Thursday, October 31, 2013


Now I almost committed a grievous crime here, ReaderFriends.

I almost entitled this Happy Festivus.

Which would have been horrible, thoughtless and wrong.

But today is plentiful with festivity, you know!

In my own home country, we celebrate "Hallowe'en." Pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and children on raging sugar highs.

But also recognized around the world today are these exciting holidays:

* Samhain, the Gaelic festival of the end of the harvest and turn of the year towards the winter

* Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the Mexican celebration and remembrance of loved ones passed

* Carve a Pumpkin Day, where the harvest season's most plentiful gourd is hollowed out, decorated and set on the front porch with a candle inside**1

But when you ask most people around what today is all about... they talk about the candy.

Trick-or-treating, special festive delicasies and more are all a part of this fabulous day.

Which led me to wonder:

What Does My Halloween Candy Choice Say About Me?

"Everybody likes you, even if they don't enjoy everything about you."

Yup, that'll do just fine.

Happy Holiday, ReaderFriend!

**1 Because that's what sane people do.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Brace yourselves, I've made a decision.

(Yeah. Big deal alert, right here!)

My first dance class being ended, I'm looking forward to a holiday season focusing on other activities I enjoy:

* Baking
* Decorating
* Spending time with family
* Reading
* Napping
* Sniffy pleasantly-smelly things**1
* Snuggling
* Watching cherished children's movies

But specifically, I will have a few moments to focus on something that tends to fall to the wayside in Real Life...
My writing.

(As noted by the fact that I haven't posted in fifteen days. Inexcusable is what that is.)

Friday, as you know, will be November the First.**2 That marks the first day of National Novel Writers' Month, also known as NaNoWriMo.

I've tried NaNoWriMo before, my friends.

It ended with 23,000 words and a feeling of defeat because, in the end, I couldn't meet the 50,000 word mark or even get a cohesive first draft pulled together.

So I set it aside, and now two years have passed.

And over those two years, something remarkable has happened...

I'm no longer the angsty, trapped-in-a-hell-hole admin that had so much snark to share before.

Which means that the fodder upon which my novel so delicately snacked has dried up, withered away, and died off.

So what, then, shall I call upon in times of creative surplus?

A challenge I am imposing upon myself, that's what.

This year, I am inventing for myself this challenge:


That's right - I will be spending the month of November writing a Poetry-Novel.

How, then, does one do that?


Good question. I'm not quite sure.

What I've figured is this:

November lasts for thirty days.

NaNoWriMo calls for writers to write 50,000 words during those thirty days. No structure, just words to paper.

NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writers' Month) - in April - calls for poets to write a poem every day for thirty days. No word count, just completed poetic pieces.

So to meld these, I will be pushing myself to write at least thirty poems in the thirty days, and the word count should total 50,000 words.

I will be focusing on free-form poetry, although I'm certain there will be days that even cobbling a haiku into order will be a momentus undertaking.

But, no matter what I write, there are certain word counts that I'll have to hit:

I could write one poem per day, each with 1,667 words. The total word count would be 50,010.

I could write two poems per day, each with 834 words. The total word count would be 50,040.

I could write one poem per week day and two each week-end, each with 1,283 words. The total word count would be 50,037.

Or I could make myself write any combination of these, allowing shorter poems some days and longer poems other days, and offering myself opportunities to bank poems just in case I get to Thanksgiving and find myself so stuffed with food that I cannot bring pen to paper for the writing part of my day. Opportunities will abound, and I look forward to this creative adventure.

No matter how it goes, and no matter where it takes me, I'll do my best to keep you involved and up to date on the excitement. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

**1 Is there any better-smelling season than the holiday season? Between the cookies and pies, evergreens and spices, fresh-fallen snow and crisp cool air... I think not.

**2 Rabbit Rabbit. I've said it. I've banked it. Come Friday, consider yourself bested.

Monday, October 14, 2013


I've had a busy morning.

Here are the Strokes of Genius that have hit me in just the past hour:
  • YEAH! I just drafted the perfect schedule for the rest of my day, so I can surely get done everything that needs doing with the minimal application of craziness! I'll get through this in no time.
  • AH! I just brained out the perfect solution for a dog gate! I'll build that when I get home.
  • OH! I just dreamed up the perfect solution for a guest book! I'll ask Boyfriend of Amazingness his thoughts when I get home this evening.
    • AIE! I could make an example on my computer, and send him a picture right now! Then I can get to work on it post-haste, his approval notwithstanding.
  • VOILA! I know exactly what I want to make for dinner tonight, and it's not even lunchtime yet! I'm going to nom that chowder's face off.
I'm telling you, ReaderFriends. I may have to have an extra snack today for all the busy brainwork my noggin is doing. I'm practically steaming at the ears right now.

