STICKY

PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

E and Me and Books: Horton Hears a Who

We made another book review video!


Tipping Point...?

I was recently asked by a friend if I could look over a short story that he wrote and submitted. The story had not been selected and he wanted some general feedback as to why since a lot of places don't bother to tell you. (Understandable, but still frustrating.)

I was honored to be asked as reading someone's work is a pretty big thing and should not be taken lightly.

I enjoyed his story for the most part but I was distracted by spelling errors, word usage errors, and some big grammar no-nos. I told him that I felt that his story read more like a draft instead of something all polished up and ready for a submissions committee. He told me he had actually had an editor look over it.

I told him he needed to demand his money back.

And it got me thinking, again, about perhaps throwing my hat into the ring in terms of editing. I am not an expert... my degree in English was obtained almost 10 years ago (OMG..... a rant for another day), but I could have easily helped this writer know which version of "its/it's" "lets/let's", and "past/passed" to use! I am fairly certain that had his story been the next Great American Short Story... it would not have been published because I doubt that the submission reader kept reading too far past those errors. 

Which is a damn shame as the story was pretty good. 

I'm mulling it over.

Stay tuned. 

E and Me and Books: Lift the Flap Body Book

Ella and I made a video!

 

Video Book Review

It has been a while since I last wrote a book review... but Ella and I made a book review video!
Enjoy!


Credit Cards, French Revolution, and Nail Polish!




The world is far more complex and interesting than we tend to think. Today I want to do a Throwback Thursday that is a bit different.

Enjoy!

A quick little history of credit cards... did you know they got their start here in Fresno? I didn't!



And.... on this day in history: King Louis the 16th was killed after being found guilty of conspiracy with foreign powers by the French National Convention.



This is a big deal. Killing the Monarch and killing the monarchy led the way for different types of government... like our own. As I am currently working my way through the French Revolution by Mike Duncan (something I cannot recommend highly enough*), I find that interesting. Wanna know something else that is interesting? You have heard of the Reign of Terror... you know, the big "everybody gets to die" part of the French Revolution? Well it was carried out by a committee called the Committee of Public Safety. These guys were all about killing those who spoke up or who were even remotely connected to those who spoke up against the new government in France. (Ironic since freedom was part of the reason behind the revolution in the first place...)

ANYway,  remember that group of batshit insane "freedom" fighters aka the Domestic Terrorists in Oregon? Yeah... well apparently the outside group that is supporting them (formed before the occupation as a way of illustrating local support) is called ... The Committee of Safety! I have to wonder at their choice of names. Yeah, it isn't the same. But it i close and it is just as wacky.

And lastly, because why not, here are a few facts about the history of ... Nail Polish!

(Ironic choice i know as I have finally accepted that I bite my nails and cannot stop so 2016 is the first year I can remember NOT making "grow out my nails" a NY resolution... but I digress...)


Interesting Facts about Nail Polish

-- Invented in China
-- First color by Revlon was cream
-- Acrylic nails were (partly) invented by a dentist: in the late 70s, Dr. Stuart Nordstrom, invented the professional liquid and powder system used in acrylics. 
-- There are 13 (!) types of nail polish finishes; And they include: shimmer, micro-shimmer, micro-glitter, glitter, frost, lustre, crème, prismatic micro-glitter or shimmer, iridescent, opalescent, matte, duo-chrome, and translucent.

You future Trivial Pursuit champions can thank me later!

Anyway, have a great Thursday!



* Seriously. He did the English Revolution, the American Revolution, and is currently doing the Haitian Revolution... 20-ish minutes each and done with a great ability to tell you what you need to know in a storytelling format that keeps you engaged and learning... I cannot say enough good things about this series. Except that the only thing I love more than his Revolutions series was his History of Rome series which was incredibly long but incredibly fascinating. Check it out. Really. Check it out, you will be glad you did.

A White Woman’s Thoughts on MLK, #BLM, and The Bay Bridge Protests




Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday and like many cities across the nation, Fresno had a gathering. I attended this gathering with my family and I have the following thoughts:


1. This rally and march was a celebration of Dr. King’s life and a chance for a community to come together to mourn his loss and to check in regarding how much progress has been made since his death. The man was a hero, a legend, and totally merits the acclaim he receives. There is no doubt about that. HOWEVER, a fair number of groups attended yesterday’s event under the banners of causes tangentially related to Dr. King’s work. Of course climate change matters (and it affects African American /Latino communities and the poor disproportionately). Of course migrant farmers have rights that are being trampled on. Of course undocumented workers are at higher risk of being brutalized. Of course woman should have access to birth control. These causes (and others like them) matter. But yesterday was about Black Lives (and how they Matter) and these groups should have stayed more in the background… or better yet put down their signs and join the march in true solidarity.

2. Actually, the “other causes” issue was like a micro chasm for the Black Lives Matters vs All Lives Matters fight that is (stupidly) still continuing. But more on that later.

3. There were a lot of speeches. Mostly by local big wigs and mostly centering around ideas of unity, coming together, honoring the ideals of Dr. King, etc They were mostly good if a bit long.

