From Writing

Real Talk about Self Talk

I’m not one to intentionally stand gazing at myself in a mirror. I don’t exactly avoid them but I don’t seek them out either unless I think there’s a popcorn kernel stuck in my teeth or something. Sometimes I’m brushing my teeth and I look up and surprise the hell outta myself when I catch my own eyes watching myself brush my teeth. I am one to talk to myself. All day every day. Since I work from home, alone, it would be a lonely day if I didn’t. Last night I had one extra piece of pizza and one extra glass of wine and this morning I was a little mad at myself and I was saying some not so kind things to myself about my lack of self control. (It’s the practice of mindfulness more than body image that I’m talking about here, but then again, it’s also about the fact that I complain to myself about the blueberry muffin top I’ve accumulated since the operation out damn golf ball and the whole she-bang ectomy I had a couple years ago not to mention turning 50.) But then I happened to catch my countenance in the bathroom mirror as I was heading to the kitchen to refill my coffee cup. It kinda stopped me in my tracks and I actually had a little convo with that girl in the mirror, cutting her a little slack, jack. I think I said something like, “Hey. Why so downcast? I don’t agree with all your choices, but then again, I don’t always agree with all mine either and I get a little beside myself sometimes too. Chin up buttercup. I get you. I got you.” Do you talk to yourself? How’s your self talk? What’s the last thing you said to the person in your mirror? #postcardfromtheloveshackabyyeah #girlinthemirror #selftalk #bekind #bebesideyourself #getyourownback

This Is Me

I love this old pic of me. 2nd grade Joules. 7 or 8 year-old Joules. Circa de 1973. Some high school kid who was taking a photography class took it after school one day, and then gave me a b&w 8X10 of it. Which I keep hanging in my prayer/meditation closet. This is one of the past me’s that I most relate to. Besides the obvi aerodynamic chest and little belly peeking out;) This was little latchkey Joules. Ragamuffin me. Shortly after one of my first real haircuts. (When I was born, I had nothing but peach fuzz on the old bean until I was 2. My mom taped bows to my head so peeps would know I was a girl, which I am told, even though I already know this about myself, that I wasn’t into and promptly ripped out. Once it finally started growing I don’t know if my mom ever took me to cut it. All I know is at one point I remember it being long enough to sit on it.) It’s the year we moved to a new city and we were in between homes at these apartments across the street from my Dad’s cash register biz that he started when we moved there. It’s the year my Mom went back to work, with my Dad, to help him start the company. It’s the last year I was good at math. I killed it on the times tables. Mostly cuz my teacher, Mrs. Dowd, gave us candy every time we could recite another times table correctly. It’s also the year I got a D in handwriting. Mrs. Dowd said I “write like a doctor”. Which little Joules took as a compliment and replied: I know. I know. My brain just goes so fast that my hand can’t keep up #geniusproblems. It’s the year my baby sister, Jennie was born. Which is the year I wrote my first poem, a love poem, about Jen: “Jennie is a slobber slot./Jennie cries an awful lot./But even so I love her.” Didn’t quite have the Haiku form down nor could I hang with the rhyme scheme all the way through to the end yet. But that little ragamuffin was a poet and she knew it. She knew she was gonna grown up and be a writer. She’d known she was gonna grow up and write books ever since kindergarten, the second after she closed the book from the first one that she read all by herself. That girl knew she was gonna grow up and be a creative. I mean, look at that outfit. Those pants though. My mom made them for me and I built that whole look around them. My mom used to sew most of my clothes way back in the day, but it super looks like ditching the bows wasn’t my only way of expressing myself with my own wardrobe choices. That born to be wild child had artist written all over her. Way before the world ever tried telling her much ado about who to be or not to be. Footloose and fancy me. Free. I love that little rebel.

Do you remember who you were before the world started trying to put it’s cookie cutter stamp on you? What did little you daydream about? Do you have a pic that reps who you are today? How does this past you inform today you? And on the other hand, if you were hanging out with this past you, instead of looking at a picture, what would you say to little you? What would past you say to now you. Share below. I’d love to see where your photograph take you. #writingprompt

The Art of the Breath

Breathe.

