A Word on Gratitude

I wrote a gratitude post on Pilgrim Fowl Press earlier today which I will link here: https://www.pilgrimfowlpress.com/post/full-of-gratitude

I wanted to also post something here about my overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

This year has been challenging for me. My life changed a great deal, and I am not ashamed to say that for the most part, I have had a hard time emotionally.

Keeping busy is what keeps me sane and going, so I started a lot of things. I dove into project after project, and I slowly started finding myself again.

On November 3rd of this year, I published my first book for adults and launched my small press.

I did not treat this like a big deal even though it was. It is.

I have only ever wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write books, and have full creative control over the process and business.

And, here I am. 37-years old. Author of four children’s books. Writing educator. Fitness professional. Day-job holder. Women’s health activist. And, now, I am writer and owner of a small press.

Finally.

This leads to the gratitude part. The moment I semi-quietly published my book, I didn’t think anything would happen. But, something did happen. People bought my book. You bought my book. You may not have read it, but you wanted to support me, so you bought my book.

People I had never met wrote to me asking me for more books. People subscribed my newsletter. It was crazy.

Writing students like you reached out and tell me that thanks to my classes, they’ve finally written the children’s book they had always wanted to write.

I could keep going, but I won’t. You’re great. You all make me great. I hope I help make you great.

Great. Great. Great.

End of Ramble.

I love you.

Tony Made Me Cry

Well, the adventure is over. FullTimeTony and The Planet Playground adventure is over.

What is this Planet Playground you speak of, Barbara?

Well, I’m so glad you asked, Tim! FullTimeTony and The Planet Playground is an epic tale of adventure, aliens, and parenthood that you must read immediately. NOW. DO IT NOW. Click this.

But, Barbara…Why are you crying?

Well, Tim, two reasons:

1) It’s over. I know there is more coming, but still… Weepy face.

2) Tony wrote a very nice Thank You post that made me have all the feels.

Cool, cool…Why you are…writing like this?

Well, I just woke up. I have had but one sip of coffee, and am not yet fully in my body imaginary Tim that I now realize is a paper mache dinosaur that lives on my dining room table.

Real Talk – My friend Tony did a brave thing. He had an idea, he executed that idea, and he did the unimaginable: He shared it with the world. But didn’t just do a brave thing, he did a great job. It’s funny, heartwarming, and entertaining through and through.

And, and, and! He says there will be mooooooore! I’m so excited!

You can start reading this novella using this link: https://fulltimetony.wordpress.com/2019/07/13/fulltimetony-and-the-planet-playground-introduction-and-chapter-one/

As you can tell from the URL, this links you right to the beginning. Happy Reading.

Tony, we (me & Tim the Dinosaur) love you!

Personal Update

Hello, there, social media.

I have not been posting on social media as often as usual. No, I am not going on a social media cleanse. I just haven’t had the time or desire which is saying something seeing as I typically only use one social media platform: Instagram.

I woke up earlier than usual this morning, so after walking River and meditating, I posted three photos in a row. It might be a comeback.

Women have to go to the doctor way more than men.

I had a medical procedure recently. It was purely routine and for testing. No big deal, but I am a bit more sensitive to things like that. So, I have been out of commission for the most part. No running or yoga.

I tried lifting some weights on Saturday like a fool! I spent the rest of my Saturday and Sunday not doing much of anything. I was able to get some mini workouts in yesterday with my coworkers. I have every intention of at least trying to run a mile today.

I can finish anything in 30-minute increments.

I finished the edits of my novelette in 30-minute sessions. Sometimes, I could get two in before work, but mostly, I did a single session after my morning routine was taken care of.

A note here: When I talk about a morning routine, I mean chores. Legit chores. Feed and walk my precious River monster, make coffee, help step-person wake and get ready for school, make lunch for step-person, make lunch for me, make sure partner is awake and rolling out of here, etc. I am not talking about a morning mask, lighting candles and doing gentle stretching surrounded by crystals in my perfectly clean home. Somedays, I wish I were, but, alas, I am N O T!

I would pour a cup of coffee, open Scrivener, set a timer, and go!

I bring this up because that is how I am working on all of my projects until I can get back to working for myself full-time.

I had to redo all of the previously made content for my new class.

Since the launch of the novelette, I have been working on a course that I have been promising my writing students all year – How to Write a Personal Essay.

I had made some excellent progress. I had recorded seven or eight class segments of the course when I realized I was teaching a blogging class…not an essay class.

