About your Author.

So how are you?
Blah.

Yeah, me too. So blah that I forgive you for doing this infernal question and answer thing again.
Yeah, you must be really blah to actually be forgiving.

Even that bit of sarcasm is ok with me.
Sigh.

What’s wrong, pussycat? I’m blah, but you seem a bit more than blah.
I haven’t written in a while. Fiction. I’m partially blocked.

What do you mean by partially?
The ideas and the stories are there. I just don’t feel motivated to follow through with them. I start thembored and then I abandon them.

How can you fix it, you think?
I don’t know, really. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s the time of year. Maybe it’s the fact that Idris Elba still hasn’t gotten the message that I love him with the passion of a thousand suns.

Uh, ok. You and this guy, though.
Yeah, me and this guy. You got something to say?

Nope. I will quickly move on. I see those clenched fists. So you’re partially blocked. What else is going on with you?
Nothing. Ennui. Boredom. Inertia.

In other words…
The winter doldrums and the winter blues.

What are we going to do?
Wait for April, I suppose.

So it’ll be April when you do this infernal question and answer thing again, then? And not before that time? Please and thank you?
Don’t you ever change.

Blahvember?

Ever since I fell in love with autumn (since 1986 when we stepped foot on American soil and I experienced my first fall, in case you were wondering), I’ve wondered about November. 

What is this month that pales in comparison to October, my favorite month? It doesn’t have the roaring engines of September, when fall begins. It certainly doesn’t have the romance/je ne sais quoi and ego-inflating that I associate with October (it is the month in which I was born, hence the mild inflation of my ego when I remind my mother that her life’s purpose was realized when her eldest child was born). And by December, I’ve forgotten all about fall and begin the dreading of winter. So, essentially, November is the stepping stone between wonder and dread. The head-scratching interruption. The red-headed stepchild of the fall season. 

All that said, I’m officially making an effort not to do November wrong like this anymore. And, hey, I’ve always had a place in my heart for gingers and forgotten stepchildren. So this November:

  1. I resolve not to long for October. Much.
  2. I resolve not to side-eye a month as if it were the pesky seat-dweller next to me on the train who is determined to squeeze me in until I stop breathing.
  3. I resolve to do fun things during Blahvember–I mean November, such as weekend trips to see the fall leaves (even though, let’s face it, November means they begin to lose their vibrant colors, but whatever), spending much-needed time with friends (not complaining about dulling leaves), and eating all kinds of pumpkin-related pastries because it’s still fall. Thanks, November! (Even though my belly doesn’t thank you, but whatever.)
  4. I resolve to remember that November (you’re welcome for that rhyme) actually holds dreaded December at bay for several days, so this is good. Kind of like a moat around my castle. Wait. Did medieval marauding bands really find watery ditches all that intimidating? Don’t answer that.

And so, dearest November, you will suffer from my irritated and/or apathetic regard no longer. I will change the parameters of our uninspiring, tedious relationship. If it’s the last thing I do. Unless something else comes up. Anyway, I wanted to leave you with an inspiring quote about November, but–there weren’t any.

Happy November…

Blogtober (Redux) #22: Mild Dispute at the London Eye

  

 

Mild and hilarious.

One late afternoon, a few steps away from the London Eye, I gazed at up at the structure.

Me: Is it a Ferris wheel?
My English Hostess: Of course not.
Me: Well, it’s round, right? And moves around in a circle?
MEH: Well, yes.
Me: Doesn’t that make it a Ferris wheel?
MEH: That, my dear, is an architectural marvel. Hardly a Ferris wheel.
Me: Looks like a Ferris wheel to me.

(I checked. It’s a Ferris wheel. Apples and oranges.)

Onwards and upwards, literally.

Two James Taylors on a Seesaw.

Because he is my favorite singer-songwriter (no, seriously; of all time) and because I thought it was silly and cute: here are the real James Taylor and a fake JT (Jimmy Fallon) performing a silly and cute song on The Tonight Show. Fallon is great with imitating his musical guests, by the way, and I love how he got James to reprise his long haired look from the 70s (which I, unsurprisingly, call the Dreamy JT). Enjoy and tell me who your favorite singer-songwriter is in the comments.

About your Author: It’s Hot.

Apparently, winter hijacked springtime and then we went headfirst into midsummer. 
Yeah, tell me about it.

How are you handling it?
Lots of sundresses and sandals. But since the atmosphere at the OK Corral tends to be below zero, I still wear sweaters over my dresses and closed-toe shoes. It’s very confusing.

I can only imagine.
Speaking of confusing, you’re being like super normal and not sarcastic with me. Are you all right? Did you fall on your head? Is the heat somehow making you completely different and–shudder–nice?

Here you go. I’m trying to be good, trying to have things in common with you. Are you ever satisfied?
Nah. But you being nice seems like the calm before I’m-kidnapped-and-stuffed-into-your-trunk storm so I needed to check.

No comment. What else have you been up to lately this summer? Still writing? Where’s that third book?
Still writing. The third book is germinating. So far my life is work, my life outside of work, writing, graduation parties, and trying to avoid bread. So basically nothing new under the hot, unrelenting, summer sun.

Still doing the health/fitness thing?
It’s not a “thing”, dear. It’s my life.

Not "almost."
Not “almost”, my friends.

Sheesh, simmer down. We journalists are supposed to ask the hard-hitting questions, aren’t we?
Well, I’m not Nixon and you’re certainly not David Frost. And no serious journalist has ever uttered the words “simmer down” to the person they’re interviewing.

Speaking of that, why in the world are we conducting this interview? You’ve said nothing of substance and I’m too hot to keep this going. 
That’s the point, isn’t it?