That’s my word for 2018. Whoa. Did you see what I did there? Threw down 2018 on the 6th day of the year like I’ve been writing it all my life. Like I own the place or something. Usually I’m erasing the previous year till spring kicks in to thaw me out from being all frozen in time writing down last year’s date. But I guess kicking off this #happynewyear of 2018 in Maui helps. After all, they say this place is magical. This time, turns out they are right. But this post isn’t about validating them. They probs wrote down 2017 this morning. In pen. And had to scribble it out. Or wad it up and throw it away. That’s just one of the reasons I heart pencils. Takes the pressure off from having to be so perfect on the first try all the damn time cuz they have the superpower of erasing your mistakes. But I digress. This post isn’t really about how freaking amazing pencils are either. Even though I will never understand why they say pencils are only #2. Talk about #fakenews. I don’t even know what writing impliments they say is #1, but all I can say about that, is unless it’s a purple crayon, they are leading the masses astray if they rank pens superior to pencils. But back to my point.

Breathe.

According to @MerriamWebster, my fave dictionary peeps not to mention the most fun dictionary to follow on @Twitter, breathe means: “to draw air into and expel it from the lungs respire; broadly to take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide through natural processes”. I’m probs not telling you anything you don’t already know about breathing there since you’ve been swapping out the oxygens for the carbon dioxides 24/7 since you’ve been born. Which oughta make us all experts by now. Except, you know how most of us only use about 1/10 our brain? I’m wondering if breathing is the same? Cuz…

Breathe. Also means:

  • to blow rainbows, I mean, softly
  • to LIVE, which probs points out the superpower importance of breathing more than anything
  • to pause and rest before continuing
  • to feel free of restraint; ie., Joules needs room to breathe
  • to permit passage of air or vapor, which seems to be a kind thing to do for others
  • of wine to develop flavor and bouquet by exposure to air #youhadmeatwine but also ^^
  • to become perceptible be expressed; a personality that breathes and that distinguishes his/her work; ie., Joules Evans, I mean, see how important breathing is?

Breathe.

The thing about breathing. It’s the most natural thing, but I forget to do that a lot. It’s a gift, but since it’s an automatic function that I forget is being given to me every single breath, I forget to be grateful and say thank you for most of the breaths I am given (and that makes me feel like a bit of an asshole when I think about it). When I do think about breathing, though, breathing somehow curiously becomes the most difficult thing to do. Also, for some also curious reason, I find myself holding my breath all the damn time, and mostly when I need to breathe the most. All I can say about all that, is thank God my heart doesn’t depend on me to remember to beat.

Breathe.

Funny how I already have it tattooed on my write hand in Chinese #foreshadowingmuch? But for real. I got it a few years ago after the shrink I used to see prescribed it to me. It was a pretty good Rx. I’ve been practicing it ever since. Even though I can’t read Chinese or anything. The hubcap gave me a pretty hard time about getting a tattoo in Chinese cuz what if the tattoo artists punked me and permanently inked something ridiculous on me? Imagine how vindicated I felt when a girl from Shanghai came up to me on the aerial cable car up to Masada during my spiritual pilgrimage to Israel in 2013. #vindicatedAF I don’t want to point any fingers and say the hubcap has any #trustissues or anything, but I also thought it’s worth pointing out that I don’t have any. When it comes to getting tatted up.

Breathe.

Inhale. Exhale. That’s what my tattoo literally says. #instructionmanual #rtfm

It’s all about flow. In breathing as well as writing. And I am a writer after all. Who breathes. So that’s my tell of the importance of the matter. And don’t we all just want to matter? To leave some kind of a beauty mark that we were here? My friend Barbie and I used to talk about a quote we both dug that has become a mantra for me, toward that end: “Aspire to inspire before you expire.”

Inspire.

Funny how one of the definitions of inspire is to breathe or blow into or upon; or to infuse (something, such as life) by breathing. That kinda took my breath away when Merriam-Webster tweeted that definition of breathe while I was researching my word for 2018.

Breathe.

