Masks Off – Gasp She’s A Girly Girl

A bit late in a Daily Post prompt, but I read Kat’s and loved it and wanted to write my own. The prompt was Masks Off

Who am I?  Do I show my true self in life?  Sometimes I wonder as I make my way

And I'll keep posting this because it's true!

And I’ll keep posting this because it’s true!

through life and interact with the public, friends, family, and at home.

I joked with someone recently that I don’t swear in public because I have this persona I’m trying to keep up, in which case this person replied “Oh, street cred.”  That is completely it. In public I am the good girl. The girl that might be a bit prissy but mothers love. I love to be polite and kind and well dressed, even if I’m in just jeans and a t-shirt.

But that is who I am really. At home I might swear a bit more than I should.  I know, Boris, you don’t like me swearing.  Sometimes certain words just get my point across just right, though I never use the ‘F’ word or the ‘C’ word or any combination of those nasty things. I totally get a lady should talk like a lady.

With friends I’m more apt to say what I think. With family, I tend to say whatever I think. With the public…. I’m terribly, horribly diplomatic. Almost too much.

But who am I?  I am that super girly girl who has painted nails and jewelry on all the time. I wear high heels and love it. I wear frilly dresses and have my hair just so. I have a book in one hand and a cup of coffee (always coffee) in the other. Picture upper class priss.  That’s my inner me.

I don’t get to be that me very often. The most I can do is have the nails painted, the heels on, and the book in one hand… I get comments if I wear low heels, shorts and have scarf around my neck. Because I live where that is super dressed up. (not in my mind, but well, ranching community)

I would my true self in public. I like that aspect. I like being ultra feminine and girly. I would if I could. This is how you would see me if I lived in the city and did not have to worry about mud and dirt and no sidewalks and funky houses and growing and farm animals.

Most people wouldn’t get this about me, but I just think that Boris’s statement that I am a princess,  is pretty accurate.

And I’m okay with that.  (oh, pardon a glasses wearing princess. I happen to adore my glasses.)

Kisses, dearies.

Signing off
Kate

War Games My Way

tumblr_lr6gbl17NR1qzz8m7o1_500Wouldn’t it be great if all wars were fought on a board game?

I found this image in my files as I was looking for some writing prompts, and this came to me.  Instead of troops fighting to the death on the fields, leaders who want to take over the world, or start a war with another country, play war games. IE, the strategy games of Risk and Axis and Allies are what come to mind first. (on a side note, I have never played these, but I know of them, and I know there is a Civil War game of the same ilk)

Each side, for instance, Ukraine and Russia, play their game to determine who gets Crimea. Can you just see Putin and Poroshenko at a table with all their soldiers spread out, playing hours on end until one wins?

Granted, these tend to have risk (haha no pun intended) with the roll of the dice, but there is chance even in real war. Maybe chess would be better.  And if you say, “Oh, well I don’t know how to play chess well”… well, that’s the point.  I mean, some people just do not do war well, which is why they lose… No offense Germany… Okay, what the heck, I’m going to say there is offense because I have my own issues about Germany even though I have a fair amount in me… but you lost two wars! Two. You don’t fight too well.  Same with the British and our two wars….. *crickets chirping*

It’s also like I read in All Quiet on the Western Front. What if instead of all the men dying in wars, you had the two leaders get out there and box until one is defeated?  Wouldn’t that save a whole heck of a lot of lives?  Granted, I’m not sure Roosevelt would have been able to defeat Hitler, but well, we will never know?  But it is a rather interesting subject.

Heck, if you really want to get down to basics, let the two leaders play several games of Battleship.  Whoever wins declares victory and we all go home happy (except for the losing side and country) and there is no bloodshed.

It’s just a thought.

Signing off

Kate

Accomplishments

Despite the month of August being a smoke filled month (say hello to California wildfires and forest mismanagement) and the constant fill of farming and watering and working more than I care to think about, I was able to accomplish some pretty nice things this month and I thought I would share them.  So drum-roll…… Well, you can add that in if you want. I’m doing it in my head….

