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I’m finally ready to talk about the new president.

Here are a few of the things in my blog draft file:

  • WTF ELECTION???
  • Lies, Damn lies, and Statistics.
  • How this happened.
  • No, this is how this happened.
  • Okay, maybe THIS contributed to it, too.
  • What should happen now (in an ideal world where we could forgive each other as a nation and put out this Trumpster fire).
  • Rants about our Reality TV world (x2)
  • Essay on the definition of narcissism.
  • The space between “illegal” and “immoral.”
  • It’s not the end of the world.
  • Twitter is triggering my panic attacks.
  • Please don’t judge all Christians by political Christians.  Or, you know… “Christians.”
  • All the terrible things that happen when leaders are told they are Chosen By God. (Subtitle: WTF, Franklin Graham?)
  • Acceptance is not the same thing as surrender. (Saying “Not my president” is like saying “Not my cancer” and expecting your doctor to change your diagnosis.)
  • Until we stop holding Trump supporters in contempt (and vice versa), we will never make any progress toward compromise or unity.

I have wasted hours and hours of time I could have spent WAY more productively trying to put my feelings and opinions (because I do have them) into words. So why not post them?

Every time my finger hovered over the “publish” button, I couldn’t help feeling I wasn’t really helping, I was just adding to the cloud of panic, despair, anger, and even hate. Those are the same things I revile Trump for stirring up at his rallies, so do I want to put more of that into the universe? No.

You know what I do want to put into the universe? Kindness. Compassion. Equality. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from persecution.

So, I’ll just leave this here.  Be safe, be kind…be excellent to one another.

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I’m finally ready to talk about 2016

Okay, I’m finally ready to talk about 2016.

 

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2016

From the beginning of this year, I’ve had to bite my tongue about 2016. It started when David Bowie died on January 10th. (By the way, this post is not about dead celebrities.) Then Alan Rickman, God love him, died on January 14th. And the Internet resounded with “Always” memes, and “By Grabthar’s Hammer” quotes, and, most troublingly, “2016 is off to a terrible start.”

Because, holy crap, guys! DON’T JINX IT!

In fact, I so much didn’t want to jinx 2016 that I didn’t want to say “DON’T JINX IT” on the Interwebs.

 

I joke about being superstitious, but I don’t actually indulge in a lot of magical thinking. 2016 has been a weird year not because it’s 2016, but because some reality-show-level-crazy shit happened in this election cycle, and the campaign process spans almost a year. Cultural icons died at the beginning and the end of the year, giving 2016 a bookended, day the music died, kind of feeling. That feeling is a real thing, even if there’s not actual causality.

 

But all that said, we—our culture, society, the Internet, the Social Media echo chamber…whatever—decided back in January that this year already sucks. And though I don’t believe in jinxes (mostly), I strongly believe in the power that expectation has on perception. Our expectation of suckage made everything bad that happened this year feel even suckier than it was.

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Not that I would compare my mourning for Carrie Fisher to my anxiety over the threat to civil liberties looming with the new administration, or the race-related police shootings, or a lot of other things (because 2016, man), but still, Princess Leia made me who I am today. Grief is grief, even if it’s on different scales. I know the difference between something sad and something tragic and troubling.

But none of that is why I’ve blistered my tongue refraining from commenting on the whole “This year sucks” thing.

See, at the end of 2015, I declared 2016 to be The Year I Get My Shit Together.

And, overall, I have.

December always plummets in productivity for me for personal reasons, so that on top of all the other stuff has left me down and feeling like…well, geez. 2016, man. What a wash.

Only, it wasn’t. Maybe I didn’t get my life perfectly in order (which is impossible because…life, man). Maybe I didn’t reach all my goals. But I made some major ones.

I still don’t have money in the bank, but I reduced my debt by more than half.

I started taking freelance editing clients. (Which is, obviously, related to the above.)

And I sort of have a book coming out next year.

WHAT’S THIS YOU SAY????

Yes. Because I’m a superstitious, anxiety-prone, never-talk-about-the-good-stuff maniac, I’ve been keeping that under my hat. I’m hard at work on the next Rosemary Clement-Moore book, but in the meantime, keep an eye on my friend Kara Connolly, whose debut novel drops on July 18th, 2017. Seriously. This book is so good, it’s like I wrote it myself.

Was that too subtle? I have an alter-ego, guys. I have to get my shit together because I’m going to be writing under two names.

 

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Me in 2017

Why a pen name? It’s a long story.

See, I had my own personal 2016, which was 2013. You can go back and read the posts from that year if you really want, but you have to kind of read between the lines because I don’t like to talk about bad stuff. Because I’m a superstitious, anxiety-prone headcase.

Not really.

But kind of, after 2013.

And that, dear readers, is the reason why I declared 2016 the Year I Get My Shit Together.

And nobody, not even the PEOTUS and his reality TV administration is going to ruin 2017 for me, God bless it.

Because I have a book I’m about to finish. (I swear it, by Grabthar’s hammer.)