First the inhale. Besides the obvious oxygen, it got me thinking about what inspires me. Cuz if I wanna blow rainbows, I mean, if I aspire to inspire before I expire, I gotta be inspired myself. Which means I gotta be intentional about that kinda air that I breathe too. Some of the things I jotted down that help me be/stay inspired: prayer and meditation, creative community, immersing myself in a 52 week challenge (that I started when I turned 52 this past September) to consume art by inspiring female artists or about inspiring female protagonists, travel and adventures, poetry, drum circles, learning to play my uke, being in my writing zone, creating…

Then the exhale. Besides brushing my teeth cuz the carbon dioxide, it got me thinking about the beauty mark that I was here that I’m hoping to leave here someday. Which means I gotta be intentional about my writing and making of the stuff I’m trying to leave behind. Which is why the inhale is so damn important and not to be neglected, and why breathe is my word for 2018. This is going to be a year of create #everydamnday. Here’s some of what’s brewing: Finish my Route 66 book, record Audible version of SHAKEN in my own voice, publish a book of my poetry, Alice in Wonderland writing workshop/book, year of living sincerely VLOG, homeschool memoir, my work with Grace project/short film or mini-doc/book, meditation training, Qi Gong training, life coaching?, and my someday dream of my own studio called St. Udio’s…

Breathe.

That’s my word for 2018. What’s yours? It would make me happy to write your name and word on my prayer/meditation wall and lift you up this year if you’d like. Comment below or shoot me a text or email.

 

 

Dear Universe

Last week I threw down my epic DONE list. This is most def a practice I wanna keep on keeping on at the end/beginning of a year. Not a report card from each year’s resolution throw down, but just a moment of reflection and celebration, making much ado about crossed off things. To start this tradition and the year off with a #bang #kaPOW, I threw down 51 things on my epic DONE list to reflection/celebration my 51 trips around the sun.

I wasn’t going to do 51 things on my epic TO DO list of this happy New Year’s Resolutions (or Intentions or Goals or Whatever term floats your boat and/or doesn’t get your goat). I was going to narrow it down to 17 cuz that’s what the poet inside of me wanted to do. But the #fomo-aholic in me obvi wanted to cast wider. Luckily #fomo me also waxes poetic. Instead of narrowing down my dreams, when I started throwing them down, I noticed they kinda fell into 3 categories: Places I wanna go, things I wanna do, and the person I wanna be. So I decided to do 3 lists of 17. And then I did the math and LMFAO off at the #divineirony.

So without further ado . . . my 51 things . . .

To Go

  1. Plan and save for and save the date for my Buen Camino/Don Quixote pilgrimage in Spain
  2. Albuquerque Balloon Fest
  3. This winter a winter get-away; by next winter a winter home-away-from-home
  4. Have an affair with my creativity #everydamnday but also a writer’s retreat
  5. Check out a drum circle
  6. Nowhere Else Festival
  7. Take the scenic route whenever possible
  8. The the stairs whenever possible (and especially if I ever get back to the Eiffel Tower and the stairs are open for biz)
  9. Girls Night Out
  10. Catch all the sunsets I can
  11. Say YES to adventure
  12. Talk to strangers
  13. On the Road with Grace project (Cincy, Colorado, DC…)
  14. Metavivor Die-in protest on Capitol Hill
  15. Next time I’m in DC, to run the 6-mile running tour that my friend Barbie #RIP #fuckcancer told me about that we wanted to run together #WWBD?
  16. Ride my orange is the new bike on the Loveland bike trail #crosstraining
  17. Step up to the microphone (speaking, storytelling events, open mic, poetry slams, etc)

To Do

  1. Finish #shittyfirstdraft of my Route 66 book
  2. Enter my route 66 pix in more photo contests/art shows and have another solo exhibit
  3. Take Jeremy Cowart’s photography and lightroom/photoshop courses from his See University
  4. Finish editing pix/setting up Smug Mug
  5. Record #SHAKEN so Taran can someday hear it in my own voice
  6. Alice in Wonderland writing workshop
  7. Learn to make an origami crane
  8. Learn Qi Gong and/or Tai Chi
  9. Run 500 miles
  10. Do a Tri
  11. Learn to play my uke and my red guitar
  12. Publish a book of my poetry
  13. Flesh out St. Udio’s dream
  14. Build my tribe and love them hard
  15. Make candles out of glass bottles I’ve been learning to cut #upcycle
  16. Learn to etch rocks with my dremel engraver
  17. Work on my Mail Chimp/Postables and make my own thank you/thinking of you note cards, #postcardsfromtheroad, etc send more snail mail

