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Friday Five2

This month has been a gift so far. I have had sufficient free time (which is no small thing for an introvert), I’m out of my writing slump and back into a good rhythm, and I have been taking advantage of all my birthday deals and coupons.

Also, it’s like the Internet knows it’s my birthmonth. Here are my five favorite things on the Internet this week:

1. A story about Denton PD’s unique relationship with the city’s homeless

2. Wildfires have destroyed a large portion of the Panhandle, and ranchers across the state are driving hay bales to feed livestock, so much so that there has been a temporary hold on doing so. And while I am not generally a fan of Abbott’s, I appreciate that he was quick to cut through red tape to make this process go smoothly. Friends have set up GoFundMe pages, and officers have stopped trucks carrying hay that direction to help pay for the gas needed to get there (Texas is big, y’all.).

3. Great article in Teen Vogue about Green Dot active bystander training and its effectiveness in reducing incidents of interpersonal violence.

4. I spend a lot of time thinking about first lines in my own books and stories. I might start a blog series with titles taken from some of my favorite first lines.

5. And finally, Beauty and the Beast comes out this week, and I’m excited, but I’m not sure it’s possible for me to enjoy it more than I enjoyed the James Corden’s crosswalk version. This is my favorite thing on the intrawebs this week.

What has made you happy this week?

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Books, coffee, and wine. Yep, sounds about right. Books pictured: Furiously Happy and A Man Called Ove. 

February is one of my favorite months, because I get to celebrate some of my favorite people. Officially, I mean. I can celebrate them any time, really. But they were born in February.

Michelle and I hung out one weekend for Galentines. There were movies (Both Pitch Perfects and Antman), wine, and junk food. And then my sister’s birthday was this last weekend. We went to see La La Land (meh – see below) after trying to see it for a couple of months.

In related news, February is also when I watch more movies than usual.

La La Land was what I expected. It was cute, and there was singing/dancing, which I enjoy. I also like the 10,000 nods to old films. But also – the savior of jazz, should ever such a person actually be needed in the world (i.e., such a person is not. Jazz is fine. It is both respectful of its roots and excited about its future. It is wild and vibrant and often experimental – *cough*aswereitsroots*cough* – and it doesn’t need saving) is probably not going to look like Ryan Gosling, adorable as he may be. If the roots of jazz are really what his character wanted to go back to, it might have been helpful for said character to remember that jazz was born of struggle, so maybe white, straight male is not the most appropriate face of that.

I have watched less TV this month, but what I have watched is still superhero-y and This is Us. I can’t get enough of that show. I love seeing a depiction of what it’s like to live with anxiety. I love the cast and that they play with the fans. I love their sorry/not sorry video, although what they really need to apologize to me for is Jack Pearson. TV has been waiting decades for Jack Pearson, and frankly – so have I. Except…he’s fictional. So basically I’m never getting married because this show has raised my already lofty standards, and a Jack Pearson sort of guy, if such a person does even exist, is probably already married or dead. Either way, he’s unavailable, so I’m going to be alone forever. Thanks, This is Us.

I didn’t finish a lot of books in February, but I read excerpts of quite a few. I currently am reading eight different books. James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room and bell hooks’s Killing Rage are on my nightstand, and I recommend both. I always love Jenny Lawson’s work, and her Furiously Happy is no exception.

You may have noticed I have not been into blogging this month, which is funny, since I’m talking about blogging at my mastermind writers group tomorrow. I also haven’t been writing a lot. I blame the ridiculous springtime weather we’ve been having. It always inspires me to withdraw (because allergies and because spring is hard for me). This is where the discipline of writing comes in handy, because I scheduled two writing nights this week, and they were more productive than the rest of the month put together. It was a good reminder that I don’t have to wait for inspiration to do the work of writing.

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer. Hop over and read some other posts, and share with us what you’re into this month!

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When all else fails, raid the recycling bin.

January was intense. A lot has happened in our world and to my friends this month. While I have been active and keeping informed, I’ve also enjoyed some downtime.

Books

This month, I finished up some books I had started and read another book by someone who is becoming one of my favorite authors.

I enjoyed The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery (Cron and Stabile). That is, I enjoyed it after reading the part about Ones, which I am now 97% certain I am. I can’t really call my experience through that chapter “enjoyment,” but it was helpful.

My favorite book I’ve read this month is Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. I have a whole separate post planned about this book, but for now I want to talk about this author. I love his characters and how he develops them. I need to buy all of his books and study them with fervor. I want to write characters that well.

TV

This is Us. I am firmly seated on this bandwagon. Stupid awesome show. It makes me cry and cry. I love  them all, but Randall is my favorite. Also, I am happy to see Milo Ventimiglia and Justin Hartley throwing off shirts again. I support this.

