STICKY

PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy! If you are looking for Kaylia's official Website please visit KayliaMetcalfeWriter



End of the Year Changes

I don't do New Year Resolutions... but I do take stock in my life around my birthday in early December and then try to spend time in careful reflection during the holidays in order to decide if I am on the right path or not. What areas of my life need to speed up? to slow down? To be thrown away? To be laid gently aside for a bit? To be held tightly?

This year is no different.

For the most part, I am very pleased with my life and my choices.

In 2018, I finished my Copy Editing Certificate from UC Santa Barbara... and I have started to get a few paying gis as a copy editor. This has been a longtime dream and I am really excited to keep fine tuning my skills and help people wrangle their words.

I also started a podcast about books and movies. This was another longtime dream that has finally come to life. I had been waiting for the right time, cohost, and subject... and I really feel like I have somehow found the perfect recipe!

AND I started writing again. Not much, but the occasional blurb or vignette... and boy howdy does that fed my soul.

Those are all the good professional bits...

On the other side of things, I had spent 2017 and the first half of 2018 in my "time of no" trying not to take on more projects or commitments... and over the summer I started saying yes to things again... and I said yes to too many things. Which lands me in the uncomfortable spot of having to now disentangle myself from commitments to teams and committees that I was honored to be a part of. But if GCV taught me anything, it is that you have to step back when your passion is pulling you away. You can half-ass a bunch of things... but isn't it better to whole ass the things you really care about?

Yes.

And my whole ass needs to be doing WORD STUFF in terms of copy editing, podcasting, and writing.

I'm keeping CVAAS because I feel uniquely useful there and UU SM because I know that the load is heavy enough for those I share it with.

Which means I have to step away from UUPC and UU MM. (And yeah, I know these acronyms mean nothing to most of you, sorry.) I have written and rewritten my resignation letters a dozen times and am trying to get them sent by the end of the year.

So here's to the end of the year and the beginning of the next. May your future be bright with possibilities and cluttered with happy memories!

New Project: Pages and Popcorn Podcast!

I teased about this a month ago... but today I get to announce it at the top of my lungs!

Along with my friend Jennifer, I am launching a new podcast! It is called Pages and Popcorn Podcast and the tagline is "Two opinionated book and movie nerds talk about books that were made into movies... and the movies that came from books!"



We have a website!

We have a Twitter!

We have a Facebook page!

And best of all... We have a TRAILER!

I'm still figuring it all out and getting it hosted and promoted and such... so stay tuned and keep those fingers crossed!

I'm so excited!

Something (censored) this way comes...

I am really excited and I can't tell you why quite yet.

This is not vague booking... it is vague blogging!

Here's a hint.



Here's another hint!


SQUEEEEE!

I'm certified!



Dear Kaylia Marie Metcalfe-Armstrong,

Congratulations on your recent achievement! At this time you have met all the requirements to earn the Copyediting certificate.

Huzzah!

I am the proud owner of a Copyediting Certificate from UC Santa Barbara!

(It is in the mail, so no picture as of yet....)

Now, I can charge a tiny bit more for my services! 

wishful dancing.... 


I'm the New Secretary!

Not this kind of secretary.




At least not that I am going to discuss in this venue.

Ahem

I am thrilled to announce that I have joined the Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics as the Secretary of their Board of Directors.

I will help this organization as they refocus thier intentions and revive thier social media presence.

The Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics is a nonprofit educational, service, and social organization focused on supporting Central Valley’s secular community.  

The public voices that dominate the San Joaquin Valley are overwhelmingly religious in nature.  

This can be alienating to those people who belong to a minority religion or to no religion at all.  

CVAAS works to be, “A Secular Voice in the Valley,” to act as a counterpoint in order to inject reason and critical inquiry into public discourse.

CVAAS encourages the examination of human rights and ethical questions from a human perspective.  We believe that moral principles are best discovered when they are based on empathy, sympathy, and respect for others. We advocate for the examination of fringe and pseudo-scientific claims through the lens of objective scientific inquiry.

What we do:
  • Create spaces for like-minded secular people to find mutual support, advice, and community.
  • Explain the differences between Science and pseudoscience while promoting reasoning, critical thinking and the methods of science in the areas of education, medicine, and government.
  • Offer encouragement, assistance, and materials to local affiliated and allied organizations.
  • Create quality local events for the secular and skeptical community.
  • Through our regular acts of service promote the idea that one can be “good whout God.”