To Be

  1. Bringing good energy with me wherever I am #goodjoujou
  2. Fit (Hit the mat/road/gym #everydamnday) (Runkeeper app, Moonjoggers #chasethesun challenge, Yes Fit app)
  3. Heavily meditated (Insight Timer app)
  4. Eat and drink mindfully (My Fitness Pal app)
  5. Hydrated (iHydrate app and water bottle)
  6. Chill on the carbs, superchill on the glutens
  7. Fit back in my fave pair of blue jeans (My Fitness Pal app)
  8. Organized (Evernote app)
  9. Intentional (my carpe the fuck out of the diem worksheet)
  10. Lost in a good book but also writing one #everydamnday
  11. Reading poetry but also writing it #becausetheworldneedsmorepoetry
  12. Curious #followthewhiterabbit
  13. Creative #thewarofart #makeartnotwar
  14. Seeking/building community
  15. Cancer free and celebrating my 9 year cancerversary on Aug. 20
  16. Not Dizzy
  17. Leaving a beauty mark that I was here #belove #theartofkindness

What are your resolves, the intentions you’ve set, the goals you are aiming for, the dreams you are dreaming for 2017? I’d love for you to share them with me so we can cheer each other on!

Here’s mine in a picture. My 2017 vision board, that I worked on during January which I spent with my sweet Redheads and sweetest #taranthewonderbaby! in Colorado. It’s hard to tell from the picture that the base of my vision board is a clock. Which I promptly threw away the batteries and set to 6 o’clock. (Bonus points for anyone who gets that reference!) Anyway, it’s a cool retro superBIG and clunky clock I picked up at a Thrift store cuz I wanted a legit frame for my vision board and also #upcycling things is super fun. I have my vision board hanging out right in front of of my writing desk in my office aka the #rabbitroom so I can keep the intentions I have set and the dreams I’m dreaming for this year always before me. I also have it set as the wallpaper on both my phone and compy. Staying in the game is the hardest part, yeah? How do you stay in the game and manifest your intentions?

Fight the good fight. Finish the race. Keep the faith. ~ 2 Timothy 4:7

 

Check(ed) 1-2-3…

This is not a test. This is not about a cute little penguin eating an ice cream cone either. Although since his name is Frank, I’ll follow suit…cuz let’s be frank… If it were a test, I gimme an A. (I thought about giving myself an A+ but that would be boring and leave no room for improvement.) But like I said it’s not a test. This is life. My life…so far.

This is that time of year where we’ve all been throwing down our New Year’s Resolutions/Intentions/Hopes/Dreams/Goals/ToDo’s/Much Ado’s/Whatever you wanna call it, it’s chill just like that scoop of pink bubblegum ice cream Frank’s #nomnom-ing on. I took my own sweet time and worked on mine during January, via a vision board project with my daughter while I spent her birthday month with her in #taranthewonderbabyland aka Denver.

This is not that post. Stay tuned for that post.

This is the prequel to that post. If you know me at all, you know I love me a To Do list like nobody’s biz.

But one of the things I love most about To Do lists, is they help me get shit done cuz I get superkaPOWer motivated checking things off. That Been there, Done that feeling… #amiright?! It got me thinking that maybe a little pause, and dare I say a little celebration, is in order. In honor of the Done list. Which I feel is a more fitting ceremony than merely crumpling up said list and tossing it in the nearest trash can.

So here’s to the Done list that I’ve been there done that these 51 trips around the sun.

