Monday, January 28, 2019

Not a Real Post

I was in Death Valley for a geology course this weekend and have been going nonstop for eight days now, so as soon as I have a chance to breathe I will write a real post. Consider this one a placeholder. ;)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Two Blog Syndrome

I'm down to one blog! Okay, this means nothing to you.

Quick background: When I have one blog, I do pretty well with keeping up with it. But for reasons unbeknownst to me, I always try to add in a second one. Examples include "It Makes a Sound" (my blog geared specifically for poems and short stories), Middle School Dribbles (my teaching blog), "Glazey" (my art blog) get the point. The problem is when I add in that second blog, I fail miserably at both.

In 2014 I made this mistake for the...fourth time? Fifth? If insanity truly is repeating the same mistake over and over and expecting different results, then yeah, I'm insane. So toward the end of 2014, I published Chasing Echoes, and I thought it would be professional for my website ( to feature a blog...a forum to post writing and/or marketing updates. I decided Ocean in a Cup would be my personal blog, and would focus on my writing. At the time I wanted to keep my personal life separate from my writing life.

Well that was stupid. It turns out my personal self and my writerly self are the same person. Separating those two is like trying to separate conjoined twins. Sometimes it works, but it ain't pretty. It resulted in me giving up on both blogs. 

So tonight, I finally buckled down and transferred my posts from to here (which technically isn't possible through my website host, so I did some ninja tricks to make this happen). After accounting for similar or duplicate posts, there were only nine entries left, which are now located at this label. They are also in chronological order with Ocean's original posts, as if they've always been here. Now when readers go to my author's website and click on "Blog", it diverts them here. It's a little weird since this blog features posts from nine years ago, way before I was even a, do I really want Chasing Echoes fans to know that my hubby and I had a shaving cream war in the bath tub or that one time I dreamed about a giant copper toilet? But I've decided it's worth the weirdness, because I feel a million times lighter already! 

The next time I try to take on another blog, someone please knock some sense into me.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Rough Draft Blob

I was cleaning up my Google Drive and came across my old Chasing Echoes folder. Within it I found 57 drafts of Chasing Echoes. 57! Included with these drafts were several rewrites of the very last chapter, each with titles such as Ch. 37-Drastic Rewrite, Ch. 37-Not so Drastic RewriteCh. 37-Take Bazillion....

I also discovered the novel has gone by six titles. Here are the titles in order from original to final:

Daughters of Time
Face of Brahman
There is No Dawn
Chasing Echoes

I remember I was never satisfied with any title (and frankly, I'm still not), which is strange because I've had no issue settling on a title for Black Lilies.

But back to the heaps of notes, drafts, etc. Thank goodness we're living in the digital age. An entire room could easily be gobbled up by the makings of one novel. My heart goes out to people married to writers twenty+ years ago. My husband already puts up with a lot being married to my insanity, but back then, writers' spouses would have had to deal with the Blob taking over their house. Except for in this case, the Blob is one big, fat, gelatinous mass of drafts and notes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Back to the Grind

I started back to work this week. Two weeks of sleeping in until 9:00 every morning has spoiled me rotten. Now I'm back to eleven hour work days that begin at 5:30 a.m. I'll get used to it soon, but right now it's brutal.

On the plus side, look how close I am to finishing Black Lilies!

It looks like one mere day of writing left, doesn't it? But, nope. Now that I'm back to work, it'll likely take me the whole month of January to finish this last sprint. I just have nothing left in me. Teaching middle-school wipes a girl out.

I'm only on here to meet my once a week quota, so that's it for now. My blogging friends who have new posts: I promise I'll read your latest updates soon! But right now I have to go crash.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year 2019

It's 2019! I want that year to sound like something special, but it really sounds so ordinary, no different than 2018, or of those years that just blends. I think 2020 will feel more monumental. 

But still, we had a great new year. Just like we did last year, we went to a party at our local bowling alley. I guess that doesn't sound too exciting, but it's such a blast. There's unlimited food, drinks, chocolate fountain, bowling, and a DJ playing awesome music. Between friends and neighbors, Shannon ended up booking four lanes for all of us--21 people total. Our first game or two of bowling was taken more seriously, but toward 1:00 a.m., our bowling devolved to singing and dancing and gutter balls and total ridiculousness. Pretty sure the human body wasn't designed to bowl for more than two hours.

My pictures came out dark and blurry, so here are a few of Shan's:

 Shan & Jeremy (he's such a goofball!)

Me and Cass (my awesome niece), with Elijah & Dylan sort of in there too.

Trinity face-painting her boyfriend, Caleb

 Me, like, "Will you put the damn camera away?"

 Trinity & Caleb (they are so darn cute)

I have more but I don't want to violate friends'/neighbors' privacy by posting them. 

