Monthly Archives: July 2013

Why I Blog (blog challenge day 31)

Wow, we’ve reached the end! With a little creative planning, a little pre-writing, and some scheduled posts while I’m away, this has worked out pretty well.

blog challenge

“Why do you blog?”

Many reasons. I blog to share myself, to get my voice out there, maybe to have someone hear me.  I blog to share my work, to gauge interest in projects, to get a bit of feedback, perhaps even to build an audience (…or maybe not). I blog to add to the chorus of those of you who are doing the same, sharing your hopes and dreams and frustrations and setbacks, your fears and the doubts that plague all of us. I blog to help, to offer insight based on my own experiences, and to encourage anyone who needs it. I blog because it lets me connect with all of you, and allows me to share things that I think are important (or that just make me happy). I blog to learn about myself and my process. I blog to keep writing when the words won’t come anywhere else, and yes, sometimes I blog to procrastinate when I should really be writing something more substantial.

I blog because it lets me be a part of a community.

So that’s that. No big, shocking revelation, no twist ending for this little project. No cliff-hangers to deal with, either, and no body count to speak of– guarantees I can’t make with fiction. 😉


Making Up is Hard to Do (blog challenge day 30)

You’ve witnessed the horror that was her purse.* But are you prepared to survive… THE MAKE-UP BAG?

blog challenge

I hope so, because that’s today’s topic.

It’s actually not that terrifying, or even exciting. This is just what I keep in my little travel bag for touch-ups. It DID say bag… if it had asked for all of my make-up, we’d have a longer post on our hands, with foundations and creams and mascara and eyeliner and eyeshadow and LOTS OF FUN THINGS! I don’t do fancy make-up, but I do like having the option. 🙂


  • powder
  • oil-absorbing sheets
  • lip thingers
  • dental floss
  • meds (including advil)
  • emery boards
  • lots of hair clips
  • tiny tweezers

*Gah, I hate that word!

On the Road Again (blog challenge day 29)

Oh, the places I’ve been… or not.

blog challenge

“Where have you travelled?”

Not many places compared to a lot of people. 🙂

Counting the places I’ve lived and places I’ve just visited:

CANADA: Ontario (Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, places in between), Newfoundland (everywhere along the Trans-Canada and a few other places on the Avalon penninsula), Alberta (but only in the Calgary airport for a stopover), Saskatchewan (Regina, when AJ was there for his Mountie-fication), Nova Scotia (Halifax, Sydney… lots of Cape Breton, actually), Quebec (Quebec city on a school trip, worst drive EVER through Montreal), PEI (vacation with my family, so pretty), New Brunswick (juuuuuust passing through…)

USA: Florida (Busch Gardens > Disney, IMO), Virginia, New York state (but not city… yet)

Elsewhere: Iceland, when I was a baby, so I don’t remember that.

Seriously, that’s it. I could be happy spending the rest of my travelling life just exploring Canada, but I would like to visit England some day. And New Zealand. Maybe Italy…. Ireland, Scotland… any chance of me going to Narnia? No?

Something Magical

I know, I haven’t been around much since we left for our vacation. I wasn’t planning to do a lot of non-challenge posts, but sometimes I just need to share things with you guys.

Tonight I saw a little winged unicorn prancing around under a rainbow, right in the middle of the city. It’s not something you see every day, so I took pictures.




Oh, Joy! (blog challenge day 28)

Day 28: “What are you looking forward to?”

(caution: language)

Confession: I’m writing this on July 22nd. I’m looking forward to that magical time in one hour when my dear AJ gets off from work, and then he’s on VACATION!!! You have no idea how exciting this is. AJ has been putting up with unbelievable shit at work lately and doing his best to cover for other people’s assholery. He’s been overworked, and has gone weeks where he’s been either at work or on-call 24/7.

You might say he’s looking forward to getting away.

I’m excited to see my family soon, I’m looking forward to OMG THE AMAZING FOOD WE’RE GOING TO EAT IN ONTARIO, and to meeting our newest niece for the first time. But right now, at this moment, what I’m most looking forward to is seeing AJ relax and not jump every time the phone rings. It’ll be relaxing for all of us. 🙂

Hot and Cool (blog challenge day 27)

Day 27: “post your favorite recipe”

OK, I’m going to not do that, exactly. To me, a “recipe” means you have to give things like measurements and temperatures. I don’t have that for you. What I AM going to do, just because y’all are so special to me, is tell you how I make my buffalo chicken fingers, because they’re fan-effing-tastic. The non-recipe is based on my mom’s chicken wings (if you want to use wings, go ahead; I just find the strips are easier to judge as far as cooking times, etc)

The secret, my friends, is TZATZIKI.

For the uninitiated, tzatziki is Greek yogurt stuff with cucumber and a whole lot of yum. I get mine in the deli section of the grocery store, where they keep the hummus and all of that (President’s Choice tzatziki is yummy). Yours might keep it in the dairy section. Either way, you’re going to mix that with milk to make it thick enough to coat your chicken strips*. Then dip that in bread crumbs to coat, and cook in the oven. I’m not giving times or temperatures, because my oven is strange, and it depends on how thick you’re cutting your chicken. I usually go 380 degrees for ten minutes, flip, then check to see how much longer they need (usually 7-10 more minutes).

