Small Goals | June 2017

Posted in Personal, Writer Life by
Small Goals

I did my first monthly/small goals post in a while last month, and I really enjoyed having a focus for May, especially only a few small ones. I didn’t feel too overwhelmed, and even though I–spoiler–didn’t fully accomplish any of them, I do feel like I accomplished something on each of  them, so I’m not getting down on myself either. I’m excited to go over last month’s goals, see what I can continue versus what I want to change or set aside for a while and share a couple of goals for June as well.

Send out three writing submissions.  I sent out one. However, I did make a list of places to submit, and I’m currently revising a piece to send out in the next week or so. Sometimes you just don’t have the right thing to share, either because the publication has a certain theme or you just haven’t found the right place for what you have. But I’m excited to be taking steps, even if they’re slow baby steps for now.

Finish my Daria zine.  I’ve got all of the text laid out in InDesign and ready to print, but I started second guessing whether or not I want to finish this project the way I’ve set it up so far. I’m not feeling enthusiastic about the pieces I’ve written, and part of me would like to open it up to submissions for a bigger comp zine. I’m nervous to do it, though, because the last few times I’ve tried, I haven’t gotten nearly enough submissions. So I think this is going to sit around on my laptop for a while until I decide where to take it.

Write another 3,000 words on my novel.  Close! I got through 2,000 words, which is more than I’ve done since about February, so I can’t fault myself for it. The first thousand flew by, which was of course exciting and encouraging, but then as I moved onto the next thousand, boy, was that a slog. But I managed that much at least, so at least I’m that much further along with the book.

Finish writing and revising Whatsername #4. I’m thrilled to work on this issue of my perzine because it’s all about my relationship with horror and being a weirdo goth/emo/punk kid in school. I started working on this before I’d even finished issue three simply because I’ve been getting so deep into horror again, and it’s brought back a lot of nostalgia for me over the past couple of months. I’ve got a rough outline, and I’m having such a blast writing each piece, so I think this one is definitely achievable for me.

Write for at least fifteen minutes every day. I have a little row of habit tracker boxes specifically for this, and it’s kind of a dream for me to fill out every one of them for June. I’m going to count all kinds of things, too: blog posts, journaling, poetry, novel work, whatever–just maybe not my grocery list. I’ve never had a good habit for my writing, at least not a lasting one, and I’d like to start making it a more regular part of my day. I’m hoping to go back over the bit on writing in Lauren Graham’s book because that made such a difference for me when I first read it that I think it’ll be helpful to take another look.

Read five books. I’ve been a very slow reader this year. By this time last year I’d read about twice as many books as I have now, and while it’s not a contest, I do love to read. I just haven’t been making it a priority, instead letting myself get sucked into way too many shows on Netflix or listening to podcasts and coloring (which is fine and relaxing, but maybe something I need to take a break on, especially now that I’m caught up on my favorites). It’s just unusual for me not to read more than I have been, so I’d like to get back to my usual self. My tbr right now only has three books for the month, but I’m sure I can find more once I finish those.

I really wanted to include something that wasn’t “write…”, but I guess the best I could do was a reading goal instead. What can I say? I’m a lover of the written word.

What are some of your June goals, big or small?

June 5, 2017

100 Horror Films in 100 Days: The Project

Posted in Horror, Pop Culture by
100 Horror Films in 100 Days

Over the past few months, my love for the horror genre has resurfaced and grown at a rapid pace. I don’t know if there’s one exact moment when I can pinpoint its origins, but I think it really blossomed with the discovery of Rue Morgue magazine last summer. I’ve always loved and enjoyed horror movies, having watched them since I was maybe five years old, but it was always an intermittent experience. I never dove in quite like I wanted to.

Well, that’s about to change.

I’ve just caught up on the Faculty of Horror podcast after weeks of dedicated binge listening, and it introduced me to so many movies that I hadn’t heard of and it convinced me to give a chance to some that I’d written off after seeing the trailer or reading the description. (And some it just reaffirmed my disappointment–I’m looking at you, 2013 Carrie.) In May I started watching a few of the films the podcast talked about, but I abruptly stopped when I discovered that Cazz was watching one hundred horror movies this year because I decided that I wanted to do that–but with my own twist.

Welcome to 100 Horror Films in 100 Days.

I’m going to be watching new-to-me films, rewatching old favorites, and of course giving regular updates on what I’ve seen and what I’ve thought. Horror is something I want so much to become more knowledgeable in, film and otherwise, so I think this will be a fun, challenging way to jumpstart that journey.

