look at me go

speaking of checking things off a life to do list, i crossed off two more things recently (it was a productive thanksgiving, what can i say?)

*eat a november cake (an amazing sounding recipe from THE SCORPIO RACES, one of my favorite books. fortunately, sister E loves to bake, so she made these for me and all i had to do was keep her company in the kitchen. sweet deal, huh?)

*write a novel (50k words) in 30 days or less. (yup. i finished. 58,620 words to be precise. 50,006 written from 11/1 to 11/24 combined with 8,614 words written the last week of october.) and now i’m going to let it sit for a bit and then i shall revise the heck out of it.

while i’m letting my manuscript sit around and marinate, i will be doing the exact opposite. i’ll be traveling to a country i’ve never been to before. for work.

this is shaping up to be a VERY interesting end to 2012 for me.

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check THAT off the list

there has always been this one thing on my life to do list that i hadn’t shared with many people since it’s, well, a loaded topic.

what was that thing?

shooting a gun.

no one in my family hunts or owns a gun (to my knowledge), so i’ve never been around a gun before. i don’t even really like action movies with too much violence, but for some reason, i’ve always wanted to shoot a gun. i mean, something other than that orange remote controlled duck hunt ninetendo game thing.

lo and behold, this thanksgiving, i found myself surrounded by a cop and a doctor, wearing protective eye and ear gear and standing in front of a target. before this moment, i watched a five minute safety video and got a quick rundown of the gun + its parts, and then, it was go time.

so THAT’S what the back of my head looks like

after holding the gun(s) in my hands, i understood why i wanted to try it in the first place.


it was scary and nerve wracking and interesting and creepy and unlike anything i had ever experienced and exactly like i had expected though much, much louder.

the recoil was jerky and uncontrollable and confusing because from my time playing (or trying) almost every sport under the sun, the way your arm followed through generally determined the arc/angle/ending point of the ball/puck, and when the gun jerked up after the trigger was pulled, it shocked me the bullet didn’t travel a similar, uneven path and end up 12 meters higher than i aimed for.

not bad for a novice, eh?

having finally (and randomly) checked this off my life’s goals list, i want everyone to follow suit. i know this is usually the time of year we’re all reviewing what we did and planning for the new one, but instead of making resolutions, i recommend getting out there and doing them.

starting now.

but be safe! and follow all the rules! and surround yourself with experts! (i mean, hello, could one be any safer at a gun range than with a cop and a doctor? i don’t think so.)

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guest post: grandpa, round 5

the end of the month is looming, which means it’s crunch time. i’m saving my words for my MS, so here, have someone else’s words instead of mine. thank you, grandpa for finding these! 

Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer (1804-1864)

Some stories are true that never happened. Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

The finest words in the world are only vain sounds if you cannot understand them. Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)

human wandering through the zoo / what do your cousins think of you. Don Marquis, humorist and poet (1878-1937)

Our expression and our words never coincide, which is why the animals don’t understand us. Malcolm De Chazal, writer and painter (1902-1981)

When asked them to generate a sentence in which the following three words appear — defence, defeat and detail —  the “correct” answer: De horse jumped over defence, first defeat, den detail.

Nature never said to me: Do not be poor. Still less did she say: Be rich. Her cry to me was always: Be independent. Nicolas de Chamfort, writer (1741-1794)

The sense of wishing to be known only for what one really is is like putting on an old, easy, comfortable garment. You are no longer afraid of anybody or anything. You say to yourself, ‘Here I am — just so ugly, dull, poor, beautiful, rich, interesting, amusing, ridiculous — take me or leave me.’ And how absolutely beautiful it is to be doing only what lies within your own capabilities and is part of your own nature. It is like a great burden rolled off a man’s back when he comes to want to appear nothing that he is not, to take out of life only what is truly his own. David Grayson, journalist and author (1870-1946)

In our world of big names, curiously, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knownness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized jobs. Daniel J Boorstin, historian, professor, attorney, and writer (1914-2004)

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convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #47

i’m talking to strangers?! what in the world?! here’s why.

i finished a round of me vs. the dust bunnies. i won.

then i tackled all the other cleaning things because i had friends coming to town and, yeah, no need for them to see dirty floors, crumbs, or sticky counters.

i won that battle too.

the last round consisted of me carrying two trash bags, one brown bag of recyclables, a shoebox, a salad container, plus an empty quart of milk out back to the garbage and recycling cans. with my keys in one hand, i was balancing everything in the other and had to make use of my chin to keep everything from toppling.

then i realized i had to close the front door behind me.

adjusting my position one miniscule movement at a time, i angled myself back to the door and took another 3 minutes to turn back to face the stairs.

a young college student did a double take as he took in my precarious position.

him: you need help?

me: oh, thank you. no, i think i’ve got it.

the truth was, i figured if i renegotiated my hold on things, i would have lost it all, so best not to accept his help. he left with a smile and i was left dazzled by the kindness of this stranger.

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