 

  1. I started running again.  Okay, so that might not sound like a lot, but I had to give it up for all of July because it was so hot I could not stand being out in the dark running. I just had to put it on hold until the evenings were cooler and not so intense. I do not do well in the 90’s.
  2. I ran three miles. Whoo Hoo! This is huge! I rarely can run more than a mile, mile and a half at at time.  Last week I ran three miles, and two of those miles I ran in straight mile stretches. I hope that makes sense.  What I mean is, most of the time I can only run a quarter to a half mile before I have to walk a while before completing the mile. Miles 2 and 3 were an entire mile before stopping.  Again, this is huge. Granted, I hurt like crazy and my knees weren’t too happy, or my shoulders, but it felt so amazing. The endorphins high I got was incredible.  And last night I did 2 1/2 miles pretty easy.
  3. I can fit into my size two Ann Taylor sheath dress.  An LBD in some ways. Now, I’m not a size 2, but Ann Taylor dresses must have been invented with smaller sizes to give women a boost. Because I can say I wear a size two. Which is funny since my previous post was about not being a size two…..
  4. I wrote a short story that is semi flash fiction, but my parents love it! It was all inspired by Boris and his trip to Atlanta and I teased him about taking his xs-214 double barreled ray gun. The fact that this story has potential is just exciting. I’m going to need a couple beta readers, so if anyone is interested, drop me a comment with a valid email.  I only need a couple readers since it’s so short. Just over 600 words, but it’s periodical/literary magazine worthy, I think.
  5. I finally solved the yeast infection in my dachshund’s ear after 11 years! Who knew that just plain povidone iodine swabbed daily could clear it up? I didn’t. My vet never said to do this. I gotta tell the vet. This has been something that has driven me nuts for years. My dog hasn’t enjoyed it too much either.

 

Okay, so maybe those are small accomplishments, but small doesn’t mean inferior or not important. It’s the little things in life that count, right? I have to take little things and enjoy or savor them. The running is huge. The short story is huge. So, I’ll go with it.

Anyone else have some accomplishments that made them want to dance around?

Signing off

Kate

Running Irony With A Bass

Ah, irony. It doesn’t happen much, or I just don’t know irony when I see it, but sometimes it slaps you in the face.

So there I was running the other night. I went and ran two miles, which is huge for me. I’m trying to lose a bit of weight, not much, and tone a bit more. My choice of song?

Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”. Pure irony.

I love this song, and so does Mrs. Day. Apparently it’s catchier than I thought because I’ve been humming and singing it all weekend into this morning.  It is permanently stuck there I think. But it’s such a great song! Now, I’m fairly thin in the scope of things, but I’m far from a size two (thank goodness) and it’s fun to shake it a bit. Plus, well I was blessed (cursed) with a largish posterior. Go figure. So, well, I shake a bit. :)

So, there’s your Monday thAng. (that word comes courtesy of Boris who said something was a Cali thAng, the other day and it’s stuck in my head. Boris is a southern boy btw)

I owe an acceptance post to Amy over at Inkcouragement, and I have several things I want to write about, but just haven’t taken the time because it’s been so busy. For those interested, being a farm girl, there is not a lot of free time. Bleh.

So…

Signing off

Kate

Even With Sleep I Procrastinate

This post started off as something else. Actually, I’ve just scrapped the other post : getting stuck writing poetry; in lieu of today’s Daily Post prompt. Sleep Procrastination.

A slightly ironic post since I didn’t go to bed until 3AM last night, or was it this morning?  Then was awake by 8:30-9AM. Six hours of sleep is not enough, but it’s becoming more common with me and my generation. We stay up way later than our parents, and we run ourselves on caffeine and pure adrenaline, though with the lack of motivation I see, there isn’t much adrenaline floating around.

Eight years ago I would feel guilty if I was up at midnight. Now I don’t think twice about it.  Heck, if I go to bed before 1:30 I feel like I’m doing really, really good.

And what am I doing in these early hours of the morning, “when the whole world is fast asleep”?  Nothing useful. I rarely write because I’m usually tired. NO, I play on Tumblr and bounce around looking up things that could wait till morning.

If I would just turn off my laptop, open up my book, and read for ten minutes, I’d be out like a light. But I put it off. And right now as we are getting to our busy growing season, I need to be up earlier, yet going to bed after 2AM is not conducive to that. Or my overall general health.

So, maybe this prompt is a wake up call (no pun intended) for me to change my habits. Like stop writing posts late at night and do it in the early parts of the evening when I have some down time. And Tumblr will always be there wit things I’ll like. I can’t see it all. Nor should I try.

So, I know Marie of Presents of Mind and C.B. Wentworth know about my Tumblr addiction. I’ve mentioned it enough. Mimi, my friend is like this too, playing way too late. Does anyone else have my same issues?  Do you stay up way later than you should and then run on empty? Do you put of sleep for other fascinating things? Vote in the poll. (My first one for this blog)

And lastly, read the article that the Daily Post used.

What Keeps You Up at Night

Signing off

Kate

Hold Thy Tongue

Michael Connelly at Bouchercon 2010 in San Fra...