And Kara Connolly has a book coming out.

And because I know that no year is all bad or all good. Even if 2017 brings new challenges—to me, my family, this country and those marginalized in it for any reason—it’s possible for things to completely fall apart, and by sheer stubbornness sometimes, slowly get our shit together again.

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OMG Deadlines

Today is the last day to register to vote in twelve states: Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Pensylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Click below:

Vote.gov

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And here is a guide to early voting on NPR’s website. 

For personalized lists of the candidates running for office in your district (other than the obvious and unavoidable), the League of Women Voters website (vote411.org) is non-partisan and very helpful.

I’m going to be obnoxious about this, but remember, your vote for state and local candidates is meaningful and important.

Here in Texas, I pay attention to things like where a candidate stands on education (specifically standardized testing), on women’s issues, and the environment. Changing laws nationally is like turning the Titanic. State legislation often has more immediate and personal impact on day to day life. And remember—you don’t have to vote a straight ticket.

Participate in your government. We are so lucky to have that right, and we need to vote for leadership that wants to keep that right accessible to all citizens.

 

So. Many. Updates.

I’m pretty sure this is just me being weird, but do you ever have that thing that you want to announce in a special way, only you’re so busy doing the regular-life stuff that you keep moving the fancy-pants announcements down you list until you can do it “right” and then all of a sudden you’re like, hey, I have to announce that thing so you have to just announce it in the middle of a bunch of other stuff?

This is the story of my life.

Actually, considering how long since I’ve done EVENTS this is all pretty Special Stuff.

ntgdNORTH TEXAS GIVING DAY

Today only, you can make your donation to worthy organizations in North Texas go further, because every dollar you donate to participating organizations will be supplemented by NTGD funds. Might I suggest you consider DFW Writers Workshop?  DFWWW has been around 40 years, and though it is centered around a weekly critique meeting, we support writers and readers through a lot of other programs, including no cost workshops and programing, and partnership with literacy organizations in the metroplex. More details at the link. You can donate to DFWWW any time, but click through to donate on 22 September and your generosity will go farther.

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MY FRIEND KARA CONNOLLY

kara-fb-profile-picMy friend Kara Connolly is a 2017 debut author with the exact same problem I have about wanting to do the big reveal and so forth. In fact, you could say that Kara and I are exactly the same in all respects. If you like love my writing, you will love Kara’s. She’s getting ready to reveal her cover and talk about her book and she wants to get friends and followers before her book comes out. Which is some time in 2017. We don’t know exactly when. But it will be AMAZING.

Here’s her blog, Facebook page, and Twitter.

And she is ALSO published because of DFWWW, incidentally.

FENCON – Dallas/Fort Worth – September 25, 2016

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I haven’t been doing a ton of public events the last couple of years because…reasons. (This is another Very Special ReadRosemary episode that is still in draft form. Sort of like my life.) So I’m really looking forward to attending one of my FAVORITE CONS. FenCon is a Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in Dallas Fort Worth, and you can find all the info by clicking here. <–link. I am on a bajillion panels and I have a reading and an autograph session so you can actually come and talk to me. Which I would really like, because it’s going to be weird leaving my writing cave.

I am actually talking about my next two books at the con, as well as a side project, but that’s like an attendee exclusive (sort of like the trailers that debut at Comic Con before the rest of us can watch them on the Interwebs).

Here is my schedule for the con. <–Link

And if you find me in the bar, buy me a drink and I will tell you why it’s been three years since my last book. It’s a funny story, really…

TTFN,

Rosemary

 

Accio Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

I’m not saying I’m lazy, but sometimes it’s a lot of trouble getting up off my couch.

For one thing, it’s an old couch—well, love seat, really—and it doesn’t look like a sinkhole, but like a lot of older things, it’s not as springy as it used to be. Especially when you’ve been smooshed into the corner for a few episodes of Agents of Shield on Netflix. And by “a few” I mean long enough to get the “Are you still watching?” message. (Don’t judge. We all have our days.)

tea earl grey Also, I’ve got an ottoman pushed up against the front of it. This isn’t for me–my legs are short enough that I can sit comfortably sideways. It’s for the dog, who insists on being next to me whether it’s convenient or not. Usually not. But because I don’t want her (or anything else, like my snacks) to fall into the crack between the ottoman and the couch, I put this very specific quilt over both, and my legs hold it in place. And then Penny insists on being covered up by another very specific blanket. And then I often have my laptop on my, well, lap.

Which is all to say that every time I have to get off the couch, even just to pour another cup of tea, I have to set aside my laptop where it won’t get stepped or sat on, kick off one afghan, swing my legs over the dog, over the ottoman, which pushes me further into the La Brea Cushion Pit so that I have to shove myself up and out, somehow managing not to scoot the sofa back, the ottoman forward, or dislodge the quilt-hammock and drop Penny into the couch chasm.

That’s assuming she doesn’t jump up and start bounding around the sofa trying to grab the afghan and pull it back over herself, or just generally make a nuisance of herself.