In no particular order, here’s a quarter of a century of some of my fave things (in the history of the 51 times I’ve surfed the sun) that I’ve crossed off my To Do list…

  1. Wrote a book
  2. Ran a 10-hour endurance run and netted 35 miles
  3. Ran the #Route66 marathon and world’s shortest ultra
  4. Road-tripped Route 66
  5. Road-tripped California Highway 1 in a convertible
  6. Road-tripped from Vegas to Grand Canyon in a convertible, saw the Grand Canyon, ran the Grand Canyon half marathon trail run
  7. Watched a sunset at Joshua Tree National Park while listening to U2’s Joshua Tree album. TWICE
  8. Met my creativity guru Liz Gilbert TWICE and she remembered me, also she commented that I write like a dream on my FB
  9. Met my writing gurus Anne Lamott and Jasper Fforde TWICE
  10. Met my photography guru Jeremy Cowart TWICE
  11. Did a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, ran the breathtaking Jerusalem ½ marathon, was Kosher for 3 weeks while spending time with my beloved Achoti
  12. Drove down to the Keys and had a Cuban sandwich and some Cuban coffee
  13. Stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
  14. Checked in to Hotel California. Heard the mission bell ring. Didn’t check out
  15. Created my #postcardsfromtheroad #Route66 photo exhibit, one of my pics made it into an #americanroadtrip art show at a gallery in NYC, won photographer of the year at ADC’s ACA academy awards for artists, had my first solo exhibit at the 86
  16. Raised my sweet Redheads, homeschooled them for 16 years #bestjobEVER
  17. I am Gigi #hearmeroar #bestjobEVER
  18. Produced SCAR Cincy exhibit, SCAR exhibition consultant, created scar blog, produced SCAR BAMA at Freedom Center
  19. Produced Angelo Merendino’s exhibit in Cincy
  20. Grace project roadtrip sidekick and assistant
  21. Dante pilgrimage and tour in Florence
  22. Saw Rafa play on clay (in Rome sweet Rome)
  23. Ran my own half marathon from Missouri through Kansas to Oklahoma on july 4, 2014 during my route 66 road trip
  24. Ran from Illinois to Missouri across the chain of rocks bridge TWICE
  25. Painted desert
  26. Took down 24 chemo cocktails and (so far so good, 8 years later #yearoftheoctupus) kicked cancer’s ass
  27. Won city districts with my tennis team with me on court 1 my first season back after cancer
  28. Got a volleyball scholarship to college
  29. Got up on stage and told a story at Bespoken Live (a moth-like storytelling event) (3 X so far)
  30. Hiked Ocho Rios in Jamaica
  31. Participated in peaceful protests on Capital Hill
  32. Got tats (12) (so far)
  33. Been COMPLETELY bald down to all but a couple eyelashes
  34. Saw Niagara Falls
  35. Drank a shot out of a test tube at Frankenstein’s Pub in Edinburgh
  36. Bought a copy of The Little Prince from a cashier who was brushing her teeth at Shakespeare’s & Co. in Paris
  37. Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam
  38. Read the Beatitudes on the Mount of Olives. Broke bread and spilled wine there with my friend and fellow pilgrim on my journey to the Holy Land and back. We walked the Via Dolorosa together.
  39. Train-tripped through the Alps from Munich to Rome
  40. Followed in Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday footsteps, vespa-ing about Rome (until the “Vespa Incident” in which the brake didn’t break and I did a Wiley Coyote into a wall and broke my face)
  41. Got red clay on my tennis shoes at Roland Garros in Paris
  42. Snorkeled in Cozumel
  43. Saw Wicked on and off broadway
  44. Walked into THE Cheers Bar and everybody yelled JOULES!
  45. Did a Mayan mud hut sweat lodge ritual aka Temazcal and had the most incredible Mayan massage IN THE WORLD aka Kukulkan in Cancun
  46. Road-tripped up the coast of Scotland
  47. Hiked Hadrian’s Wall
  48. Created my own Not-a-Chemo-Cocktail (for my book release party)
  49. Drank a ½ pint in THE Rabbit Room of THE Bird & Baby aka Eagle and Child Pub, where the Inklings used to hang out
  50. Saw THE wardrobe (at Wheaton University)
  51. Liverpool. Magical Mystery Tour. Hard Day’s Night Hotel. Cavern Club. Amanda and I closed down the club, singing and dancing our hearts out with the Beatles cover band.

I know I probs missed a few epic moments but I tried not to overthink it too much and just go with the flow of my own little brainstorm. #postcardfromtheroad #memorylane #epicmoments #done

What’s on your DONE list?

