yes, there is more to that story. No, I won’t tell you…yet. Some people, who saw what was happening from the sidelines judged me harshly, without all of the facts because I cared more for her safety than their need to satisfy their curiosity. I invested my whole self into helping her escape, yet she right back in the same situation today. Exhaustion doesn’t even begin to touch the way I feel. There is an emptiness from my failure, a gaping hole of “You suck.” And though people involved have tried to tell me that I was brave and did everything I could, I still wonder how that beautiful girl will fare in a few weeks—in three months.

 

On the way into work this morning, every.single.car. drove 5-10 miles per hour under the speed limit. I wasn’t late, but it was annoying. Like, making-up-lyrics-to-the-song-on-my-radio-to-make-them-move-faster annoying.

drivers

Then there’s the face palm of a contest. I don’t know why I see a contest and think “That’s a good idea!” It’s the shiny toy I can never have. Every time I read the judges’ comments, I simmer. I thought the contest was based on the writing, not the synopsis. My mental “Bite me!” rears up and I delete the email because I wasted $30. Another fail.

fail

But in the vortex of suckage, there are moments where I laugh and remember God has mercy:

  • Being assigned to review Wonder Woman for Geeks Under Grace (hey, I had the Underoos)
  • And Blade Runner! SQUEEEEEEE!
  • Laughing at Thing 2’s green, chlorine hair
  • Planning a Walt Disney World trip
  • Taking Thing 1 to see “Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man Tell No Tales” (skip it!)
  • Hubs. He’s just the best ever—even when he says I snore. Whatever, bub.

 

Here’s the thing: people who believe that Christians don’t have bad days, epic fail moments, or that God doesn’t allow these things to happen don’t read their Bible (1 Peter 1:6-7 is my fav example). There will be bone-weary trials, and minutes hours when I question my sanity. It doesn’t mean God has abandoned me or decided He should sit this one out. These past couple of weeks, I just needed to find His mercy in the little things until I surfaced for air.

 

And guess what? There will be more slow drivers. Days when every radio station has eye-rolling songs. Who knows, I may find a judge who doesn’t complain about my teenage character…complaining. Until then, I’ll be wearing my Converse, drinking coffee, and contemplating this note on my computer monitor:

best

Aiming high, people. It’s better than driving slow.


I’m not 29…again

I know that someone will tease me about being “29 again” today. But really, as I stared at the little lines at the corners of my eyes this morning and decided to wear my favorite jeans, I really don’t mind being my age.

 

Here are the revelations I had while stretching my sore muscles this morning:

 

  • My reputation will not fall because of my perpetually dirty house. But finding socks jammed between the sofa cushions still is gross.
  • I am at the stage where my own kids say, “That would look good on you.” AKA: Mom-clothes.
  • That saying age is just a number? No. It means I’m closer to retirement and discounts at restaurants. I’m going to be your cheap date.
  • I’ll never be 29 again. Don’t ask me to do that. I was pregnant part of that year. And living in a travel trailer…in my parent’s front yard.

grumpy gma

  • There’s a special cream I have to use on my face for those little lines. Don’t laugh. Unless you use some too, your wrinkles will look worse than mine.
  • So I color my hair? And get the occasional pedicure. It’s nice to take the time to visit with my mom and my friends.
  • Sometimes I keep old shirts because of the memories (sorry Kathi Lipp).
  • I don’t always return texts. I’m a jerk.

IMG_7763

  • Writing is so much more fun/stressful/rewarding than I thought it would be. And you may become a character in a book, so just keep that in mind.
  • God is good. Even past 29. I realize that now more than ever. I mean, He knows the hairs on my head—including the gray ones (which I don’t even have).

 

Yes, there are a few things I do care about, but as a whole, I’m happy where I’m at. I love my morning coffee(s). It’s pure joy to watch my Things grow up—except on the mornings that they are not so sunny. My hubs is still my best friend and the love of my life—except for those socks. Ew, honey. Gross.

 

For everyone who has wished me “Happy Birthday,” thank you from the bottom of my nose ring.


I.Don’t.Do.Pictures

Jungle web

I already told you that I had to get professional pictures taken. Thankfully, my friend happens to be a photographer and I knew we’d have an adventure. This post is to document that I’m COMPLETELY unphotogenic and have a natural talent to ruin frames by blinking and/or goofing off.

