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Category: Life

Let’s Stop Pretending #MeToo Applies Only to Women

Let’s Stop Pretending #MeToo Applies Only to Women

There comes a point in time when enough is enough, and I have just reached that point on the issue of sexual harassment.

The tipping point was a blog post by an author I respect who chose to single white men out as the ones who’ve had their heads buried in the sand all these years.

No, sorry. That’s just more propagandic malarky which, deliberately or otherwise, obfuscates the crux of the problem.

Sure, white men have been just as guilty as anyone else (note the broad inclusiveness there) of not knowing what to do when they encounter harassment directed at others. They’ve been just as guilty as anyone of turning a blind eye, or quietly whispering warnings where no one can hear, or worse, of assuming “everybody knows.”

Guess who else is guilty of ignoring, perpetuating, and silently condoning sexual harassment?

WOMEN.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back, Looking Forward

For most folks, December is a month for reflection on the old year and planning for the new, and I am no exception. 2017 started out a little slowly for me, writing wise, and ended on something of a bang. I’d like to keep that momentum going in 2018; more, I’d like to build on it and really produce some spectacular reads for y’all in 2018.

To that end, a few days ago I began planning (as much as I plan) a systems-based approach to writing in the new year, a process I’ve been trying to get back to since realizing my switch to a schedule-based approach in 2015 wasn’t working.

And since I’m still adjusting to the switch back, I’m cutting myself some slack by setting most of my 2018 writing goals for just the first three months. I’ll re-evaluate at that point, see what is and isn’t working, and readjust if necessary.

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Looking for America

Looking for America

I'm on my way home from a spontaneous road trip, embarked upon last week due to an itchy restlessness I couldn't shake. I haven't been on one of these in a while. The last one took me to the very same place I ended up in this time, along a very similar route, almost exactly one year ago.

I tell people I'm a free spirit, but maybe traveling this journey twice in two years is the beginning of a routine, or maybe it's a sign; maybe there's a reason I'm drawn to this particular area. Both could be equally true.

Sometimes I like to drive and be surprised by the journey. This time, I set out for a particular destination. I've been to parts of the Outer Banks in northeastern North Carolina before (the beginning of Say Yes was set near Kitty Hawk), but I'd never been to Wilmington or the beaches in southeastern NC. 

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Scarecrows and Rain Dances

Scarecrows and Rain Dances

Growing up, I must’ve had the strongest female role models of any woman alive, except maybe my sister, who was blessed with the same set.

Nanny, our paternal grandmother, lost her first husband to Nazi gunners during World War II, her eldest daughter at a tender age to a tragic accident, and her second husband to drink. She developed rheumatoid arthritis in her late thirties, the most severe case her specialists had seen at the time, and eventually died due to complications thereof, but not before seeing her remaining five children and umpteen grandchildren reared proper like.

Her faith and a lively sense of humor shored up her strength, traits she passed on to the better part of her progeny, usually in equal measures. We’re the Bible-thumpin’est, laugh-out-loudest bunch of yehaws never seen outside the South.

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Money, Schmoney

Money, Schmoney

Note: Originally published on my blog for authors.

I re-had an epiphany a few days ago: Making money is not my biggest motivator.

I say “re-had” as this epiphany occurs to me on a regular basis, usually when I’m trying to find motivation to continue writing a book I know I need to write, but am losing (or have completely lost) enthusiasm to finish.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The money is great. Awesomely fantastical, even, but it’s not what gets me out of the bed every day.

Which is kind of a problem when you’re a single parent and self-employed.

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Friday Finds

Friday Finds

Header image:
Smoke has become a real problem across Western North Carolina and the surrounding areas as wildfires burn in several national forest locations.
Photograph courtesy of Cris Bessette.

A roundup of interesting books, movies, and tidbits, some old, some new, and some stuff I just wanted to share.

Halloween may be over (unless you're a Hobbit, in which case, Second Halloween!), but this movie is one I'll be watching again soon. 

Because I only watched it twice leading up to Halloween, thank you very much.

Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman deliver outstanding performances in the lead roles, and are supported admirably by Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest as The Aunts, and Goran Visnjic and Aidan Quinn as the Owens sisters' love interests. 

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Watsonomics

Watsonomics

It started with a spider.

One night, I wandered into my laundry room at oh-dark-thirty and happened to catch a glimpse of a shadow on top of my washing machine. That shadow shouldn’t have been there, crouching in the deeper shadows surrounding it, and like the cussed fool I am, I said what every woman trapped in a horror movie says right before the bad guy jumps her.

Let’s see what that is!

Eyes pinned on the shadow, I cautiously stretched out an arm and flipped on the light. There on top of my washing machine sat a spider as big as my palm.

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Welcome to Planet Vlargdon

Welcome to Planet Vlargdon

Otherwise known as (one of) the home(s) of writer C.D. Watson, sometimes accompanied by her son, a mad alien creative computer geek. 


I had an epiphany recently: I’m addicted to blogging. It began innocently enough with a genealogy blog, and expanded from there to a homeschooling blog and a “life” blog (two separate blogs), then a second genealogy blog focused on my maternal grandmother’s family. Then came blogs for my separate pen names and another blog devoted to helping other authors, and no telling how many blogs in between. By the time I dreamed up Dreaming If, I realized I might have a problem.

Nah.

I have really missed the whole “life” blog thing, though. I don’t feel particularly comfortable discussing politics, for example, on my pen name and author blogs, and I’m pretty sure no one reading those wants to hear about my latest knitting woes.

Plus, I have big plans to travel in the next couple of years. Traveling is always more fun when you can foist pictures off on the unwary.

Mwah-ha-ha.

So, no telling what will be posted or how frequently, but that’s not the point. I don’t know what the point is. I do know it isn’t that.

I would say look around and sit a spell, but there’s nothing here yet. Hopefully there will be soon.

Ciao!

 

[ETA 31 January 2018: I’m slowly moving old posts from some of my other blogs here in the hopes of consolidating my writing. Some posts may therefore predate this one, but this is the first post on the Dreaming If blog and the outset of said consolidation.]

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The Search for the Perfect Personal Planner

The Search for the Perfect Personal Planner

Note: This post was originally published on my blog for authors.


Near the end of 2014, I found the neatest planner, a weekly/monthly planner published by MintGreen. It had a durable, plastic cover, a spiral ring binding, was printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink, and was slightly smaller than letter-sized. Two pages for notes and a two-paged monthly calendar were included between each month, along with a generous notes section in the back and a ton of other useful, pre-printed pages.

It was dang near perfect.

I’ve used that planner all through 2015 and scribbled notes, to-do lists, and completed tasks in it. I’ve planned marketing campaigns, publishing schedules, and series in it. And it’s gone everywhere with me, first tucked into the over-the-shoulder, leather laptop bag my sister and her family gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago, more recently in the travel-ready backpack I gifted myself as a late birthday present.

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Leaving Room for the Unimaginable

Leaving Room for the Unimaginable

Note: This post was originally published on my Lucy Varna blog.


A couple of weeks ago, I consolidated my writing journal with my day planner in my never-ending quest to work more efficiently. I had to buy a new day planner to do this. My old one was simply too marked up and I wanted to color co-ordinate activities, purple for reminders, black for writing activities accomplished. 

The new planner has the perhaps dubious benefit of inspirational quotes printed on about every other page. Things like, bloom where you’re planted and be so good they can’t ignore you (Steve Martin). I usually smile when I read those, even if I’m not reading them for the first time.

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