But for now, I must away... I feel a gear turning, and who knows what I'll scheme up next!

Friday, October 11, 2013


This past Monday I posted about all the accomplishments I accomplished on half a tank of gas over the previous weekend.

Today, I post about all the things I need to accomplish this weekend, no matter how much gas it takes me:
  • Yard Work
    • Mow the lawn
    • Rake the lawn
    • Clean the gardens
    • Weed-Whack the edges
  • House Cleaning
    • Completely clean the inside of the house
    • No, really - clean all the things.
  • Dog Training
    • Meet with dog trainer to begin "clicker" training with the Young Master
  • Perform on Saturday evening at a local restaurant
  • Baking
    • Make cookies, muffins and other miscellany for next weekend's party
  • Crafting
    • Make guest book for next weekend's party
  • Socialization
    • Meet up with besticle for birthday dinner
    • Take Young Master for "Blessing of the Pets" ceremony with Mom
    • Spend time remembering how amazing Boyfriend of Amazingness is, and remind him that I appreciate his Amazingness
It's going to be busy, and it's going to be great!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Grin and Bear It

In class last evening, one of my students asked me "How are you always so energetic?"

I hear that question often, with different twists on the adjective, but all with the same general idea:

* Positive
* Upbeat
* Happy

The list goes on, with the same underlying question: How is it that, in this dark world, you remember and continue to shine your light?


That's a good question.

And a difficult one to answer, because typically the honest response is "Because I try."

Which makes me sound conceited, detatched and oblivious to the bad in the world.

Which can lead a Sunny to feel grey and down indeed.

That's why I was so pleased last evening to stumble across this gem from the Huffington Post:

The Habits of Supremely Happy People.

The article discusses what conscious or subconscious efforts Happy People make to maintain their outlook through their day. It's based on the work of Martin Seligman, "the father of positive psychology."**1

They phrase it beautifully, so the article is definitely worth the read. But, if you're strapped for time... the high points are:

1.) Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

2.) Happy people smile when there's something to smile about, even if it's just in their minds. They don't "fake it."

3.) Happy people are resilient, and don't allow themselves to be beaten down or defeated.

4.) Happy people notice positive moments and simple pleasures in their day, and celebrate them.

5.) Happy people spend time and money on others, giving back to the world around them.

6.) Happy people get lost in the moment.

7.) Happy people express their emotions and talk deeply.

8.) Happy people listen.

9.) Happy people understand the importance of face-to-face time.

10.) Happy people find something positive to focus on, instead of something negative.

11.) Happy people understand the power of music.

12.) Happy people can put down the technology and walk away.

13.) Happy people have a sense of spirituality.

14.) Happy people exercize, spend time outdoors and get enough sleep.

15.) Happy people laugh, and they laugh loudly.

16.) Happy people are happy, and they know it. So their faces surely show it.

**1 Brace yourself, world. I think I just found my post-graduate area of study.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I shouldn't write a blog post today.

Tomorrow I teach a dance class, so I should be using this lunch hour to pull together my lesson plan and ready the music for this evening's practice run.

But during my pre-lesson-plan surfing session through Facebook, I noticed an article that caught my attention.

It is called 20 Things Every Twentysomething Should Know How To Do.

It's from Relevant.Com.

And... it's great.

I figured, with twenty items to check off, the list would have its frivilous ups and downs.

I was wrong.

It started strong, with "Know how to Make A Great Breakfast."

It ended strong, with "Know how to Keep a Good Friend."

And every point in the middle was worth reading.