If you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments below! I have a list going in my bullet journal of movies I plan on watching over the next three months, but I’m always looking to add more–both to the project and my life in general.

June 3, 2017

girls in the underground. | a prose piece

Posted in Writer Life, Writing by

The glow of a suburban streetlamp shines on us, three teenage girls throwing punches at one another because we have just seen Fight Club for the first time. Holed up in the weed punk smoky bedroom of one of us, we drank in the narrator’s words, Tyler’s words, with each sip from the hard lemonade bottles we passed around. Anti-capitalism, anti-authority; we are adolescent experts, of course. (And my heart beats for Ed Norton, but I’ll never tell.)

In the auto body shop’s parking lot, our pockets are empty. We are untraceable. We are anonymous. We are three teenage girls taking swings at each other in the dead heat of a summer night because we can.


This piece originally appeared in my poetry collection Reflections in a Dirty Mirror (2015).

If you enjoyed this piece, please consider becoming a Patreon sponsor, checking out my zine shop, or just buying me a cup of coffee to help support my writing. Every dollar makes a difference and allows me to keep plugging along at my work.

June 2, 2017

Project 365: Days 144-150

Posted in Photography, Project 365 by

I almost quit this week. I really, seriously thought about it. I missed a photo on Friday and thought about just giving up on the project because it’s the second day in a month that I missed and I haven’t felt at all enthusiastic about it the past couple of weeks, save for the black and white week. It feels like every day lately has been too dark and rainy to get any decent photos. I cannot for the life of me figure out how people get such well-lit shots inside their home. Is their every wall made of a window?

But still I couldn’t decide if I wanted to stop, so I kept taking photos and feeling lukewarm about them, wondering what I should do. To be honest, I still haven’t made a decision–which I suppose means I have: to keep going, for now. I rediscovered Digital Photography School and I’m thinking of using their weekly challenges to start finding a focus/theme for each week to, I don’t know, inspire me or something.

Dandelions144/365: I think most of our dandelions have gone to seed in the yard by now, which is a little sad just because I love the brightness of the yellow blossoms.

Harley Quinn Funko POP 145/365: Took a picture of this little lady for my bookstagram this week. She gets her own shelf now that the top of this little bookcase is where all of my Wonder Woman figures live. I think she needs company, though, so I’ll need to find another comic Funko to go with her soon.

black cat sleeping 146/365: What can I say? All he does is sleep, sleep, sleep. Ah, to be a cat.

Gypsy Moth caterpillar 147/365: I have such mixed feelings about this little dude. On the one hand, he was adorable and fuzzy. On the other hand, he’s a menace to the trees! I spotted him on the sidewalk when we took Lexi for a walk a few nights ago and brought him home with me with the express purpose of getting some photos. He fell off this leaf two or three times. Not the brightest creatures.

Haunted Hikes book series 148/365: I’m so glad it’s hiking season! And I’m so excited to be getting a little better at it because there are so many hikes in these books that would be great to try but they’re either too far away or too difficult for my skill level. I’ll get there, though. Hopefully I’ll be able to do a good number by the end of the summer.

yellow Kitchenaid mixer and black bean brownies in a cake stand149/365: Our counter tops are done! Or at least pretty much done. I think Dan is still oiling the last two pieces that he put in, and they don’t have a back splash yet, but it’s still a huge, wonderful difference from what we had when we moved in.

June monthly calendar

150/365: I’ve started working on my plans and schedule for June. Dan got me this customizable monthly desk calendar for Valentine’s Day and it’s pretty handy. I write down the regular blog features and Patreon reward days, and it gives me a good visual of where I’d like to be at what point in the month. I think each calendar gets a little busier each time I do it, too, but I’m not complaining.

May 31, 2017

Rad Gal Inspiration: Wonder Woman

Posted in Pop Culture, Rad Gals by
Wonder Woman Funko POPs and Trade Paperbacks

My adoration for Wonder Woman is no secret. I frequently share peeks of my growing Amazonian shrine, receive numerous Facebook shares from friends who find some Wonder Woman-themed post, and cry just thinking about the film coming out in only a few more days. With the film’s release only a few days a way, it seems only fitting that Diana is this month’s Rad Gal.

