Category Archives: writing

NaNoWriMo (and NaBloPoMo) here I come, once again

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National Novel Writing Month

It’s time, once again, for National Novel Writing Month. I’m utterly exhausted from work, and so very sick of sitting in front of this laptop, but how could I resist signing up for the craziness that is NaNoWriMo? Won’t you join me? Or, do National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) and post daily to your blog. I’ll be doing BOTH, because I like to punish myself that way.

Tomorrow marks one year since I began posting a daily blog post! I only missed two days out of the last year: One crazy long day when a friend of mine and I drove to Portland and back and got back in the middle of the night and I just forgot to blog, and one deliberate day of silence. Although I’ve enjoyed the blogging habit, I’m looking forward to some longer private writing sessions again, with some public contest fun thrown in to make it interesting.

Last year we didn’t have kids here in November, and the show was just starting. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle it all—we’ll see!

 

 

 

I love it when people surprise me. Have you met Alan?

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I love it when people surprise me.

Have you met Alan Roettinger, chef, and author of Speed Vegan? Artist and Poet?

I had the pleasure of sitting in on Alan’s cooking demo at VegFest, where he waxed philosophic, had us all laughing, and gracefully brandished his knives, all the while creating some lovely food in a most non-speedy way. What Alan said Saturday was this: instead of calling himself a vegan, or an animal activist, he considers himself “a joy activist.” And I like that very much, even though I would never consider that label for myself. Joy, it has always seemed to me, is a fake word for people who bury their head in the sand. But Alan 1. did not appear fake, and 2. seemed very aware and in tune with the world.

A quick conversation with Alan at his author’s table solidified my impressions.

So, check out Alan, his philosophy, his books {more than just cookbooks here}, maybe tell him hello:

Sunday recap: butte, goodbye twins, banana french toast, the show, upcoming blogging events

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Sunday recap: Walked the butte for the last time this summer with the twins, made french toast with leftover and slightly undercooked “banana bread,” made sure the twins were packed and ready to go and said goodbye to them for the summer {boo!}, read a couple of sci-fi short stories, and worked on the show for 4 hours or so {laptop, back porch, with cats} during which the sky clouded over and grumbled quite a bit, but never lost its temper and started crashing things around.

(I also spent a few hours Saturday and Sunday at the station working on the show with my co-host, who is going out-of-town. I’m trying to get ahead because I need to finish the show up on my own and it’s due in a week—I think I’m in good shape, though, especially since I have time booked at the station tomorrow night.)

I’ve been thinking about what’s coming up this fall blogging-wise: Vegan MoFo (Word is, it will be October, but I don’t see an update on the website yet), NaNoWriMo, Reverb. Wondering if I’ll have time to do both NaNoWriMo and the radio show? NaNoWriMo (plus blogging every day, kick-started by NaBloPoMo) was really cathartic last year, especially since we lost Deimos that month, so I hope to do it again.

I’m going to attempt early bedtimes this week, since work is going to be just as bad this week as last, with early morning meetings, long days, and high expectations. So, good night.

Breathe Deep

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So I finally have some time to slow down, and now I’m feeling under the weather. So typicalwhen I stress myself out for an extended period of time and don’t give myself proper breaks, I get sick after things slow down. I’m sure I’m not the only one this happens to.

Fortunately, and due in no small part to my vegan lifestyle, my overall health is great. However, after getting bronchitis yearly in my early 20s, my lungs are somewhat weak, and I did get bronchitis/pneumonia in the winter over the past few years. This is the first winter that I didn’t suffer from a “lung thing,” but I can feel something lingering there now. I hope I can make it through the rest of spring by taking it very easy. I’d like to incorporate writing and yoga back into my regular schedule, and maybe visit the nice acupuncturist I saw last year, who was helping me to work on keeping my lungs strong (now where are those exercises he gave me?). And on the allopathic side, I have a leftover inhaler for backup. I can tell when I get that funny little cough that my lungs are not able to expel what they need to. I really dislike being dependent on inhalers, and use them as infrequently as possible, but they got me through a couple of rough times during the pneumonia bouts and “illness induced asthma” when it was very difficult to breathe, so it seems they will occasionally be necessary.

95 years later, cats still seen as #1 enemy of wild birds, but “You can’t call it science if you’re guessing.”