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Roasting Snowmen & Finding Pickles

This year was my favorite Christmas. But take that proclamation with a grain of salt because in the same way my favorite song in the whole wide world changes weekly, I always think this Christmas is the best.

But this one really was the best! Because we got a white Christmas. Growing up in the desert, snow on any day feels like a holiday. But snow on Christmas...holy crap. It feels like a miracle. I guess now that we live in the mountains, we can expect more white Christmases in the future. But based on the excited buzz from all the other mountain residents, I can tell snow on Christmas day is pretty rare, even for up here. So yeah, I might have been a little weepy about it. :P

Christmas was great in other ways too, besides the snow. Clint's parents spent the night on Christmas Eve. We did our normal pajama party with breakfast for dinner. But this year we played a new hilarious 'Build a Snowman' game with giant marshmallows. The roll of your dice determines which part you add to your snowman--eye, buttons, arm, etc. Clint kept putting body parts that didn't belong (I'll let you use your imagination on that one). Here's my guy, all adorable and un-obscene:

Later, when I won the game, in a show of good sportsmanship, Clint staked his snowman and roasted him in our fireplace. Then he ate him.

*Warning: The following images might be too graphic for younger viewers.

Okay, I might have had a bite of the fella too.  

We also played the most cutthroat gift-exchange game ever, one that makes the traditional White Elephant gift exchange seem polite. It would take too long to explain the rules here, but it was savage. And of course, as we do every year, we played 'Find the Pickle'. Here's some of us (our booties at least) searching for it.

Even George the dog had his nose in the tree, looking for that allusive pickle. Clint finally found it and won a frying pan.

Oh, and in the true tradition of Christmas, the boys ended up having a light saber battle on the patio.

On Christmas morning we woke up to snow! Oh yeah, I mentioned that already, didn't I. After oohing and ahhing over it, we ate breakfast with Teri and Carey and then opened up presents. Clint, the gift ninja, struck again. He built for me--from scratch--this hanging light fixture:

It's larger, prettier, and more rustic in person. I had NO idea I was getting this for Christmas, which Clint found amusing because apparently he and Elijah created quite a ruckus in the garage when they were whipping the wood beam with chains in order to distress it. (I can only imagine what our neighbors thought was going on).

Later that morning, we drove to my sister's house for Christmas with my side of the family, having to bulldoze our way through two unplowed roads. I'd like to say it was a chore, but we didn't care. Because...snow!

I was going to write more here about Christmas at my sis's, but I'm starting to lose steam. So I'll just sum it up by saying Shan's house was the usual craziness, with tons of delicious food, an entire fortress of presents, and lots of merriment.

That last part sounds cheesy, but it's allowed since this is a post about Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Bike Riding in Santa's Village

I have my second New Year's resolution! It's to go here at least once a month:

Image result for skypark at santa's village

Image result for skypark at santa's village

Image result for skypark at santa's village

This is Santa's Village, and it's only ten minutes from my house. It's been around since I was a kid, but ironically my first time coming here wasn't until I was an adult. Specifically, last weekend. As you can see, it's pretty adorable and magical. My sis and I spent most of our time ice-skating and drinking the most delicious hot cider (spiked with Maker's Mark since I had a nasty cold and whiskey is my DayQuil). The kids meanwhile ran around climbing rock walls and doing who knows what else.

You might be thinking I've lost my mind wanting to come here once a month in 2019. Adorable and magical is good and all, but why the heck would I want to visit a place replicating the North Pole in, say, July? But believe it or not, this place is actually open all year long, and that's because in summer the emphasis is on THIS:

Related image

See the source image

Skypark! It's a bike park at Santa's Village with awesome trails for all levels of riders, ranging from beginning to expert. They have bikes to rent, or you can bring your own. Clint and I purchased mountain bikes last year and have been looking for some awesome trails around here, and I dare say it doesn't get better than this. The best part of it is the trails dump you out right into the village. Specifically, the bar (a very cute and quaint cottagy-looking bar). Which means I can finish my bike ride with a nice cold beer or refreshing margarita! 

This is heaven to me, guys.

Oh, the village also has rock climbing for the kids, zip-lining, and a rollerskating rink (that switches to ice-skating in winter). So we'll have all sorts of entertainment.

So here goes:

New Year's Resolution #2: 

I will get my lazy butt to Skypark once a month to enjoy fun, outdoorsy stuff with the fam. 

It seems weird that I have to make something fun into a resolution, but I kinda have to. This past year or so I've become a huge home-body. I'm exhausted from working all week so the temptation to spend my weekends as a hermit is hard to resist. 

To ensure I meet this resolution, Clint and I purchased our season passes last night. I can't wait for warmer weather! But cold weather is good too...that just means more ice-skating and spiked cider.