I’ve also been on a superhero kick (I mean…even more than usual). So clearly I am rewatching/binge-watching Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, and Smallville. For some reason, I see the need for heroes these days. And by heroes, I do mean Cat Grant, Iris West, and Felicity Smoak.

Life

I had…fun? That’s not exactly it. I had moderate anxiety and the tiniest of panic attacks graciously buffered by camaraderie and humor and overwhelming kindness and the joy of seeing both old and new friends at the Women’s Rally/March in Denton. I enjoyed lunch and dinner with friends to talk about it, and my hope was given a little boost by those conversations.

My parents visited last weekend. We ate a lot, and my mom and I watched romantic comedies, and before they went home, my friend Margarett brought them a puppy to take with them. His name is Butch, and he is corgi/shepherd, and he has got that whole puppy eyes thing down. I’m sure there will be pictures aplenty in the months and years to come.

I’ve taken up my seasonal knitting habit again. It’s so calming. This year, I’m obsessed with blankets. If you visit, I might try to pawn one off on you. Many of them will be going to supplement the United Methodist Church’s donations to homeless shelters, because how many blankets do I really need? I am currently working on one in blues and grays that will act as a bedspread:

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Writing

I totally skipped my January newsletter this month, but I had something to share at my Mastermind group, so there’s that. I am working on about four very different projects. I think I can finally admit that having several projects going at once is the key to my sticking with a writing schedule and ever getting anything done. I am exhausted, exhilarated, and happy.

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I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer – hop over, read what others are into, and share your own post!

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2017 Resolutions

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I have a stocking that’s mine (on the right) and a stocking that’s a reminder that I’m not alone in the world. This is the first decoration I put up every year, and it’s my favorite. I like starting the season with the hope that  life will not inevitably always be the way it’s always been.

I love this time of year. I love the invigoration of setting new goals. I am nervous about this year because of the political climate, but I am refusing to give up hope. I am anxious, but I am determined. I am sad, but I am unwilling to settle for wallowing.

My goals for 2017 are pretty simple. Most of them are a continuation of things I’ve already started to do. Some of them are specific, but most of them are unruly, because the main goal is to embrace the wild.

  1. Wild is my word for the year, and I want it to spread throughout my world like fire. I want to burn away all that is not true, beautiful, just, and good. I realize that’s a tall order, but I can’t very well start my year of wild by taming my expectations.
  2. Read 100 books.
  3. Learn conversational Spanish.
  4. Continue to make my home a place that is welcoming and does not hinder the life I create. This life looks like cozy nooks and a well-stocked kitchen, pantry, and bar for spontaneous hospitality. This life looks like flowers on the table and blankets on the couch. This life looks like finally getting the last of the boxes unpacked from the move last summer.
  5. Continue to improve my health and well-being. This will probably look like a significant weight loss. I have 22 more pounds to go to reach my birthday goal, but as – much to my chagrin – I no longer have the metabolism I had when I was twenty, this will probably look more like 15 pounds, which is still pretty great. This will also look like pearls in my ears, red on my lips, and cute shoes on my feet, as emotional well-being is often manifested in how I care for myself physically.
  6. Finish at least one manuscript and publish a 2018 calendar.
  7. Run a 5K.
  8. Go on a writing retreat (can be alone or an official one with a group).
  9. Get paid for writing in some way. This can be as simple as submitting a piece for publication and having someone say yes, but I want to see tangible proof that it’s something I can do.
  10. Continue/establish beloved traditions. I want to have baking weekends. I want to have parties that people come to expect every year. I want to have traditions that are just mine – that embrace the single life I have now instead of waiting on other people to have traditions.

Do you make resolutions? If so, what are they?

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Social Media, Part 2

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I was really excited to get 51 likes. 

Yesterday, I talked about the social media that don’t work for me. Today, I want to talk about my favorites. Most of them are works in progress, but I don’t mind, because I love them. Working on them doesn’t seem like work.

Facebook – my author page: https://www.facebook.com/suzanneterrywriter/

I want to be better at this page. That is my main social media goal for the year. This is where you can find all my blog posts and where I post links to articles, blog posts, recipes – basically anything that has anything to do with something I’ve blogged or care about. This is also where you will be able to get book recommendations (I’m wanting to start weekly posts about the books I’m reading) and updates on how my current work in progress is coming (spoiler alert – slowly). If I ever get it together and have a newsletter, this is the first place you will see that.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_coffeesnob_/

I love Instagram. I am not a fan of their new feed algorithm that makes the pictures show up in random order, but I like everything else. Instagram is the whole reason I got a smartphone. For those who like a more personal, human touch to social media, Instagram is where I am more personal. This is where you are most likely to see what is going on with me on a day-by-day basis. I post about the favorite book I’m currently reading, and I often post pictures of dinner and coffee. You should also be prepared for multiple pictures of the pretty, pretty floors in my new apartment, because we are in love.