#GoodJouJou

#GoodJouJou

(Ode to 2017)

A haiku. A word.
My #mantra. Lit a candle
Made a wish. Didn’t

Blow out the candle-
Watched it burn bright in the night-
The flickering flame

Of the night, a year.
Final bow. A prayer; blew
A kiss. One. God be

With us. Another
Kiss. Hello new year new day-
Jesus take the wheel.

Help us do justly
And love mercy (which triumphs)
And to walk humbly

With God and us all-
ALL God’s children. All of them
Precious in God’s sight.

Where does peace on earth
And goodwill to all begin?
Once upon a time…

A Refugee. Now
me: rebel with ancient hope-
This force is with me.

It moves me. Whispers
Beloved. Go…do likewise.
Be love. Be a light.

Light the night, the world,
Another’s candle. Like good
Energy. Bring it.

The Blizzard of ’78

Yesterday it snowed and somebody posted this picture of the Blizzard of ’78 and I was like, “Seems like yesterday cuz I remember the Blizzard of ’78.” Except there wasn’t that much snow yesterday.

I was in 6th grade during the Blizzard of ’78. We had a whole week of snow days from January 25-31 during the Blizzard of ’78. You’d think I wouldn’t remember that kinda detailed #postcardfromtheroad #memorylane kinda info 38 years down the road. Especially when you throw in my chemo brain and/or the “Vespa Incident” head injury. But the reason I know all this, is cuz I just dug up my baby book. Which I just now realized my Mom stopped filling out when I was in second grade when my sister was born.

Anyway, the reason I dug up my baby book when the white death reminded us all of the Blizzard of ’78 yesterday, is because I was talking to my Mom a few months ago on my birthday (September 27, in case you were wondering) we were trying to remember what time I was born and I have been too damn lazy to have the Hubcap go into the other room and get the box down out of the closet in the #rabbitroom aka my office.

Until yesterday’s “snow day” when I remembered the Blizzard of ’78 and that my English teacher gave us a blizzard of homework aka the old “snow pack” trick, which included keeping a journal during the snow daze. I still have my snow daze journal from the Blizzard of ’78. Stuffed in between the mostly unused pages of said baby book. So after he brought me my usual coffee in bed, I asked him to rax me the box so I could finally solve the mystery of the time of my birth. But also, I wanted to see my snow daze journal from the Blizzard of ’78.

(Btw, I was born at 7:04 pm, in case it was driving you as crazy as it was driving my Mom.)

Jan. 25 – I had to go out and get some logs for the fire place and I was coming back and fell in a hole that had snow up to my waist.  I looked up to my mom who was warm inside and she snapped a picture of me.

Jan. 26 – I got proposed to today. Yes, my sister and I were coloring and all of the sudden she stopped me and said, “Joules, are you gonna marry me?” I tried to explain to her why I couldn’t but she was too dumb to understand. I watched her all day and was supposed to get five dollars but my mom won’t give it to me yet.

Jan. 27 – Another boring day, nothin’ to do because I have to watch my sister. (Now my mom will owe me 10 dollars.) My friends Monica and Lynn cam over to see if I could come out and I couldn’t because of you know who. But tonight will be fun because I’m spending the night with Monica.

Jan. 28 – Freedom! I don’t have to watch Jennifer. My mom still hasn’t paid me. My friend Monica came and asked me if I could go and my mom said I could. We went and got Lynn. We went down to the creek and jumped in to see where it was the deepest. Monica jumped in one place that was past her waist. We had to help her out.

Jan. 29. – Same as Jan. 28. No, my mom still hasn’t paid me. I might make her pay me a dollar a day that she doesn’t give me the $10.

Jan. 30 Guess what? Yes I have to watch Jennifer, hmm $15.00! Well this is going to be boring.

Jan. 31. Wow, what a lucky break. I don’t have to watch Jennifer. We’re going to go to my grandma’s. When we got to my grandma’s I went over to my friend’s house. Her name is Julie, and she got some warm clothes on and we went outside. We went to the woods to find a way to cross the creek. It’s water hadn’t frozen. We found a log that stretched across the creek, so I decided to cross it. I was right in the middle and it started to crack. I got off that log and am not goin’ on it again.

Feb.1 – I think I went to school that day. That WAS boring.