Whether you're 21 or 12, 29 or 92... I hope you'll check it out.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Half-Tank Weekend

  • Adventure through Our Fair City with a similarly-chromosomed companion
    • A visit to a local consignment shop, where I found (and bought) a skirt identical to the very favorite one I wore to death two years ago
    • A stop at a Mexican eatery for margarita-like beverages (so called because they weren't margaritas at all) and fundido/chips-and-dips/fried plantains
    • Perusal through three separate hippy-chic boutiques, where I found (and bought) a beautiful hip wrap to wear while I dance
    • A brief encounter with a pseudo-wafflehouse for end of evening snacks
    • All while an Art Walk was happening, and every resident of the city and surrounding towns were crowding the sidewalks and storefronts of the land
  • Attend a funeral and burial in my hometown
  • Adventure through my hometown to my Mother's house with the Young Master for a morning of Play and Adventure
    • Dig a large hole in the backyard with the assistance of the Young Master
    • Meet and greet with Mother's dog (success! Minimal snarling, and Young Master seems to be coming out on bottom, cowtowing to the superiority of the older, wiser Mother's Dog)
    • Fill in large hole in the backyard completely contrary to the wishes of the Young Master
    • Sojourn for sammiches just outside of town with Mother and Young Master in tow
  • Find, Coordinate Delivery Of and Receive two absolutely beautiful mirrors for my dance studio
All of this and more.

That is what I accomplished this weekend, and all on half a tank of gas.

Because I'm awesome.

Friday, October 4, 2013


I know I've mentioned more than once that we're preparing for our housewarming party.

And although it may be cliche...

And although it may be pooh-poohed by our friends...

I want to have a guest book.

See, to me, this house is a big deal. Boyfriend of Amazingness and I are not married and have no immediate plans to modify that situation. So signing the paperwork for a thirty-year contract together on the house was our commitment to one another.

And, yes... he carried me over the threshold.

As such an important mark of commitment, it's important to me to have somewhere for our friends to leave their mark.

But I know that a typical guest book isn't our style.

It would get filled out by family memebrs and a few select guests, and would then be left on a shelf to collect dust.

So where does that leave me?

It leaves me with two options:

1.) Give each friend a Sharpie and wish them luck, leaving myself open to finding "Good luck, and best wishes!" written in corners and on baseboards throughout our home...


2.) Getting creative, and finding an alternative solution that we can display proudly without fear of vandalizm striking our home.

I opted for option number two, and a serious session of Pinterest has commenced.

  • Paper keys, with key tags for the well wishes. Keys would then be hung on a pinboard over the mantle
  • A globe, with a heart around our new hometown and space around the rest of the world for well wishes
  • A print of our state, with a heart over our new hometown and space around for well wishes
I know I can figure this out... but Pinterest is a vast and time-sucking land. Send reinforcements, ReaderFriends. I may need help to get out alive.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Attitude Adjustment

Today I need an attitude adjustment. I woke up with a pounding headache and didn't want to leave the snuggly Boyfriend of Amazingness and the snuggly Young Master for the cold, cruel, un-snuggly world.

But I had to, and was faced with a drooling Drama Llama at work who dribbled their drama-spit on my shiny shoes.


The negativity is contorting my whole day.

I don't like it.

I will not allow it.

And so, I must undertake an Attitude Adjustment.

How, you ask?

Like this!

Sunny's Ten Steps to a Brighter Day

1.) Think about Christmas, and what wonderful presents might be given to loved ones.

2.) Think about cookies, and how yummy they are, and consider making a batch tonight to boost my spirits.

3.) Think about other people who like cookies, like the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, and how they might respond to one from tonight's batch.

3a.) Watch a Cookie Monster video on YouTube.

4.) Remember that there is already some fabulous ice cream in the freezer, bought by someone who loves me very much, so I don't really need cookies.

4a.) Make note to pick up chocolate syrup and whipped cream for optimized ice cream experience this evening.

4b.) Consider making cookies anyway to go with ice cream.

5.) Talk to someone on the phone as if they are the brightest moment of my day. Smile and create an upbeat aura for the conversation, and allow myself to be buoyed by their positive response.

6.) Talk with an always-optimistic-and-upbeat coworker about her dog's latest shenanigans.

7.) Call Boyfriend of Amazingness for a quick lunchtime pick-me-up chat

8.) Remember that Boyfriend of Amazingness will be working this evening, so make a fabulous plan for cheesecake and ice cream and cookies for dinner while watching musicals on TV.

9.) Undertake a Random Act of Kindness.

10.) Make myself laugh until the laugh becomes real, and giggle my way through a brighter afternoon!

I hope your day is bright and Sunny, ReaderFriends!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I want you to know, ReaderFriends, that I haven't forgotten you...

I think about you daily as I search for my writing inspiration.

Today I fear it's hiding at the bottom of Pinterest, where I'm lost amidst pictures of halloween housewarming decorations... but I can't find my way out through the mass-produced cobwebs and clinging decals of zombies.

I miss you, ReaderFriends.

And I'm ever-so-slightly afraid.