Instagram reminds me of the yearly photo albums I used to put together.

I love Instagram challenges. It’s like going to a theme party where I can engage exactly as much as I desire. Most of the people I follow are actors, writers, artists, culinary professionals, dancers, runners, and friends, so it’s basically all my favorite things in one place.

Ello: https://ello.co/coffeesnob

Ello is beautiful. I love the simplicity and all that white space.

I blog pictures of coffee here, and before the end of the year, you’ll be seeing some microfiction and poetry paired with those pictures. It’s the start of a new project that I’ve been planning for a while.

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/coffeesnob318/

Pinterest is my favorite place on the Internet. I have almost a hundred boards. They’re a mix of coffee and words and spunk and cute animals and entertainment.

And food. I have so many food boards, and I use them all. I use them in meal planning, and I use them when I need to take something for a potluck. Any time I’m in a food rut, I run straight to Pinterest.

Each of my writing projects has its own board. You can tell when I’m getting excited about a project, because I will add tons of pins to its board.

I also pin all my favorite blog posts and articles that I read so that when I need to refer back to them, I have them in one organized place.

I used to call Pinterest my happy place, but it’s so much more than that. It makes me happy because it’s the place online (with the exception of this blog) where I am most myself.  I do not apologize for liking the things I like anywhere, but I especially embrace them on Pinterest. I do not abide foolishness in comments. If one is going to disagree, one is welcome to support one’s argument well, or one is welcome to unfollow. Those are the choices.

 

What are your favorite social media spots?

 

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Hello, June. You look pretty. And delicious.

Note that there are no pictures of my move in the collage above. The place I was really excited about fell through, but now I have a place I’m even more excited about and I GET TO PICK UP MY KEY TODAY!! Specifically, I get to pick up my key in two hours. I’m very excited. I don’t have time to actually get any moving done today as I have book club tonight (because please – like I’m going to miss book club for any other reason than being out of town), but I am squeezing in a little bubbly to toast the new place with a couple of friends beforehand.

I feel like I’m mostly into cardboard right now, because that’s what my apartment looks like. Boxes everywhere. I miss my books. Soon, we will be reunited, and how glorious that will be!

I have an idea for my NaNoWriMo project in November, and it requires (REQUIRES) watching and reading a lot of film noir. So I’m going through this list. I look forward to getting higher on the list, because right now these selections are working hard to talk me out of writing in this genre.

After seeing Amy Acker’s Q&A at the Dallas Fan Expo, I needed to see Dollhouse, and I ended up really liking it.

I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do during the summer, but A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson was my favorite thing I read last month.

I’ve been eating simple food that does not require me to cook, because 1) Texas heat and 2) moving. I’ve had a lot of nachos and cereal lately. Luckily, I love nachos and cereal. I mean, not together but…you get it.

What are you into this month?

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer. Join us?

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May has been fun. I’ve gotten to shake the dust off my piano fingers, spend time with friends, and jump into my new job. May has been good.

I feel like I’ve read a lot, but it was mostly lackluster. I read Blue Plate Special and Happier at Home and Son of a Witch, but I didn’t find anything exceptional about any of them. I liked them okay, but not enough to say any more about them.

In writing news, the Epic Meal Planning manuscript is chugging along, but the actual meal planning is not, as most of my time consists of packing for the move this month (two weeks!!! I can start in two weeks!!!). I have been eating mostly salads and sandwiches and relying on the kindness of friends who like to feed me. I bet this finds its way into EPM or Feast or somewhere, though. I can always find a way to blather on about what I’m eating.

I spent most of the month avoiding the sixth season of Grey’s Anatomy because I was mad about George and needed to heal. Now I’ve started the sixth season, and the men are on my nerve, particularly the men in Bailey’s and Christina’s lives. In fact, I won’t even refer to them as their own names right now. Right now, they’re Christina’s boyfriend and Father Dr. Bailey. I have taken to yelling ridiculous things at the TV, such as “Don’t make me come in there! I will come through this TV and back through time to throttle you!” It’s possible I am too invested in this show. It’s also possible that I like it and do not care that I’m too invested.

Speaking of shows I’m invested in…Person of Interest. If you are watching, you will understand the temper tantrum I have to periodically break into throughout the day. This last episode? On the one hand, spectacular writing choice. On the other hand, *&$%#&^@#.

Since church choir and most of my other weekend obligations are on hiatus for the summer, I actually had a free weekend. I spent Memorial Day weekend with my parents, and it was awesome. I ate a lot and played with kittens. Bliss.

 

How was your May?

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer. Come join us!

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