All right, we’re done. We’re done.
Whew. Back to your old self again. ‘Bye, my angry love!

About your Author. (Again? For real?)

Why, oh why, are we doing this again?
Oh, you’re in rare form today, huh?pussycat

Have you been living under a rock? It’s cold. You can imagine what living in the frozen tundra does to a girl’s mood.
Hey, I’m cold, too. But I felt like it was time for another chat.

Totally disagree.
Yeah, well, you kind of have to do what I say.

Oh, flexing the muscles, huh, since you’ve been working out like crazy?
Well, I still have virtually no upper body strength, so you’re safe from the “flexing.” But, yeah, I’m loving the regular exercise. It hurts, yes, and my abs cry out for justice, but I feel healthier than I have in a long, long time.

What do you do at the gym?
By and large, I get on the treadmill for 60 minutes and do speed walking with occasional running/jogging. Of late, I’ve been ignoring my distaste of the wannabe bo-hunks hanging in the weights and head back there to also do strength training after my cardio. On days I don’t get a chance to go to the gym, I work out at home.

I thought you were allergic to the workout at home thing.
I feel more motivated now. No videos, though, because that’s just an excuse for me to sit on the couch and watch Jillian Michaels do her thing. Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve come up with some nice routines that I can do.

Are you like a exercise nut now? 
Nah.

Thank goodness. 
What if I were?

Look: I get that you’re obsessed with dying seasons and Lupita and other things, but I cannot take you as a workout nut. Like I cannot.
Would that be so wrong?

Yes. Yes, it would.
Don’t worry, pussycat. Everything within reason. I’ll keep dying seasons and Lupita at the top of the list. It’s just nice to have an active routine and feel better. For someone with a Master’s in Couch Potatory, it’s kind of amazing.

All right. I suppose I can accept that. How have you been dealing with this disrespectfully cold weather?
Double scarves, ear warmers, hats, giant coats, gloves. Like, there’s nothing more to say. It really is disrespectful.

We agree on something. Alert the media.
Oh, the sarcasm rears its head. Good times.

Anyway. What else is new in your life? Started that novel yet?
Um, no. A girl is busy.

So we’ll wait another 10 years for that, then?
Have some faith in me, will you?

Got it. 10 years. Seen any good movies?
The frozen tundra has me in the house. No movies lately.

Hmm. Seems like being in the house should give you plenty of time to be writing that novel.
All right, honey. We’re done here.

Honey? Pussycat? Oh, yeah, we’re so done.
Good. ‘Bye, sweetie.

About your Author Redux. (Blogtober #30)

Oh, hi. We’re doing this again, huh? How exciting.
Sarcastic much?quoteballoons

As you say, let’s move on. How are you feeling about Blogtober so far? Tomorrow is the last day…
I’m thrilled. This was a great project and I loved every minute of it.

Lessons learned?
Definitely that it’s possible to be regular with my blogging. I found myself looking forward to getting on here and posting, even more than I do in general. It was also interesting to find creative ways to weave autumn within each post.

Admittedly, you didn’t do so bad with that autumn theme.
Is that a compliment? Alert the media.

Sarcastic much?
Let’s move on.

I see what you did there. Look, I honestly thought every post would be about leaves and the color orange and such. I saw some variety there and there. You done good.
Thanks.

Will you Blogtober again?
Absolutely. Blogtober 2015 will be a thing.

Great. Now, how’s the creative writing thing going? You haven’t spoken about that in a while. 
Wonderful. Beautiful! I’m working on a collection of fiction, brand new short stories, which will be published shortly. Really excited about that. After that’s completed, I begin The Novel.

Oh in caps? Is it the Great American Novel or what?
Well, that’s entirely subjective for the reader. But I placed it in caps because I’ve feared the novel for a while. The commitment, the time it will take, etc. I prefer short stories because I can whip ’em out, you know? But whatever. I have about three novels in the pipeline and it’s time to put on my big girl writer pantaloons and just get to work. I’ll be sure to discuss my novel efforts further.

Big Girl Writer Pantaloons? Really?
It’s scary stuff! But I’ve also been very inspired by fellow awesome writers/friends who hunkered down and started their novel projects. (Thanks, Laura!)

Ok. Still trying to process the pantaloons. All right, what else is happening in your life?
Same ole. Work, life, life, and work.

How’s the hair?
She’s fine, thank you.

She?
Mm hmm.

Why not he?
Anyway, she’s doing well. I mentioned having straightened her after returning from my trip to Vegas and enjoying that change in the look. But after I washed her, it was clear that she didn’t take kindly to the change. My curl pattern has gotten a bit looser and some of the ends just refuse to curl. But, all in all, she’s coming back to me. I’m babying her. And I’ve promised her that we will never go straight again.

So drastic, you.
It’s imperative. I need to keep her happy and healthy and curly.

Will you be doing a protective style? It is fall, after all. And it’s only going to get cooler. You need to protect your beloved strands.
Look at you, all knowledgeable and advise-y!

We are the same person, Einstein. Well? 
Yes, I will be changing things up in a few weeks. Pics will come, of course.

Good. Now, quite obviously changing the subject, are you active on social media?
Indeed I am. Check out my Contact page and see the social media soup.

That Instagram link isn’t working, my friend.
I’ll fix it.

Seems a bit irresponsible to have it on your contact page, broken link and all.
I said I’ll fix it.

Calm down, Sally. Sheesh. 
You’re trying to provoke me. And my name isn’t Sally.

Oh, yeah? So what is it then? Your name?
I see what you did there.

Smart, huh?
Yeah, I’ll give you that, Sally.