Not bad for a fat girl

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Countdown to Summer Writing Camp

I’m really fortunate that I’ll be spending my fourth summer with young writers through a unique summer writing camp. Each year it gets better and better. At least I think so. IMG_3780.jpgThat’s because each year I try out some new things, and I go into it excited, which the kids pick up on.

What do I have up my sleeve this year? Fun, of course. We’ll be rolling the dice, squishing in slime, writing poetry inspired by paint-chips, creating coffee filter planets, and more. We’ll be exploring our college campus, creating unusual characters, and taking time out for mother nature. And yes, we’ll write. Will we ever.

This week I get my supplies, meet my teaching buddy, and visit the site (a new one for me). Then, Monday morning, it’s go time. I can’t wait! What fun things do you have planned for this summer?


Eating an Elephant One Bite at a Time


In Other Words, Cleaning Up My House

I’ve never claimed to be the world’s best housekeeper. I’m not. I do like a certain sense of order, though.

For example, the glasses in my kitchen cupboards are organized by type and are in precise locations. The wine glasses and crystal are in one cabinet, the everyday glasses are sorted by type and size in another.

It’s not just in the kitchen, though. My fabric collection is folded and stored on open shelves by color. The clothes in my closet hang on identical hangers (well, one type for pants, another for skirts, and a third for dresses and tops, but you get the idea). The tops progress from teal to green to white, then tan, brown, black, into red, pink, purple, and finally blue. There’s a system.

I don’t have systems for everything, though. Or if I do, they break down. Take books, for example. I’ve been trying to get most of my books from Overdrive, the online library app. It saves me money and storage space. Still, I like to support local authors, and the professional books that I use are valuable additions to my library. As a result, I have more books than my current system allows. There are books on the kitchen table, books on my nightstand, and books on the kitchen counter. And yes, there are books on the bookshelves too, but they’re a mess.

Purses are another issue for me. I don’t have nearly as many as lots of people I know, but I do have a few that I use routinely. Where do they end up? On the kitchen counter. There a small section to the left of the fridge that is a complete disaster. Mail, meds, purses, you name it, it might be there.

the-japanese-art-of-decluttering-and-organizin-2-638All of this extra stuff brings me down. It drains my energy. It doesn’t bring me joy, as Marie Kondo, of The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up would demand. But on the other hand, it’s stuff I use. Just not all at once. So what’s the solution? Put it away, of course.

Flylady, of Flylady.net often says, “You can’t organize clutter.” I agree. There comes a point where too much is simply too much, and no matter how clever I think I’m being, I need to scale back. It’s time to do that, but I can’t do it all at once.

Here’s where the eating the elephant comes in. They say it can only be done one bite at a time. Well, I’m starting to bite. For me it’s more like one area at a time. The kitchen island has been done, but that one keeps accumulating stuff. It’s what Flylady calls a hotspot.

My bathroom vanity has been done, and man, it’s so much more pleasant to get ready in that area. My brain knows this, and yet, I let it get cluttered over time. WHY?

There are, unfortunately, so many more of these areas to go, but if I keep at it one bite at a time, eventually I’ll eat that elephant. Today’s goal? The kitchen table. Where I’m writing at the moment. It’s not a second office, it’s a place for meals. This one should be simple, just a few notebooks and books, a laptop, and leftovers from someone’s birthday, last month. Yeesh. One bite at a time.

DISCLAIMER: I would never eat a real elephant. Just so you know.

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Phoenix Comicon 2017


This photo was taken just before the vendor hall was opened on Saturday morning. Nobody was pushing. Nobody was fighting. Nobody was angry, mean, or aggressive. In spite of some idiot bringing actual weapons to the event on the first day, and lots of increased security as a result, people still attended and had a great time.

Yes, the atmosphere was more subdued than in past years. I attribute that to many people waiting in long (oh, so long) lines in the heat just to get in. We arrived early and for us it took less than thirty minutes, but a friend told me she waited two and a half hours in temperatures over 100 degrees. Yikes!

This event has grown into a colossal affair, and I’m not sure the organizers have the management quite figured out yet. Still, it’s a family atmosphere, and a place where anyone and everyone is welcome to let their freak flag fly. In spite of the difficulties associated with attending Comicon, I still think it’s worth it. Oh, and by the way, I only go for the writing workshops and panels, of which there are plenty.