Tag Archives: calming brits

The Inevitable New Year’s Post

First thing’s first:

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thanks for being here, reading, clicking, sharing, generally being lovely, etc.

This is the time of year when I like to look back and see what I’ve been up to. So here goes, a list of my 2014 accomplishments and 2015 hopes, both professional and personal.

Professional Accomplishments, 2014

  • Became an admin for the site, Calming Brits & Irishmen, which my friend started in an effort to cheer me up after my back diagnosis just over a year ago.
  • Wrote ACE IN THE HOLE, a one-act play with an all-female cast, commissioned by Ingenius Theatre. (Available as part of Short Frictions – purchasing link to your right).
  • Wrote a first draft (which I’ve subsequently revised a bit) of a novella as part of a long-term project with @sareliz.
  • Created new cover art for a number of the books I have available on Amazon.
  • Completed a month of blogging every day.
  • Started a new job in a new city, with more creative freedom and more responsibility.
  • Started a writer’s group on Facebook with a group of very talented people who I’m looking forward to growing with over the next year.

Personal Accomplishments, 2014

  • Despite a bad back injury, I kept a (mostly) positive outlook throughout the year during my recovery.
  • Made some major strides forward in dealing with my own mental health.
  • Moved away from New York City (I KNOW!) and adjusted to life in the country (still in progress).
  • I HAVE A NIECE! (Okay, all I did to accomplish this was be born to the same parents as her dad and then wait around for 30 years, but still.)
  • Lost a bit of weight by making healthy life choices (and a bit by being in too much pain to move, during the first part of 2014).
  • Got my finances more or less under control.

Professional Goals, 2015

  • Revise, rewrite, and finish the aforementioned novella, which seems to be growing into more of a novel-shaped thing.
  • Finish my sitcom pilot and outline the subsequent scripts for the first “season”.
  • Write another play. No idea what. Just write another play.
  • Write three short stories…and send them to actual publications.
  • Stretch goal: experiment with YouTube/vlogging. (Ain’t gonna happen, but you have to aim high, right?)
  • See more theater.

Personal goals, 2015:

  • Maintain healthy habits
  • Travel more
  • Meet my niece (hoping to knock that off the list in a few weeks)
  • Pay more attention to my personal life.

And there you have it! What did you accomplish in 2014, and what are you hoping to do in the coming year? Whatever your answers…congratulations, and good luck!

Could Tumblr Please Explain What’s Going On With Asks?

0,,17321990_303,00Some friends and I run a Tumblr and have noticed a problem in answering “asks” – the site’s blog-specific inbox. For about a month now, we’ve noticed that you can’t upload more than one animated .gif in response to an Ask, and have had to do a “first” answer, then go back and re-open the Ask to add more images.

One co-admin reached out to Tumblr via several communications options (Tumblr, Twitter, email, etc) and hasn’t gotten any kind of response. All three of us are trying to work out if there’s something wrong with our blog, or if Tumblr has the strange idea that this is a feature, or if something else is going on.

Any Tumblr gurus out there who know how we can fix what’s going on? Is it something we did? And if not, does Tumblr have any plans to fix this glitch?

Versatile Blogger Awards (Part 1: Blog Recommendations)

IMG_20131017_213750On Saturday, I found out that Christina Zarrella had awarded me a Versatile Blogger Award! Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyways), I’m so flattered that she thought of me when selecting her nominees! Christina’s blog, Turbulence in the Veins, talks about her journey from homeless teen to Yale grad, offering some incredible insight into the struggles she faced and overcame on the way and talking about issues faced by those in similar situations to hers. To be honored by such a blogger was immensely flattering, and I hope you’ll all check out her writing. She has a memoir, of the same title, on the way. Thank you so much, Christina, for your kind words about I Wrote This:

Rachel Lynn Brody’s blog is always informative – whether on tech/blogging/writing topics and tips: http://rlbrody.com

Part one of winning a Versatile Blogger award is nominating another 15 blogs – so here are my nominations (in no particular order)!