After that, dip in your hot sauce of choice (I always use Frank’s hot sauce mixed with melted butter. More butter=milder sauce.)

Then chow down. The tzatziki adds a cool flavour that offsets the hot sauce very nicely, and it makes the meat wicked tender. Unless you overcook it… watch out for that.

Serve with rice, or whatever you feel like. Mashed potatoes work well, too. Pour extra sauce all over your side dish. Num.

*Yes, raw chicken, not frozen chicken strips. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and slice them up. Feel free to make nugget shapes if you’re feeling rebellious.

Back in the Day (blog challenge day 26)

Hey, remember that time I did a 31 day blog challenge? Good times.

blog challenge

“An old photo of you”

Hmm. I don’t think I have a copy of the picture of me as a baby handy, and I think my mom has lost the picture she took to prove to her sister that I was a girl (mom, if you still have this, please don’t post my baby coochie here). How about something a little more than ten years old? That’s half-way to vintage!


In keeping with my general policy of not posting pictures of AJ, I can’t post most of our wedding pictures, but here’s my mom fixing my hair. Actually, she’s pretending to fix my hair so we could have this mirror picture. I was not as terrified as I look here… tired, still struggling with depression and anti-depressants, but not terrified. 🙂

Favourite Blogs… yeah, OK (blog challenge day 25)


What’s that? The 25th isn’t always Christmas?! I’ve been living a lie all these years…

blog challenge

Oh, right. Not looking forward to this one. How in the name of blogging am I supposed to choose five favourite blogs? It’s not possible. I can’t even choose a favourite sweater (and believe me, I don’t have many of them), let alone pick five favourite blogs out of the ones I follow.

Ugh, fine. Here are five that I’ve found entertaining and helpful, and I’m purposely choosing blogs of people who are not close personal friends, top commenters, blogs I’ve mentioned before, etc.

Terrible Minds (Chuck Wendig) – Yes, the language is colourful, but he paints such interesting pictures with those colours that I laugh (or at least snort quietly to myself, if anyone’s watching me) when I read his stuff. It’s not just profanity and humour, though; this guy’s got interesting things to say about culture, books, publishing… just about everything.

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing (Joe Konrath) –  One of those bloggers whose words I take with a grain of salt because he’s so extreme in some of his views, but I enjoy his posts, especially when Barry Eisler jumps in to contribute. The comments are always worth reading through. Barry has a blog, too, that I haven’t looked at yet (

Kels Not Chels Not Live (Vlog, Kelsey Mackey) – Enthusiastic and adorable. I like this one.

Hide and Create – Yep, throwing a podcast in there, too. No, it’s not a blog. But it has regular posts, it’s informative and entertaining. Really, it’s just a different format… right? Close enough.

Picture Me Reading– I get completely overwhelmed when I see the number of books out there that I could be reading. It helps to have a few book review blogs on my list, especially when I know I’ll see honest reviews of the kind of books I might be interested in. This blog does that, with a few bonuses: a unique illustrated style on reviews, PLUS audio that I enjoy listening to while I do dishes (multitasking that actually works! Blog time and entertainment while slaving away! Hurrah!)

Don’t look at me like that. You know I love your blog. I just don’t have room for all of them…

Wednesday. Not WIPpet, just Wednesday.

I am somewhat not home right now. OK, I’m very much not at home. I also don’t have my computer this week (or next, egads!), so I have no WIP work except for hand-written notes.

No WIP, no WIPpet Wednesday. And nothing to update for ROW80, either.

In other news, we’re at Smitty’s for breakfast, and I ordered a touton, which you may remember from a post earlier this week.

I was going to take a picture, but then I eated it.

It was delicious.

I’ll try to get around to everyone’s WIPpets and a few ROW updates, but commenting will depend on whether my phone is cooperating. :/

Childhood Books (Blog Challenge day 24)

*cracks knuckles* What’s next?

blog challenge

“Your favourite childhood book.”

Wow. There are too many.

The My Book House series was huge for me, particularly volume 2, which was filled with fairy tales. I remember crying when I realized that the books were geared toward different ages, and I was afraid that I was going to have to leave the fairy tales behind. If you’ve read my work, you know that I never did.

image from; this is the version I had

I wish I still had these books for my kids, but they were sold at a garage sale when I was in high school. I think I’m going to have to save my pennies and buy this set, though. Old books are like old friends, and opening them is always like coming home. The set runs about $70 these days… though I can’t imagine what shipping here would cost!

Side note: I came across something when I was looking for pictures. Normally I say if you own something, do what you want with it (heck, I customize un-restorable toys myself), but having lost my own set of these books, this made me want to cry when I first ran across it. I wouldn’t hold it against this person, or say she’d done something wrong; art journals are important. But man. The value of a thing really does lie in the heart of the beholder, doesn’t it? 🙂

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