4. Worst Speech: Pat Brown (if I have that right), from the Clinton campaign. Her speech was the most pandering. She talked about people who had known Dr. King, people who had been alive when Dr. King was alive… and how these people (only “one degree of separation from Dr. King!”) were all endorsing Hillary Clinton. Which… is nice… but not really relevant at this sort of gathering. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why a political campaign would send a delegate to motivate people to vote in an election… but the whole thing felt sour. She even brought up some children roped into holding a Clinton sign to stand in front of her during her speech. Tacky. AND.. and I know this is quibbling now… but she referenced the “GLB” community… which leaves off the “T”… and I’m sorry but both the HRC and Mrs HRC don’t have the best track record with the Transgender community so to leave them off like that was a pretty big misstep in my opinion.



5. Ahem.

6. Best speech: Councilman Oliver Baines. This man knows how to speak to a crowd and his message was vital. He started off by saying how Dr. King made people uncomfortable with his activism and that he, Oliver Baines, was going to make us a little uncomfy too. Because, he went on, it is fine to celebrate the life of Dr. King… but the truth can be disconcerting. And the truth is that a lot of us aren’t doing anything. What are you doing, he asked the crowd, when Trump makes his statements full of hate and bigotry? (And then he compared Trump to the KK which was… awesome). What are you doing, he asked us, when unarmed black boys are killed? I filmed the 2nd half of his speech because no recap here can do it justice… (sorry for not getting the Trump / KKK part). There is a protester who starts yelling… I *think* it was about cops killing people but he really gets going when Mr. Baines starts talking about standing up for the LGBT population (Calling out churches that spew hate!!). Thank you Mr. Baines.




7. And then we marched and sang and it was sobering and sad and wonderful all at once.

8. I went home and was almost instantly confronted with articles about the Bay Bridge protests. And of course, the nasty rude vulgar horrible comments about the Bay Bridge protesters.

9. But here’s the thing. I can spin my wheels all day explaining and then explaining again and again and again the importance of #BlackLivesMatter and how #AllLivesMatter is stupid and self serving and MISSES THE BLOODY POINT… I can wax poetic about how civil disobedience NEEDS to make people feel uncomfortable because otherwise nothing changes… I can even point out the latent hypocrisy of “enlightened not racists” folks bitching about the protestors… but when all is said and done…

10. This woman says it better. And really, we should be listening to her, not me.

Why #BlackLivesMatter Protests Are Happening Across the Country
This woman tells us what ignited the #BlackLivesMatter movement. “An Overreaction,” written and performed by Sarah O'Neal.
Posted by AJ+ on Sunday, January 17, 2016



Everything Old is New Again.

I have been 35 for a month now.

I made it through the holidays mostly intact and without gaining any weight (no small feat to be sure).

And now... it is the start of a new year and the start of my downhill slide to 40.

And like many birthdays and New Years Days in the past, I am considering my options and goals... and this year I am finding that I don't really like the plans I am formulating..

I don't feel like I can make a writing goal as I didn't meet the last several writing goals I set for myself and with my eyes being the way they are (glaucoma that ebbs and flows despite all the medication)

I don't feel like I can even make a "read X number of books" goal for the same reason.

The nonprofit that I have poured my time and energy into is going through some changes... and while those are good and necessary, I don't know how I fit into the organization anymore... and coupled with the frustration of not having reliable vision and eye energy to do things, I feel like maybe I should take even more steps back so that someone more qualified and with more energy can step forward.

And I have pretty much decided to stop trying to not bite my fingernails. I am 35 years old. I think I just need to let that one go. I bite my nails. It is gross and hurts my jaw... but I cannot seem to stop and you know what? I am tired of feeling guilty about failing.

Of course, there are still areas where I can set goals. Health /wellness, financial security, home projects, and of course Ella's ongoing education and empowerment.

And while I am excited about those goals and the benefits I will reap from meeting them, it is a very odd sensation to not be including writing or reading in my long term )or short term) plans.

I feel like part of my personality has splintered off and left this huge gaping hole.

Honestly, if I think about it too much I start to freak out and want to cry and stomp my feet and throw things.

But that's not really all that productive, is it?

And being productive... being a better steward of my time and energy... making good choices and modeling this for my daughter, these are part of my goals.

So I guess I will do something else.

I'm 35. I'm an adult.

And I don't really know who I am anymore. So here's to 2016 being the year I figure that out.

End of the Year Tally

Words wrote: 36.765

Items submitted: 0

Things finished: 3

Things started: 7

Overall feeling: Meh

I am looking forward to another weekend away to write in the coming year. I am looking forward to using my new office more in the new year.

I am REALLY looking forward to the Eye Team over at Kaiser finding the right dosage of glaucoma meds so that I have fewer "I can't see anything today" days and more productive days.

Word goal for 2016: 136,000. Yes. I am aiming high.

Items submitted goal for 2016: 10

Things finished goal: Everything I start, and maybe a third of the things sitting in my "Started" folder from the last few years.

Also... I am seriously considering hanging out my shingle for proofreading and editing work. We shall see.