I’ve always enjoyed the idea of Wonder Woman. In middle school, I got the most amazing, comfortable pair of Wonder Woman yoga pants from Hot Topic, and I only just admitted defeat a few years ago when the holes grew too big to keep making excuses to wear them. It was only in the past few years, though, that I got the chance to begin collecting and reading any comics, and I don’t feel like I’ve read nearly enough–because that’s what it’s like in the world of comics; there’s so much to ingest that it never feels like enough–but what I’ve read so far makes me feel so happy and strong and brave with each turn of the page.

As I sit here writing this, I’m still astounded that we’re so close to a big screen solo film debut for Diana, a feat that’s been seventy-five years in the making. That’s nearly three times my life so far! It took slogging through eight Superman films and eight Batman films (at least; I only did a cursory search) to reach this point. And part of me is terrified because while the critical response has been good so far, I’ve gotten my hopes up before only to be let down–not by the film, but by the popular reception. No matter how much I love something, my love alone isn’t enough to carry it. Here’s to hoping that she helps to bust open the doors to so many more female-led superhero films, in production and on screen.

In many ways, Diana is everything I would like to be–in physicality and personality, let’s be honest. She’s strong, both in combat and attitude. She commands respect, but she aims for peace rather than finding mindless thrill in battle (one of her tools is the Lasso of Truth, after all). Her compassion is constant and astounding, and she shows a patience that I can only dream of finding in myself. She’s not perfect, which only makes her that much more relatable and within reach for those of us who are not Amazons, but that doesn’t take away from all the good that she does.

To those who argued against Wonder Woman’s UN Ambassadorship: She is an amazing role model, and I couldn’t be more grateful for her existence. I can only feel sorry for anyone who can’t look past her physical stature as a “large breasted white woman of impossible proportions” to see that.

And now I leave you with this Nerdist tribute video, which also makes me cry because I am just so, so happy that Wonder Woman exists in this world.

May 29, 2017

It’s Friday; I’m in Love #88

close up pink flowers

I’m not sure what to say or how I feel about this month. I worked on my May goals, which I’ll actually go over in my upcoming June goals post, but I feel like there’s not much else to discuss. I’ve struggled a lot to, I don’t know, exist? It’s hard to convince myself to do just about anything other than watch Netflix or listen to podcasts and color. Occasionally I’ll do the dishes or even, on a really good day, do some work taking down the upstairs wallpaper, but it’s a real challenge. I just want to stay in bed all day with the dog and cat.

Still, I’m trying to give myself credit for the things I did accomplish because I know it’s important not to downplay my successes, no matter how big or small. I just wish it didn’t feel like such a struggle right now. And I do still have things on my list for which I’m grateful, so I won’t say it’s been all bad.

The Evil Dead ♥ the resilience of plants ♥ looking forward to my first Horror Block ♥ Faculty of Horror ♥ red pepper and shrimp Alfredo ♥ mysterious black neighbor cats ♥ Nerdburger (Cazz) on YouTube ♥ lots of wonderful, homemade meals ♥ Butch-O-Vision ♥ evening walks with Dan and Lexi ♥ posting consistently to bookstagram ♥ hiking ♥ a super supportive husband who puts up with me unnecessarily yelling about life ♥ being caught up on my favorite podcasts ♥ making vacation plans

“It’s Friday; I’m in Love” is a monthly gratitude post. It aims to remind myself and others of the good things from the past month, big and small and to serve as a record to look back on for the not-so-great days to come. The title comes from the song by The Cure.

May 26, 2017

Project 365: Days 137-143

Posted in Photography, Project 365 by

Now that I’m back to full-color photos, I’m feeling pretty “meh” about the results. It’s both frustrating and amusing. I feel like one thing I struggle with a lot is clarity in my photos. They often look blurry/foggy, and I’m not sure if it’s because the shutter speed is too low or if I’m just not good at focusing the lens. It’s one thing that doesn’t seem to have improved despite my efforts, so I’m not sure what to think about it just yet.

Dorothy Must Die Series by Danielle Paige 137/365: Now that it’s nice out, I’m so happy to be able to take bookstagram photos outside! I still haven’t finished this series (this is the last book, right?) in part because I want to reread the first three books along with The End of Oz, but I know I’ll get to them eventually, just like everything else on my shelves.

Loot Crate Jessica Jones figure138/365: So, I kind of went on a whining binge on twitter when I got the April Loot Crate, and while I’m still not ecstatic over what was in it, everything’s grown on me. I think my two favorite pieces were actually this Jessica Jones figure and the Stranger Things t-shirt (even if it is way too big on me).