Michael Connelly at Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have this thing. It’s called wanting to be right. I always want to be right. In an argument, I want mine to be the one that ‘wins’. I just have this need to be right.  It’s not a very good  personal trait to have. Not that being right is wrong, but feeling the need to be right all the time. It’s kind of hard to explain. And I want to go on a rant when I feel I am right. Hence the title of this post. Do I say something or hold my tongue? Since this is my blog, I’m going to say what I want.

Why am I bringing this up?  Well, I’ve been following this blog of a young author/writer. By young, I mean he just graduated from college last year, I think. So for me, when you are ten years younger than I am, you are still a baby in my eyes. Partly because I swear, anyone under 25 seems to act like a child half the time. So this young writer doesn’t believe you need to read older books to learn style, yet he is a reader of James Patterson, Robert B. Parker, Michael Connelly, etc. Where do you think those author’s got their inspirations? From new books? By disregarding older books, you are disregarding the newer author’s inspirations, and by default, the new authors.

Darkly sparkling Chandler dialogue inspired 4 ...

Darkly sparkling Chandler dialogue inspired 4 radio plays and a TV-film remake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For instance James Patterson was inspired by The Day of the Jackal , a thriller novel by English writer Frederick Forsyth. Michael Connelly was inspired by Raymond Chandler as well as Robert B. Parker. You can read each of the interviews/articles where I found this information, below.

James Patterson – His Story

Crime Master’s Career has Chandleresque Origins (Michael Connelly)  

Robert B. Parker Author Interview On Writing Mysteries

And in the process of researching these author’s inspiration, I read a brief bit on Raymond Chandler cited by Wikipedia as “Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction.”

Whoa. So, without Raymond Chandler, two very well known authors might never have been. So, clearly it’s not necessary to read anything of his.  He couldn’t possibly know anything.  Can you sense the serious sarcasm here?

I’ve noticed a trend with younger writers. They think they know everything. Especially if they have written something or self published. Did you know that Albert Einstein knew everything about relativity? (again sarcasm) Einstein could just disregard Sir Isaac Newton because he was sooooooo old. Newton couldn’t have possibly known anything about anything. Einstein had it all figured out by those scientists that had just figured out things recently…………………………………………………………..

Great argument.

Image via My Soul Doth Delight

I know next to nothing about writing. But I don’t act like I know everything and if someone a decade older than me were to tell me something regarding writing, I’d listen. I find it counterintuitive for a young writer to tell someone, in their own way,  that what the older writer is saying is, say, wrong. By saying you disagree with the thought that it might be a good idea to read older books is not a really wise statement or frame of thought, in my opinion. I think this goes in line with my post the other day about reading the classics. See HERE

Now, again, how does all of this apply to being right or wrong?  I know I’m right. I know that you need to read older books to know how to find a style and to, GASP, learn a thing or two about writing.  What would this young writer say if  Michael Connelly told him to read a Raymond Chanlder book? “Oh, I don’t need to. It’s old and I don’t read old books?”  That seems foolish and immature in my opinion.

And my opinion is right. As you can see —>

For those interested the blogger I’m discussing is Write me a book, John! and you can read his blog at this address http://johnguillen.wordpress.com

I’m not hyperlinking because I don’t want to connect directly to the blog through this post. Just copy and paste.  The current post in discussion is ‘Genre, Which Genre?’ and I have commented a few times on the post. This is all if you are interested.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy his posts, but this is a follow up to my post about the classics the other day. And it just leads me to wonder how you can be a really good writer if you are not willing to read , and read, and read, and that includes old books. Pardon for the long post and semi rant. If this becomes a regular occurrence, I may have to stop reading this blog. Whew!

I would love some feedback and opinions on whether you agree or disagree.

Signing off

Kate

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Currently

Currently I’m not making bread.  I should be.

Currently I’m not folding clothes. I should be.

Currently I’m not sending books to people who’ve requested them on Bookmooch. I should be.

Currently I’m not posting a review for a book I read three weeks ago. I should be.

Currently I’m not sorting books that have gotten out of hand. I should be.

Currently I’m not writing blog posts even though it’s been almost a month since my last one. I should be.

Currently I’m not decluttering areas that need it. I should be.

Right now I’m thinking about an email I want to send to a friend, the Once Upon a Time fan fiction I’m currently interested in, the book I’m writing, the music I want to listen to, the boxes of books I want to go through, and the blog posts I should write before the holidays get going.

I’m so behind of what I want to do versus what I should be doing versus what I need to be doing.

Currently I am not…..  And I should be…..