Exhibit A:

Outtakes (3 of 4) Web

Amy just wanted a test shot, so I went full-on Napolean Dynamite.

Exhibit B:

Outtakes (4 of 4) Web

This is what happens when two friends start talking about a dog’s anatomy.

Exhibit C:

Outtakes (1 of 4) Web

I still would prefer a winking cat picture instead of my face.

No, I won’t confirm that she had to take an extraordinary amount of retakes the next day. No, I don’t know how many pictures I ruined with half blinks or crazy eyes. No, I will not tell you which part of her dog we were discussing. And you’ll never know if I was on my knees in some of these pictures or if Amy is a giraffe.

In the end, Amy did get a couple of good shots:

BiosPic-color web

BiosPic BW

Here’s to hoping that it’ll be a long, long, long, long time until I have to do that again. But I know of a great photographer!


Random

normal

1. What is your favorite color? Green, like the forests in Washington state, not the split pea soup green.


2. Would you be a pirate? Aye. You don’t even know if I own an eye patch already.

larry
3. What songs do you sing in the shower? Depends on my mood. Mostly, I think of random bits of story and then forget them by the time I dry off.


4. Favorite girls name? Thing 1 and Thing 2


5. Favorite boys name? And a few of those


6. What’s in your pocket right now? Vitamins I forgot to take this morning.


7. Last thing that made you laugh? Hubs trying to swat a fly and knocking off his glasses.


8. Best toy as a child? A stick and a rock


9. Worst injury you ever had? Nothing terrible. It’s harder to watch someone else suffer.


10. Where would you love to live? I haven’t explored my options enough to make the final choice, but I do like the Oregon coast.


11. How many TV’s do you have? 4. I’m a heathen.


12. Who is your loudest friend? I am your loudest friend.

heston
13. How many dogs do you have? 3


14. Does someone trust you? Yes. Maybe. Hopefully.


15. What book are you reading at the moment? A couple of the “Twisted Tales,” retellings of Disney classics. I have Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin at the moment.


16. What’s your favorite candy? Hot Tamales


17. What’s your favorite sports team? San Francisco Giants


18. Favorite month? December. I already put my lights up…or did I never take them down?


My Smallish Journey

Let me take you on a smallish journey.

 

“Write a book,” they said.

 

“It’ll be easy,” they said.

 

Crazy thing is, that “they” are right. It is simple to pull up a word processor and tippity-tap out sentences and ideas. I alone am the master of my domain, from sarcastic teenage responses to editing out cliché descriptions.

 

The part that “they” don’t know about is everything else. Writing articles, blog posts, and a book while working a full-time job, a weekend job, being a mom-taxi, Sunday School teacher, and fill-in-the-blank is draining. My writing suffers. And when my characters won’t behave in my mind and keep me up until midnight, tinkering with ideas, the other parts of my life demand coffee.

coffee

But…

 

That woe-is-me paragraph above is nothing compared to the feeling of finishing a chapter of the book I’m working on. Or the sentence that makes me cry while I’m writing it. Reading a critique from a partner that forces me to look at a section harder, to edit and be honest. I love writing bits that make me laugh, imagining Thing 1’s face because I borrowed directly from our conversations.

 

The thing is that writing is hard. There’s grammar, syntax, plot, blah, blah, blah. Edits and critiques that give me whiplash.

adore

I look at drivers in cars and wonder why he is staring into the distance. Or why the sad, deflated balloon landed against my fence. Did it blow down from a birthday party? A baby shower for a couple who finally is expecting after years of infertility? Was it released to remember someone’s dad, grandpa or sister?

 

This is why I love writing the stories in my head. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, I stay up way past my bedtime. But, if you happen to be up way past your bedtime, shoot me a message on FB. I may be up too.


Jenae’s Blog Post

A friend told me last night, “So Sarah, you haven’t done a new blog. I’ve been looking.”  Here you go, Jenae. Hold me accountable. Whatever.

Everyone over the various versions of the creeping crud? It made its rounds through my house, myself included, complete with a fever that made me see things. Good times. Also made for some interesting Kim Carnes impersonations.