Cheshire Cat and R2-D2 Tsum Tsum Lipsmackers 139/365: For the most part, I’m trying to keep my tsum tsum collection contained to the actual tsums themselves, but I kind of couldn’t pass up these Lip Smackers. I also really want the Yoda one and possibly Marie, but I don’t know yet. These two are different berry flavors (the Cheshire Cat reminds me of black currant) and they’re fantastic. They reminded me of just why I love Lip Smackers.

pink flowers 140/365: The giant bushes in our backyard are blooming like mad right now, and the flowers on them are the most beautiful shade of pink. This honestly doesn’t do them justice. (I know because I can see them from my office window right now.)

Girl and Dream School by Black Nelson 141/365: My mean, mean husband got rid of my wood pile, which was of course devastating because it made such a lovely bookstagram background. As it turned out, though, the brick and concrete that the pile was on isn’t so bad itself. Its good good color and texture variety, so I suppose I’m not too devastated.

chicken and vegetable wrap 142/365: So I don’t really want to talk about it and say, “I’m dieting,” even though that’s kind of what’s happening right now, but I did make this pretty delicious chicken wrap on Monday, and in fact I’ve already had it twice this week. Anyway, let’s just call it, “me trying to eat better/healthier and not have all the ice cream and candy in the world,” and then move on because I’m not at a point when I want to go too deeply into it.

pink flower

143/365: Another tragedy! This is one of the last few blooms I could find on our front bushes. They were lovely while they lasted, I suppose, and I do look forward to them returning next year.

May 24, 2017

Cursive Letters Into Knives: About My Newest Tattoo

Posted in Personal, Writer Life by

When I was thirteen, I fell in love with my two favorite bands, one right after the other. I listened to Green Day’s American Idiot on my Discman every morning and afternoon, to and from school, and I was quickly sucked into the mystery of who was singing the opening to “Letterbomb.” Digging through the liner notes, I found Kathleen Hanna’s name credited and did what googling I could from there. YouTube didn’t exist yet. Wikipedia was still so young. The best thing I came up with was a thirty-second clip of “Rebel Girl” on the VH1 website. So I took a few notes, and on my next trip to FYE, I picked up a copy of Pussywhipped.

I listened to it in the car on the way home, the sounds harsh and unpolished in my headphones, and it might not have been instant love, but it was definitely second-listening love.

A month ago, just over twelve years later, I got my second Bikini Kill tattoo (the first being the turntable off of the New Radio album). Dan and I were driving home Brattleboro on a Saturday afternoon, windows down, Green Day’s Revolution Radio loud in the few speakers my car has, and it felt like it was finally time for this one. It’s an idea I’d had for probably ten years, but in the last few I’ve just never had the money for it, so I kept putting it off and getting smaller black and grey pieces instead. But this time the money was in savings, and I couldn’t in my heart wait any longer.

A switchblade tattoo with the words "We are turning cursive letters into knives" wrapped around it

I’ve listened to every Bikini Kill album countless times since I first discovered them. Various songs have cycled through my life as something of an anthem at that moment when I needed it, but the one I always come back to–besides the undeniable “Rebel Girl”–is “Bloody Ice Cream,” from the album Reject All American. It’s always appealed to my writer sensibilities, and its impact has grown all the more noticeable over the years.

The song is short, half a dozen lines or so long, but it’s always been influential to me.

The Sylvia Plath story is told to girls who write
They want us to think that to be a girl poet means you have to die
Who is it that told me all the girls who write must suicide?
I’ve another good one for you
We are turning cursive letters into knives

It’s brief, but it’s full of bite and meaning to me. The phenomenon of women writers committing suicide (Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Virginia Woolf). The bullshit nature of that overwhelming narrative–these women weren’t just cases of suicide but amazing writers. And the power that we have when we write, using the words to fight and to survive.

That last line has always felt like a big “fuck you” to that fatalist narrative to me, and it’s stuck with me. It’s how I made it to twenty-six and how I’ll make it to twenty-seven, twenty-eight, and beyond. And this tattoo is to remind me of that and how much it matters to me and the impact that women writers–tragic or not–have had on my life and the world.

May 22, 2017

5 Disney Confessions

Posted in Personal, Pop Culture by
Disney Confessions

A few weeks ago, Eleanor (of shared a post of her Disney confessions, and since I’ve been diving back into Disney with my tsum tsums collection and growing set of movies, I thought it would be fun to share my own “confessions” post.