  1. Sare Liz Gordy (Inspiration, One Day At A Time) www.sareliz.com – Sare and I have known each other for years; her blog, which she updates with regularity, is always a window into her attempts to view her world with clarity and self-knowledge. Whether she’s posting about migraines, Feng Shui or finding enlightenment, her blogs are always a focused reflection of the world around her.
  2. Tony Noland (Landless) http://www.tonynoland.com/ – A Twitter acquaintance who I’ve known for a while now, Tony’s blog is a combination of his self-publishing exploits, flash fiction and the occasional DIY project. His sense of humor is always evident in his takes on everyday life.
  3. Jamie Broadnax (Black Girl Nerds) http://blackgirlnerds.com/ – Jamie and I have been chatting on Twitter for some time now, and her blog is a phenomenal resource for all things nerdy. She runs a weekly podcast of the same name, and both outlets dig into comics, culture and more. Through Black Girl Nerds, she’s built a phenomenal community that’s well worth checking out.
  4. C.D. Reimer http://www.cdreimer.com/ – This is actually a combination of three blogs, where C.D. posts about writing, Silicon Valley and poetry. His writing blog is incredibly informative and often offers helpful insights into the process of self-publishing.
  5. Johann Thorsson (On Books & Writing) http://jthorsson.com/blog/ – Icelandic author Johann Thorsson writes short stories and novels (mostly in English). His blog is a collection of book reviews, photographs and excerpts from his essays for megasite Book Riot. As an added bonus, those who follow him on Twitter often get to see, via photo, how jealous we should all be that we don’t live in Iceland.
  6. JC Rosen (Girl Meets Words) http://jessrosen.wordpress.com/ – Jess runs a few different book- and writing-related discussions on Twitter. She’s always supportive of writers and willing to chat about their work, and always able to give an encouraging word. Her blog includes flash fiction on diverse topics and write-ups of the different things she’s reading.
  7. Emily Suess (Suess’ Pieces) http://emilysuess.wordpress.com/ – One of my first Twitter acquaintances, Emily also runs a copywriting business – and when I met her, had taken on the beheamouth of online vanity publishing services to try and help new writers avoid unethical treatment. Seuss’ Pieces has been retired and archived to this URL, but still contains plenty of advice for beginning writers.
  8. Melanie Ardentdelirium (Lovely Like Beestings) http://lovelylikebeestings.wordpress.com – Mels is a Twitter acquaintance whose blog tackles issues of both mental health and Roller Derby. Her topics cover everything from broken bones to sick cats, all with a frank edge that gives you a real taste of her personality.
  9. Jo Clifford (Teatro do Mundo) http://www.teatrodomundo.com/  – Jo, my former MFA supervisor, is also a well-regarded, talented and prolific playwright in Scotland. Her blog is both a resource for understanding what it means to be a playwright in today’s world as well as a rich collection of ruminations on personal experience.
  10. Sarah Hartley (StoryGirlSarah.com) http://storygirlsarah.com/ – Sarah is a New York fashionista in the truest sense of the word, with her signature mod/vintage look stamped across her fashion and design work. (Did I mention she’s responsible for the cover of Hot Mess?) Follow her blog and on Instagram to get the full impact of her creative and clear-headed style.
  11. E.M. Thurmond (Count My Stars) http://countmystars.wordpress.com/ – While it hasn’t been updated in some time, E.M. Thurmond’s blog tells the story of an aspiring TV writer in Hollywood. From interviews with women writers to accounts of her own experiences developing her career, it’s a place where readers can find insight in the crazy maze of trying to make it as a screenwriter while staying true to your goals and ideals.
  12. Vossbrink and Kukurovaca (Hairy Beast) http://hairybeast.net/ – These two twitter acquaintances are quick-witted on Twitter, and the depth of analysis on this blog dealing with photography and culture will change the way you look at pictures. Well worth checking it out, but carve out enough time to really immerse yourself in the subject matter. You won’t regret it.
  13. Debbie Vega (Moon in Gemini) http://debravega.wordpress.com/ – Another blogger I found through #MondayBlogs, Debbie covers writing and pop culture. She participates in a lot of themed blog events, like “The Great Villain Blogathon,” and offers anything from advice on how writers can improve their craft to her perspective on popular films.
  14. NYPinTA (Talking to the Moon) http://www.nypinta.com/blog/ – Film, music, theater, travel and television all get their chance in the spotlight on NYPinTA’s blog. Her clear and direct writing style lets you enjoy her experiences as if you’d been there.
  15. Hugh C. Howey http://www.hughhowey.com/ – I read Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga last year, and was blown away by his intriguing dystopian vision. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with him once or twice on Twitter, and the thing I love about his blog is how generous he is with his advice for aspiring indie authors. As someone whose self-published stories went from blog entries to Kindle novels to being picked up by a major publisher, he’s walked the road many indie writers want to follow on, and he offers a lot of insight along the way.