_______________

All that to say, I don’t thing my Mom ever paid me that $15. Which is whatever. Cuz the main thing about this old journalistic endeavor of mine that STRIKES ME is that it was the first time in my herstory that I wrote something and got egged on. It would not be the last. And so it goes.

25 Random Things About Me (2009 Remix)

#lovewarrior
I thought I’d dig up this one from the archives. My #25RandomThingsAboutMe from back in my chemo daze of two-thousand and late. This has been on my #ToDoList anyway, since reading #lovewarrior cover to cover the day it arrived in the mail. Cuz Glennon Doyle Melton wrote about her list of 25 random things in it. I am going to throw down a new list (cuz life. it haps. and we change and evolve. or at least hopefully we do. so i doubt i will come at it exactly the same since i’m not exactly the same as i was 7 years ago.) But first, I wanted to check in with what I wrote back then. Did you write a list of 25 random things about you way back in the day too? Also, HAVE YOU READ LOVE WARRIOR YET?

25 Random Things About (two-thousand and late) Me

23. I am rarely random. For example, I usually think through what I’m about to say, rephrasing and such, about 3-5 times before I say it. Sometimes, I think about what I’m about to say to the point that it becomes so concrete that I think I’ve already said it. Then I sit there waiting for a response. Then I figure I said something to make you mad or something.
2. My kids are the sweetest hearts of my heart and my hub has been true to the in sickness and for worse part of our vows which has been hard on him and humbling for me.
9. I keep Hershey’s Chocolate Candy Bars and a jar of peanut butter in my nightstand. Also a pencil (and sharpener and a thesarus) and 3X5 cards for writing ideas or lists that hit me in the middle of the night. And a sweetart tin and supply that I sometimes take when we go out to see a movie. (We go to see movies A LOT, and I almost always get popcorn, but only sometimes take my sweetarts.) Also, whatever I’m reading. and a dictionary. And a crossword puzzle book is either on mine or Dave’s depending on who ended up filling in answers last.
17. I LOVE to play tennis. My license plate says EAT SLEEP TENNIS. I have a decal on my side window that looks like a tennis ball broke it. I can see it out my side rear view window, and smile every time I see it. I also have a tennis ball hanging in my garage that my mini likes to park under. I live right behind the tennis courts in my neighborhood and my boys made stairs going down the hill for me while I was having all the surgeries in the beginning of this cancer thing. 170 is the tennis channel on my tv. Someday I would like to plan a year of traveling around the world from slam to slam.
5. I am an INFP, according to the Meyers-Briggs personality profiling. So is Fanny Price, one of my favorite Austen characters. And in my opinion, Jane Eyre is too. I love all that personality profiling stuff. Although I don’t think you should put anybody in a box with it or anything else. I don’t do boxes.
14. I like to write sonnets. I like to write, period. But I’m very fond of sonnets. I have a Shakespeare bust that sits on my desk. A candlestick holder I got made of wood shavings from the Globe. I wear a small gold hoop like he wore, which I bought at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in D.C.
4. Since Amanda has stolen my guitar off me, I’ve been thinking about getting a new one and picking it back up and trying to learn some of the worship songs we sing at the Vineyard and other songs I like. Also I’d like to write some of my own.
19. I am not good with small talk; much rather sit across a table from you with a bottle of wine in between us and sip on good wine and conversation as long as we’re both able. (There is an Over the Rhine song in that answer that you really should hear-Born-it’s one of my faves, and theme songs.)
22. I am “Monkish” OCD, and understand Dr. House maybe a bit too much. Think Hugh Laurie is my fave actor. (p.s. in re: 22 and 12 when you’re all done reading this, I did end up going back to recheck because I’m not really lazy. I just thought it seemed tedious, which I don’t like. And even though I’d like to pretend that I really don’t care enough to go back and check and re-check, I do. Still, that doesn’t mean that I’m for sure going to get it right.)
3. During chemo I found that I have a birthmark on the base of my head that looks like a cluster of grapes, which I think is very cool. And I’d like to think of it as one day becoming a glass of pinot noir when it grows up.
6. I love to cook with loud music in the background and a glass of wine in my hand. What’s usually cooking in my house is garlic and onions and some pasta (the house fave is spag carbonara-rachel ray’s recipe tweaked the tiniest bit-I think we’d be great friends). the wine on tap is generally a pinot noir, but we like to try lots of different wines and I have a great relationship with the woman who owns the wine store around the corner. currently playing on my IPOD is a chemo mix I have going as my soundtrack while I’m fighting cancer and dealing with chemo.
11. I drive a cooper mini which I call Rocinante (Don Quixote’s horse), and love that all mini drivers acknowledge one another in passing, and often park next to each other. It is a fun club to be in. One time, at the movie theatre, I left a note on the windshield of another mini we parked next to, saying, my mini likes your mini. When I came out, there was a note on my mini’s windshield that said the same thing.
16. I liked driving on the other side of the road in England, and think this says a lot about me.
24. One of my regrets in life was being talked out of climbing up the Eiffel tower and taking the elevator. I need very much to go fix that when I go watch the French Open someday.
8. I think gargoyles are cool. Also the fact that I have one of each of the state quarters.
21. Once, my dad took me to the riverboat and I won $1000 bucks at craps.
15. I have just gotten to a point in my treatment, where the tearing down of chemo is done, and I am so happy that the building up time is at hand. But I feel really impatient because my body can’t keep up with all the places my mind is jumping, especially as regards to regaining my fitness. The spirit is willing, and quite cranked up and raring to go, but the body is so freaking weak.
7. I have wanderlust.
18.I want to have a coffee shop/book store named St. Udio’s someday. All the coffee mugs will have ink sketches of the saints of my coffee shop: St. upid will have a dunce cap on; St. ump will be short and, well, stumpy; St. ick will look like a stick of course. St. udio will have his tongue in his cheek…. You get the picture.
25. To me, coffee is the alpha drink and wine is the omega. Although I am not against having a glass of wine with an omelet in the morning or a cup of espresso with a biscotti before bed. I really don’t think coffee and wine should be put in boxes anymore than people. The important thing, is balancing the stimulants and depressants.
1. I am trying to figure out what to do with my second lease on life.
20. I would like to live in a warmer climate, where I don’t need to own a coat, where I could play tennis outside all year long, where I could take long walks in the sand after dinner everyday, and sleep with the window open so I can hear the waves.
13. I like to play Scrabble and do crossword puzzles and Scramble on Facebook. Basically I love words and playing with words. And writing.
10. I liked when my tennis opponents used to tell me I reminded them of Justine Henin. I think women’s tennis is not the same without her. And I wish I could’ve seen her play in person. Tried to last summer in Charleston, but she withdrew from the tournament, which really bummed me out. And then she retired before the U.S. Open, which bummed me even more. I also think we would be great friends.
12. I had to use a little stickie pad with the numbers 1-25 written on it to make sure I could use them in a random fashon; but even still, it’s quite possible that I messed up. And I’m too lazy to double-check.