Not all blogs are personal essay style, and not all personal essays are for blogs. So, I scrapped it. Yep. Scrapped it.

I have since adjusted my presentation materials and have rerecorded everything. I am a few videos away from finishing. The course should be out very soon.

I have a lot more writing to do.

I have plans to release a soft sci-fi in July 2020. The first draft is complete, but I am not very happy with it. I need to work on it some more before I start digging into the editing process.

I have three more holiday novelette in store for my pen name.

Also in 2020, I will be doing a short story challenge that I will talk more about as soon as I iron out the details.

end of post

Memorial for the Best Couple on TV

Here’s the thing: If you haven’t watched every season of The Magicians, skip this. You’ve been warned.

I went to the comic book store yesterday (which is the best use of a Saturday), and my partner picked up issue one of The Magicians comic. Love.

When I went to check out with a variety of Dog Man books for the step-person and the single Magicians comic for we grown-folk, the lovely, comic book genius behind the counter had picked up a hardcover edition of The Magicians: Alice’s Story for me to peruse.

Let me say right here and right now that the staff at my local comic book is the most knowledgeable and kind of all the stores in the world. Period. Also, this was the most subtle sales pitch ever. They saw I had a Magicians comic, and genuinely thought, “Hey, they might not know about. I’ll tell them about it.”

Back to the story:

Our conversation went something like this –

Magical, comic book store unicorn (MCU): Do you watch the show?

Me: Yeah. Well, I did.

MCU: It’s coming back on soon.

Me: Yeah, I don’t know if I can watch it now that Quentin’s gone. He and Eliot were supposed to end up together! That was the whole reason I was watching.

MCU: But, they had that whole day together where they lived an entire life…

Me: I know! Proof of concept! ::sigh:: I just can’t watch Eliot be sad…

MCU: I get that.

Me: Are you going to watch it?

MCU: Yeah.

Me: That’s good. You watch it, and I’ll come in for updates.

MCU: Okay, I can do that.

Then, they gave the rundown on The Magicians: Alice’s Story. While Alice is my least favorite character on the show (the actress is great. I think the character type just annoys me which means the actress is doing her job.), I liked her in the books a lot.

So, yes. Of course, I bought the book! Yes, of course, I’m reading! What am I? A monster?

Morals of the story: 1) #QuentinandEliotForever and 2) My comic book store is the best comic book store

A Gathering of Writers

In case you are a fellow writer that has taken a class on Skillshare or Udemy and missed the emails:

Hello, Writing Friends!  This is a friendly reminder to sign up for the LIVE Q&A on Sunday!  The Q&A will be held at 2p Central Standard Time and will work a lot like an Instagram Live and Reddit had a baby.

You will be able to see me and I will be able to answer your questions in real-time.  Also, you will have the opportunity to vote up questions that have been submitted by your fellow writers!

Click the Link to Join – https://www.crowdcast.io/e/ds13n1c9

I do hope to see you all there!

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

After roughly six months of avoiding fiction, I dove back into the mix with this book.

1) I love Margaret Atwood.

2) I am not entirely sure how I feel about this book.

I feel like The Handmaid’s Tale was necessary whereas this book felt like piling on. Tragedy porn.

The Handmaid’s Tale left a permanent mark on me as a reader, an activist and as feminist.

This one just made me feel sad and sick at times.

To be fair, it might be because of timing. I read The Handmaid’s Tale when the temperature of the country (United States of America) was different.

I do recommend you read it for yourself. After discussing this book with several friends, I have found that those who watch the television show really enjoy the book, and those who have not watched the show (this includes me) feel the book was not really needed to continue the story.

*On October 30th, I returned this book to my friend and decided to not finish it.

Social Media Map

Weblog – The homefront. This website. I blog here about things and stuff.

Facebook – Have a page, but I do little more than sharing my Instagram posts on there. I do not hang out here at this time.

Instagram – Daily use. Videos in the stories section about whatever. Daily coffee mug. This is my favorite social media platform as a former professional photographer, I like pretty pictures, and I like keeping a chaotic uncurated feed.

Twitter – Links only. Links to Goodreads. Links to long-form articles I’ve written. Links to interviews I’ve done, etc. Links, links, links. Like the Facebook page, this is a place to just share things. I do not hang out here at this time.

Medium – Longer form, less casual blogs and articles here. I have publications on Medium to curate information about health and wellness, step-parenting, and more. Oddly, I just realized, I do not have a writing publication on Medium. Weird? But, Medium has a less casual vibe than this personal weblog.