Honorable Mention:

Maybe it’s cheating to bring up a blog I help contribute to, but this list wouldn’t be complete without including Calming Brits & Irishmen. My friend @aboleyn started this Tumblr as a way to cheer me up after my back injury, and since then it’s gained nearly 4,000 followers and turned into a sort of Post Secret for Anglophiles. In addition to the meme-like photographs with calming sayings that we started out posting, we now answer anywhere between 3-15 “asks” a day – many anonymous – from followers dealing with upsetting issues from studying for exams to dealing with breakups, mental health issues and the deaths of family and friends — all through the medium of animated gifs of some of our favorite British and Irish personalities. Apparently the brings a smile to many peoples’ days, and if you’re looking for versatility, the topics it covers run the gamut of human experience.

There’s a second part of the Versatile Blogger Awards – sharing seven things about yourself – but as this blog is already topping 1000+ words, I’ll save that for a second part. Stay tuned tomorrow to learn more about me.

I’m currently seeking beta readers/advance reviewers for my upcoming collection of sci-fi and speculative fiction stories, SHORT FRICTIONS. If you’re interested, please click here to find out more. 

The Bright Side of Life

Because one is always grateful for chocolate.

Because one is always grateful for chocolate.

Things have been a little challenging this week. On top of the “usual” back stuff, I had an apartment maintenance issue that reared its head. I decided, rather than feel sorry for myself, to make a list of ten things that are worth being thankful for.

1. While the bathroom ceiling may have caved in, my apartment is still standing. Given the tornadoes ripping through the Midwest right now, that makes me lucky.

2. I have health insurance and good doctors who are helping me get slowly better.

3. My new roommate seems pretty cool, and so far she’s been a nice person to have around.

4. I am going to publish a collection of short stories in the next couple of months. Hopefully before the end of May. But no pressure.

5. I have lost about 15% of my total weight since January. I have a ways to go but I am determined to get there, and that will have a positive overall effect on my health.

6. I am planning some fun trips for when I get better. There will be Geek Girl Con in Seattle, and I may even head overseas this fall. Plus, since I’ve been injured, I’ve seen a bit more of my family than usual.

7. I AM FINALLY GOING TO SEE TWENTY ONE PILOTS. In September, with the friend who tried to win us tickets in January. And hopefully, by September, my back will be in good shape. (KNOCK ON WOOD.)

8. The weather in NYC is that perfect point between freezing and too hot to bear, and should stay that way for a few more weeks.

9. Since I live in NYC, I can get almost anything delivered to my house, which has been a total lifesaver throughout this whole back thing.

10. Bit by bit, I’m clearing my life of things I don’t need, which gives me more room to be the person I want to be, living a life that makes me glad.

BONUS 11. The blog my friend and I started in January has gone from being a fun joke between friends to a community of nearly 4000 people, and they are so sweet and lovely. Every day, they trust us with the sad and stressful things going on in their lives, and we do what very little we can to make them feel better. Which, in turn, makes me feel better.

It might seem silly but writing that stuff down made me feel a bit better about some of the less-awesome things going on right now. If you’re feeling down, give it a shot and see how you feel afterwards. There’s always something around that can drive a person nuts – so, what makes you happy, instead?

A Victory Lap

BgLHoe9IEAAVXSsWhile there are obviously some things that aren’t going my way right now (hello, back injury!) there are some things that have happened this week that are nothing short of great. Here is a quick rundown:

Costumes are being designed for “Ace in the Hole”…

And we announced that you can go to see scenes from the play at First in Three scratch night (Newcastle, UK): 

 

The niche Tumblr I run with @aboleyn got mentioned by a major online site:

…which resulted in our getting over 1200 new followers in a matter of days.

So yeah. The back thing is still a bit of a struggle, but at least there are happy things going on at the same time!

Keep Calm & Carry On

So. I went to the doctor yesterday and got my scan results, and they were a bit worse than I had been preparing for (I’ll be okay, nobody panic, I just hadn’t realized how serious this injury would turn out to be). It was pretty upsetting, and I’m glad some of my friends were around to talk with once I got the news. I’ve started physical therapy and will be trying my best to be a model patient while that’s going on.

This morning, in a wildly successful attempt to brighten my spirits, my friend @aboleyn from Twitter has set up a delightful tumblr which we’re populating with pictures of British actors whose work we enjoy.

In the tradition of Calming Manatee, and courtesy of the brilliant @aboleyn, I bring you:

calmingbrits.tumblr.com

Enjoy.