  1. For a long time (as in, years), I actually hated the idea of the Disney parks. And any large theme parks really. Even if they revolved around a theme that I was interested in, I couldn’t get over the massive crowds, the incredible expense, and the fact that the largest ones are all in places way too warm for me to enjoy my existence. As of the past few months, though, I’ve been coming around to the idea, and it’s culminated in the very beginning of planning out a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Dan and my mom–even if I still don’t want to go to Florida. (So hot!!)
  2. Besides films, tsum tsums are my first (and so far only) Disney merchandise. I’m not even really sure if I want to get anything else. I have a tendency to be a big collector, and I feel like I “should” try to reign that in, so in focusing my collections on items and themes I really enjoy, I’m just not sure if I’ll ever get anything else that’s Disney related.
  3. The first film that got me interested in the live action adaptations was Maleficent. And to be honest, I’m always still wary of the live action remakes because they’re aren’t exactly necessary, but in general, I think they can be good things. I’ve loved all the rest I’ve seen since, which so far includes Pete’s Dragon and Beauty & the Beast, so I’m trying to become more hopeful about the rest (especially Mulan).
  4. I love Frozen, but I prefer the sisterhood of Lilo and Nani. I think part of this is because they’re not princesses, and while I like the princess movies, I’ve tended to lean more heavily towards the non-princesses as of late, not that that has any bearing on their actual relationship as sisters. All that being said…
  5. My favorite princesses are Belle and Merida. Belle was always my favorite growing up because she reminded me the most of myself, which is to say, a brunette bookworm. But Brave was one of a number of children’s movies I’ve made Dan see over the years out of sheer excitement, and I’m pretty sure I cried when I saw it, and I still cry every time I watch it. So while Belle holds her place out of nostalgia, I think in some ways Merida is my true favorite.

What would your “Disney confessions” be?


May 19, 2017

Project 365: Days 130-136

Posted in Photography, Project 365 by

This might be the most satisfying week I’ve had all year, which makes me wonder if I should just do all of my photos in black and white from now on. I think maybe black and white photos are just a little more forgiving. My favorite this week is definitely the flowers from yesterday, though; they’re the pink ones from the bush next to our porch, and they’re one of my favorite things to photograph in general. Plus, they make an excellent background when I’m taking bookstagram photos out there.

Lexi on the couch130/365: Here we have Lexi in her natural habitat, because even though she has her own bed, she still likes the couch (and our bed) the best.

Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark Treasury131/365: A couple of weeks ago my mom brought over a few boxes of books from my parents’ basement so I can start going through them, and while most of them were disappointing, this was an excellent find. I can’t wait to reread this whole set of stories come October! Not much scares me, but damn, these books are skilled, especially with the accompanying illustrations.

Black and white dandelion132/365: Dandelions! I know people hate dandelions because they’re weeds and all, but I actually love them. They’re good for bees and I think they’re pretty, both when they’re yellow and when they turn into their fluffy white seed selves.

Black and white library books including Where Am I Now by Mara Wilson, The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel133/365: I actually went to the library for the first time in months on Saturday, and it was of course a satisfying trip as always. I’ve already finished Where Am I Now? and am planning on starting on The Girl With All the Gifts, which caught my attention when its film adaptation had a cover feature in Rue Morgue a few months ago. I’m pretty excited to read it, and I think it’ll probably be my next book review.

Banana bread waffles with whipped cream, maple syrup, and walnuts134/365: Saturday night, after we went grocery shopping, Dan and I were cleaning out the kitchen and he tried to say that some of our bananas were past their prime. Naturally, I responded with, “Excuse me?! Those are perfect for banana bread!” But later in the evening I decided that even better would be banana bread waffles, so that’s exactly what we had for breakfast on Sunday morning, topped with maple syrup, walnuts, and whipped cream. I’d like to think they would earn the Leslie Knope seal of approval.

Writing and reading in bed supplies, including two notebooks, Where Am I Now, an iPod, and a battle of water135/365: I woke up feeling miserable on Monday, so I made an attempt at working in bed most of the day. I maybe didn’t do as well as I could have, but I managed a blog post and half of the last piece to my Daria zine, so it’s better than nothing. I also read half of Where Am I Now? this day, along with finishing The Last Olympian. No complaints here.

Tree flower136/365: And yesterday was just beautiful. I woke up feeling wonderful and motivated, so I took a bunch of photos for bookstagram, blog posts, and this one of the flowers by the porch. I don’t know exactly what they are, but I do know that they’re darn pretty.

May 17, 2017