Shaken Not Stirred…a Chemo Cocktail Turns 5 Today!

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Holy WOW! Talk about a happy #blastfromthepast of a #fbf memory! So today is Shaken Not Stirred . . . a Chemo Cocktail‘s birthday! Once upon a time 5 years ago tonight aka 11/11/11 at 11:11pm I made the first biggest dream of my life come true, pushed PUBLISH, my book went live on Amazon, and we popped a cork on a bottle of champagne to celebrate!
Besides obvi popping another cork today, I thought it would be superkaPOWer fun to #SHAKEN things up a bit and give away 5 signed copies in honor of my book baby’s 5th bday. So if you’d like to enter to win one, for yourself or for a gift, send me a #postcardfromtheroad from wherever you are, and I’ll #shaken them all up and randomly pick 5. (Don’t forget to write down the name and addy for me to inscribe and mail to.) Here’s my addy: PO Box 882, West Chester, OH 45071.


And in case you are wondering what to buy a 5-year-old? The best. gift. EVER. that you could (pretty please _/\_) get my sweet book baby that would #shaken up and rock its (and my) world like no other…would be to click HERE and give it the ol’ thumbs up and shiny stars on Amazon. 5-year-olds LOVE stars! (As a self-published author, that is not just my bread and butter, but like Popeye’s spinach to me.) So thank you from the bottom of my heart to anyone who has already written a review or will go do that most uber epic act of kindness for my book baby!


Cheers and BIG love,

Me