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A few days ago I posted about a practically antique book I own that hates on house cats for killing wild birds. I found the following on Vegan.com while perusing news to possibly use for our LIVE All Things Vegan show earlier today. {In case you’re wondering how that went—we blundered through and it was fun, in a nerve-wracking kind of way. It’s going to be frustrating not to be able to edit any of my awkwardnesses out, but I’m just going to have to accept.}

Tweety Was Right: Cats Are a Bird’s No. 1 Enemy

While public attention has focused on wind turbines as a menace to birds, a new study shows that a far greater threat may be posed by a more familiar antagonist: the pet house cat.

new study in The Journal of Ornithology on the mortality of baby gray catbirds in the Washington suburbs found that cats were the No. 1 killer in the area, by a large margin.

{Original post from Vegan: com}

And an opposing view—

Shaky Science Behind Cat/Bird Study. Vegan.com reader Chris Glazier writes:

The recent study on predation of catbirds is based on flawed science. Unfortunately, cats (usually feral cat colonies) take the blame for declining bird populations despite abundant evidence to the contrary.

The site Vox Felina dismantles this study’s conclusions, noting that in many cases bird deaths were attributed to cats not by hard evidence but by the mere assumption of guilt. You can’t call it science if you’re guessing. And this study is not alone. Pretty much every time I see feral cats mentioned in this context a little digging reveals oversimplification and bad science.

It’s studies like these that lead to legislation such as Utah’s bill that would allow hunters to shoot feral cats.

Stretching is good… until you snap

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus  – Week 8 9

This week’s topic in our Year of Mindfulness is stretching. “Yogis say what? . . . Duh!” Yogis know there are numerous benefits of asana practice and stretching is certainly a huge one. Here are some well-known facts about stretching:

  • Posture is enhanced with stretching as it improves muscles balance around a joint
  • Stretching reduces the chance of injury when playing a sport, and in everyday activities
  • Stretching increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage which reduces muscles soreness after training

But stretching is just one aspect of yoga, and is only that when not coordinated with breath and mindfulness. …

But let’s take stretching one step further. When is the last time you stretched outside of yourself? When did you last take a risk? What are you holding back? How can you give more, be more, put yourself out there more? This is stretching too. Life is to be lived. Could you stretch further to see where that stretch takes you? I’m guessing you’ll not regret the things you do as much as the things you don’t.

I haven’t been very mindful of my #mindful52 prompts in the last few weeks (the stretching prompt was posted February 26). I haven’t responded to it previously because I was unsure of what to write. I wrote a lot about the new things I had done to stretch myself  over the last few years and what I’d like to work on this year, when I was blogging during November and December 2010, and even into January 2011 – writing, the radio show, public speakingmountain biking, etc. I’m frankly a little tired of rehashing the same things. And maybe you’re tired of hearing about them?

Last month I took a risk and got quite unexpectedly burned, and my confidence took a nose dive for a few weeks. I’m a little scared to put anything out there again, but nonetheless I’m still trying scary things. I pick up the phone weekly to call strangers for interviews on my radio show, or interview them in the studio (I can’t imagine doing that without major anxiety a few years ago), but my heart still skips a beat when a new challenge comes along, like the prospect of doing a live radio show during a pledge drive (so far we’ve been doing it all prerecorded). What else? I’m always on the lookout for new authors to stretch my reading brain.

But there’s only so much of me to go around, and it seems like the more that I stretch in one area, the more that other areas of my life seem to be stretched too thin. That is something I’m still trying to figure out. I suspect that I’m not alone.

Mindful creativity for the not so artistically inclined?

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 5

This week’s topic is creativity.

I haven’t been very disciplined in my weekly mindfulness posts. Somehow I did better with daily prompts. As I’m nearing the end of my third month of posting daily, I’m also feeling a little burnt out. This could be due to the sheer amount of time I’m in front of the laptop, between work and my volunteer hours researching radio topics and creating and maintaining websites and social media. But it’s also because I can very rarely bring myself to blog early in the day, so I’m often writing this at the last minute when I should be in bed.

My main creative outlet at the moment is my advocacy work, and in particular, my radio show. However, like namaste*heather, I don’t feel naturally creative and one of my goals this year is to explore alternate forms of personal imaginative expression. In addition to improving my storytelling (through writing and out loud), I would really like to learn to draw and paint. I don’t have a natural talent in those areas, so I’m not sure where to begin. I like strong geometric designs and patterns, and in the past have enjoyed copying native american designs and celtic knots, but I don’t feel that those things help me to learn to create from scratch. Also, I feel like my design work has always been hindered by the fact that I have to crib from others; I can’t just draw what I want to see, so I have to find it elsewhere, then tweak it. When I imagine drawing and painting I imagine vibrant, evocative colors. I will be on the lookout for learning opportunities.