I tell you all this because it is not at all infrequent that I wish I had a house elf to bring me a cup of tea. Then I feel guilty for wishing I had a house elf. So I wish I had Mrs. Weasley’s domestic spell skill set so I could just accio a nice cuppa without it becoming a whole production. Because of course once the dog is disturbed, there’s no guarantee she’ll settle down again soon. (In fact, it’s almost a certainty that as soon as I’m ensconced once more, and have rearranged the ottoman/quilt/afghan/laptop to their original positions, she will ask to go outside.)

Anyway. This is what made me think about the conveniences of magic. (I mean, more than I usually think about how cool it would be to have magic.) Yeah, it would be something to be the Dark Lord and take over the world and all, but enough

Penny Undercover

Shhh. I’m undercover(s).

money will let you do the same thing. What intrigues me–and this is why I’m a writer, I guess–in any fantasy or high-tech science fiction world is the way it would affect daily life. The way you brush your teeth or make your bed or call for a taxi.

The fact that (other than the ability to apparate or the invention of a transporter, and even then maybe not) the spell I find myself wishing for most is the “accio” spell. You know, for those times when the remote control is…just…out…of…reach.

Not because I’m lazy, though.

Just because it would be cool.

 

Expectation vs. Reality (To Do List Edition)

Things I planned to do today:

  1. Get up early.
  2. Have coffee on my porch surrounded by the plants I planted this weekend.
  3. Write a blog post.
  4. Exercise.
  5. Buy a watering can.
  6. Pay the electric bill.
  7. Figure out what’s the deal with my porch light.
  8. Write a bazillion pages.
  9. Mind map ideas about my “Brand” and Social Media Strategy.
  10. Review two books.
  11. Zero my inbox.
  12. Eat a healthy lunch.

Things from this list I have done today:

  1. Had coffee.
  2. Ate lunch.

Oh, and I can check off #3. *high fives self*

(High fiving yourself looks pretty much like giving yourself applause, but slightly less embarrassing to admit.)

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My Actual Day

In Which I Get Domesticated

My friends. I’ve wandered into a dark back alley of the Internet, and I can’t quite break my addiction. It was a slow slide. A random link, a pop-up add, an “I’ll just take a little peek” click of the trackpad.

As part of the Year of Getting My S*** together, I wanted some inspiration for getting organized. So I searched “organization tips.” Oh. My. God.

No, I’m not wasting time looking Pinterest. I am GETTING ORGANIZED. I can QUIT ANY TIME I WANT.

No. I can’t. Because I have been sucked into the seedy underbelly of the blogosphere. I had discovered the world of Organizing Bloggers.

Not like a blogger’s union or anything like that. Blogs about getting organized.

And decorating.

And sometimes cooking.

Dammit, I’m addicted to HOMEMAKING BLOGS okay. I have bookmarked freaking Better Homes & Gardens and Real Simple. Why don’t I just turn in my hipster card right now.

But look at this. LOOK! My stuff could look like this!!

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Just a Girl and Her Blog are adorable.

My desk could look like this!

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From A Bowl Full of Lemons, one of my favorites.

 

THIS could be my pantry:
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From I Heart Organizing (And right on the front page (when I wrote this) was a Free Printable. See what I mean?)

Okay, obviously not. My talent lies in translating my vision into words, a virtual world. Putting it into the three dimensions of the physical world is a different thing. I can tell you that my dream cottage looks like Laura Ashley and Anthropologie had a baby, but I will stand in front of the paint chips at Home Depot all day long unable to decide whether Ice Lilac or Violet Whisper will match the image I have in mind.

On the other hand, I can knit really beautiful things (if I say so myself) as long as I have a pattern and some practice. So when I look at what miracle someone has pulled off with an IKEA shelf, a drill, and some duct tape, I’m like… I have a drill, duct tape, and an IKEA catalogue.*

That’s the idea. The problem is, it’s much easier to pin pictures to show the home decorating fairy when she shows up.**

Here’s a few more recommendations, so you can know my full shame:

For crafty things I follow Mollie Makes and Interweave Knits on Pinterest.

For recipes that aren’t the same ol’ thing I love The Other Side of the Tortilla.

For getting things clean…or aspiring to get them this clean, there’s Clean Mama.

For design inspiration I love Apartment Therapy, and also IKEA has a bazillion ideas collected and easy to find on their Pinterest Board.

And finally THIS PINTEREST BOARD is the hub of wonderful organized things.

One minute I was roaming free, a lone wolf, and the next I’m reading about Ikea Hacks. How did I become a den mother…auntie?

I might as well give into it. At least I’ll get to cill in my newly redecorated bedroom. Ha ha, not really.

 


 

*I am Rosemary’s frustrated need for order in a world she can’t control.

** Inertia is a bitch. (And if any of you have struggled with depression, you know that change means not just inertia working against you, but also the gravity well of your couch and blankie.)