Signing off

~Kate

 

Being a Blood Hero

I was out of the loop for a week and a half due to some health issues, but during this time I donated blood for the first time.  It was a fascinating experience, and one I plan on repeating in May when there is another blood drive.  I’m donating blood for health reasons, but while donating was for my benefit, it is also hopefully going to help someone else.

After donating I went on the website and started reading the statistics and information about donating blood.  Here are the statistics from the company I donated with.  Blood Centers of the Pacific.

Blood Centers of the Pacific helps 50,000 patients every year with blood donated by community volunteers.

BCP works closely with businesses, community groups, non-profit organizations, churches, synagogues, schools and colleges to schedule “on-site” mobile blood drives. We process more than 200,000 blood components, and distribute about 145,000 pints of blood and almost 24,000 units of platelets to more than 40 hospitals annually.

So, wow, that is kind of amazing how much blood is used.  And this is just in Northern California.  You add in all the other blood banks and the Red Cross, and that’s a lot of blood used and needed.

And here is some information taken from Wikipedia regarding blood donations.

Storage and blood shelf life

The collected blood is usually stored as separate components, and some of these have short shelf lives. There are no storage solutions to keep platelets for extended periods of time, though some are being studied as of 2008.[78] The longest shelf life used for platelets is seven days.[79] Red blood cells, the most frequently used component, have a shelf life of 35–42 days at refrigerated temperatures.[80][81] This can be extended by freezing the blood with a mixture of glycerol but this process is expensive, rarely done, and requires an extremely cold freezer for storage.[37] Plasma can be stored frozen for an extended period of time and is typically given an expiration date of one year and maintaining a supply is less of a problem.[82]

Demand for blood

The limited storage time means that it is difficult to have a stockpile of blood to prepare for a disaster. The subject was discussed at length after the September 11 attacks in the United States, and the consensus was that collecting during a disaster was impractical and that efforts should be focused on maintaining an adequate supply at all times.[83] Blood centers in the U.S. often have difficulty maintaining even a three day supply for routine transfusion demands.[84]

Donation levels

The World Health Organization recognizes World Blood Donor Day on 14 June each year to promote blood donation. This is the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the scientist who discovered the ABO blood group system.[85] The theme of the 2012 World Blood Donor Day campaign, “Every blood donor is a hero” focuses on the idea that everyone can become a hero by giving blood. As of 2008, the WHO estimated that more than 81 million units of blood were being collected annually.[86]

In the United States it is estimated that only 111 million citizens are eligible blood donors,[87] or 37% of the population.[88] However less than 10% donate annually.[88] In the UK the NHS reports blood donation levels at “only 4%”.

Donor health benefits

In patients prone to iron overload, blood donation prevents the accumulation of toxic quantities.[90] Donating blood may reduce the risk of heart disease for men, but the link has not been firmly established and may be from selection bias because donors are screened for health problems.[91][92]

Research published in 2012 demonstrated that repeated blood donation is effective in reducing blood pressure, blood glucose, HbA1c, low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein ratio, and heart rate.[93]

I think donating blood is a really amazing thing.  I never did it before because I thought I couldn’t handle it.  And after being ill right after, and being a bit woozy all day, I’m not sure how well I handled it, but my doctor said I could. So, I plan on doing it again two more times this year.  I like thinking how I might help someone who needs it.  I think it’s something we should all be thinking of doing.

Do you donate blood?  Have you ever thought about it?  Are you one of the 90% of people that don’t donate?  Maybe you could consider it. Check out your local blood banks or the Red Cross.  Talk to your doctor.  Can you be a Blood Hero?

Signing off

~Kate

Being Proactive

I am being incredibly proactive.  I just finished writing my post for Christmas.

Next year.

Yes, I decided that I never get around to a proper holiday post, so why not do it now, while I’m in the spirit and have major inspiration.  I need to add a picture, but I have it all ready for the 24th of next year.  It’s kind of fun.  Like a little present to myself and all my readers.  Now, sure, it takes away the surprise if I tell you now that I already typed it up, but will you actually remember that I told you that?  Probably not.

I’m never one to be very good at blogging on time.  In fact, I’ve become quite horrible about it.  I was much better with the WordPress challenge of Postaweek  last year.  It was much easier when I had a deadline.

But I’m trying.

I’m trying to get back on track to blogging more regularly, along with writing query letters and writing in general.  I’ve gotten bogged down in holiday cheer and the whole relaxing after a crazy summer and fall.  I have millions of ideas in my heads, and actually some time to write, yet I spend it futzing and reading.  Oh well.  Reading is important.

So, here’s to one of my New Year’s resolution of being proactive.

Signing off

~Kate