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Showing posts from November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish you a happy holiday, full of warmth, food and family. I'm not going to dissect the meaning behind this holiday, nor will I dwell on the fact that I couldn't make it to my friend's house in Dallas as planned because the spirit of this holiday is what counts. And I am thankful for so much.

I don't have much else to say this week, but I've been wanting to collect images from my dog walks, so I thought I'd share them here. These skies (this sky? (philosophical question there)) are my Zen, and I'm thankful for them. Have a beautiful week. I'll have some writing news soon.

Fall writing news

Just so you know I haven't been sleeping on the job, I thought I'd take this week to share my literary updates. I had three pieces published this week, two new and a reprint, along with an interview.

StaticTime is a flash fiction work up not at apt. Also, at Curly Red Stories, I am the fall featured author (how about that?!). Here I have an interview, a reprint, and a new story in honor of an old friend.

I'd love for you to read one or two of the above because I have another few pieces coming out, then I'll have a sort of dry spell as I work on longer projects.

Off to a weekend of dog walking, grading, movie watching, more grading, more dog walking, and maybe even some Christmas decorating (I know, but I can't help it) and some writing. If I'm lucky.

I wish you a fantastic week, filled with luck and good weather. -Jen

Meditating, a year later

I used to think it ironic that meditate has the word edit in it. In a way, it seems as though editing is the antithesis of peace and peace is the goal meditation. But, I'm finding the act of meditation is not a direct path to peace but one of self examination which, much like in creative writing, can lead to new realizations.

I've been meditating for about a year now, and the process of my practice has changed. Recently, I realized that the sitting still, breathing and repeating a simple mantra distances me from the more bothersome thoughts a little quicker than it used to. I usually have just enough time to sit for about 15 minutes a day. When I began, I thought 40 minutes a day was necessary given my levels of stress, but I'm a little more realistic now. I think this 15 minutes a day is perfect because I don't see it as another thing I need to work into my schedule (another form of stress) or as a means to an end. I simply see it as part of my life, and if I miss a d…

Dog park observations

My puppy is 21 weeks old now. I managed to potty train her in two weeks, thanks to some advice from friends. This was a big win because I tried a few things I saw online and bought puppy pads (which she tore to shreds), but the only thing that worked was placing a bell the puppy could reach on the door knob, and every time she goes on the carpet, lift her paw to the bell and take her out ASAP. Soon, she started ringing it when she wanted to go out. Sure, she might ring it when she's bored and just wants to go out and look for frogs after a good rain as well, but hey, that's a better problem.

So, potty trained and old enough to get all the shots, the pup is ready for the dog park. As of two weeks ago, I was something of a dog park virgin because our last dog wasn't very social and would simply sit in the corner bored and slightly irritated by all the pushy dogs around him. Needless to say, we never stayed long. With the pup, however, the dog park is necessary. She's a so…

Excluding to fight exclusion?

My husband recently returned from a lengthy trip to Europe, his first trip there, and I am now the proud owner of this (right). He's been back a week, and he has great stories because his work there took him all over, from the UK to the Netherlands to Germany then Switzerland then France. Whew!

One thing his less detailed stories involved eating at a conveyor belt-served sushi place and listening to the radio. Each of these elements was interesting in their own right--the time stamps on sushi in place of time spent to order (I'd rather wait, but I get the appeal) to the nature of the radio mention.

"Oh, you'll find this interesting though," my couldn't-be-further-removed-from-the-lit-scene husband said. He went on to say that there was some announcement on the radio that a literary contest, which historically excluded US writers from entering, was now allowing American work to enter. I thought he was speaking of a short story competition, something with, say,…