Bette Davis Eyes

I’m headed to WCCW next month with Rosemary. A few of my friends from my local writers group are going too. Shenanigans will happen! *whispers* I’ll make them happen…

Applied my room discount to the 2017 Realm Makers hotel reservation. I’m overly excited to meet a few of my friends in person, like De (Deanna Fugett, really, but I’m lazy and she gets one syllable).
Racked up another rejection. Changed my nose ring. Moved forward, them backwards and forward again on the book cover. Made some inquiries on stuff.

It’s all a bunch of busy nothingness.

A month of not posting and I have nothing new to report. I’m a bore!

My New Years resolution was to never make any. So far, I’m doing well.

A bunch of writers on Facebook are picking words to inspire them for the year ahead. The first thing in my mind was “push.” Then, I thought that it could be contrived into potty talk. The only other word was “shenanigans.” I can do that! I can even inspire others to bouts of nonsense.
normal

Stick around. Next up will be my review of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. And a picture of my cat. Then Sherlock, because the drought is over and we are headed for another.


Sitting in a doctor’s office this morning, I was grateful. Deposited for a check-up, I wasn’t waiting for results that may hurdle me into panic or despair. Sure, the hideous mauve gown was less-than-fashionable and freezing, but, I’d soon be on my way back to my life bubble: planning Thing 1’s birthday, fixing a reservation date that I’ve already screwed up twice, and lining up a snack bar schedule.

 

I get so busy doing my own things during this season, that I often forget compassion.

compassion

(thanks pandawhale.com)

I miss telling someone “Merry Christmas” because I’m checking emails on my phone. Presents are bought with a checklist, instead of love and thoughtfulness (hey, at least I admit it). I put off visiting family to finish chores.

Sometimes, I forget to see the blessings: my kids’ joy when we take five minutes to look at Christmas lights. Taking the baby steps towards indie, but watching my submissions to the traditional side. Or finding an amazing graphics artist to design my logo and cover–who has an even better sense of humor. Here’s a tiny glimpse of said logo:

oc

(I did say tiny…)

If you are busy, write your to-do lists. But take time to send an email to an old friend. Mail a present and tell a bell ringer or someone holding the door, “Thank you!”

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I appreciate each of you. Now, I need to go hunt down a basketball schedule for my kid…


Speling Rools

When I was in fourth grade, I entered into a spelling bee at the mall where both of my parents worked, while Dad was studying to become a pastor. We kids spent lots of time on both stories, down passages where Dad walked security checks and tottering on ice skates at the indoor rink. But this contest was my big day, because I was a great speller.

 

It was down to three of us. I can’t even tell you if the other two were a girl and a boy or a monkey and a horse, but I was first up in the round. My sisters and brother were there, standing to the right, with my parents. The judge gave me the word: chocolate.

 

And I biffed it. “C-O-C-O-L-A-T-E. Chocolate.”

 

Immediately, my sister Kate’s face told me it was wrong. She tried to cheer me up by giving me a way to remember how to spell it: “I always remember it as Cho Co Late.” I was so mad that she was telling me afterwards, when I didn’t need the advice. I’d already lost.

 

That silly spelling bee and loss thrust my brain into becoming a top-notch speller. I scoffed as a high schooler when I found a package of “encildadas” in the freezer that Mom had made. I even pointed it out to her, making sure to slowly say each syllable of “enchilada” to her.

 

When Thing 2 was a wee thing, she had a funny way of saying certain things. “I want to hold you,” meant that she wanted to be picked up. Until she was eight, she asked for han-gur-burs. She had no interest in reading, while Thing 1 took to books like a fish to water. Thing 2 didn’t want to read, didn’t want to write and just wanted to have friends. Well, I didn’t want to be the overbearing Mom, so we had her in reading programs. Surely, it would be fixed.

 

It wasn’t.

 

Thing 2 has dyslexia (just like my mom). I’m still learning how to teach her methods, along with her teachers, on how to learn to spell and read. She makes notes like this:

 

explain

BUT…God has given Thing 2 a gift. I may not understand why she cannot read and spell well, but I know that her heart is enormous:

 

dino

My lesson for the day? Don’t judge a person by their spelling or grammar rules. God has given them a different gift. Even Thomas Edison’s teacher told his mother that he was defective…and he was just dyslexic.


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