You can find out more about our upcoming events by visiting us on our
MeetUp Page and on our Facebook Page!



Reread or Resist?

Mail Bag Post:

Do you reread books?


Sometimes.
Usually, my mental conversation goes like this:

Hello, book I read ten years ago. I have a huge stack of books I have yet to read... but maybe instead, of reading those, I should dust you off and reread you!

I already know what happens!

And yet... I was a different person ten years ago. I was afraid of different things. I had different goals. I was sleeping with someone else. I was not yet a mother.

I wonder.

Perhaps I have changed, no wait, I know I have changed... have you?

Of course, you haven't changed. You are a static medium. But my impressions of you will have evolved. I have read so much more since I last held you. I have journeyed to new places and my eyes are wiser now.

Perhaps... perhaps you have new things to teach me?

But... could it be that I loved you because of who I was back then, and reading you today would deprive me of that comforting nostalgia?

Maybe it is better not to risk it.   

But maybe it is...

TLDR: Sometimes

Books I have intentionally reread despite the fact that I loved them the first time:

Handmaid's Tale
The Sparrow
To Kill a Mockingbird
History of Love
The Color Purple
Mists of Avalon

(I loved them all the second and third time as well.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Once more into the breach....

We survived our summer!

(The trip was LONG).


Now I am officially the mother of a grade schooler... and thiiiiiis close to finishing my certificate for Copy Editing.

And... in case I didn't have enough commitments... I am on the Social Media Team for UUCF! And I will be teaching Sunday School again.

There are a few other groups/committees/boards/projects I am thinking about taking on.

Because who needs sleep when you have coffee?

Ok August.... Fall... 2018-19 school year... the Season of Saying Yes... Bring It On!




Taking a (summer) break.

The kiddo and I are taking the following breaks for the summer.

No gym (for me)

No piano lessons (for her)

No calorie counting (me again)

No homework (just her... I still have homework gosh darn it)

No Guilt (both of us)

We have resolved to do art, read books, watch movies, go on an epic (and long) trip together, and do our best to enjoy the month of July.



Catch you all in a month!

A Different Kind of Pride...



I went to Pride again this year.

Unlike in years past, I didn't march in Pride... I didn't work at Pride... I simply went to Pride.

And It Was Glorious!

Not that I regret "doing" Pride differently for so many years. I mean, the outfits alone are sometimes worth it.



But it was lovely to sit back, watch the parade with friends, and enjoy the day as an observer. 

It was sobering. I don't work for an LGBT nonprofit anymore. I'm not a member of any sort of LGBT leadership. I'm just... me.

I'm still a community activist. I'm still a loud mouth queer lady who will sit on your panel about equality or feminist issues. I'm still using my writing and copy editing skills for progressive people and their platforms.

But I'm also just me. One of the many queer people on the sidelines.
Take a moment.
Raising a glass.
Breathing in deep.

And preparing for the day when I jump back into nonprofit work with both feet.

The kiddo loved watching WITH her mom. <3 nbsp="" td="">

20 Years....

I graduated high school twenty years ago.

I was a 17-year-old graduate who didn't have a clue. I think about the things that were different back then.



Twenty years ago was before the moving, the moving, the moving... before the roommate who stole, the living with the in-laws, the roommate who worshiped birds, the living alone,,,,

Twenty years ago was before I had come fully out to everyone. I was bi to only a select few.

Twenty years ago, I had resigned myself to going to college to get some sort of degree... it was probably going to be English so I could teach because I didn't have any idea what other careers were out there.

Twenty years ago, I wanted to be an adult so bad that I made colossally bad decisions and burnt some never-to-be-rebuilt bridges.

Twenty years ago, I was aware of my bad decisions and had resigned myself to probably making more. I was pretty sure I would not make it to 21.

Twenty years ago, I was embarrassed by my glasses. I had never died my hair or gone on a crash diet or been to a protest.

Twenty years ago, I didn't plan to travel out of CA or to have a child or to vote.



But some things were the same.

Twenty years ago, I was a feminist.

Twenty years ago, I was queer.

Twenty years ago, I loved to read.

Twenty years ago, I preferred breakfast to all other meals, I knew how to diagram a sentence, and I unabashedly loved musicals.

Twenty years ago, I loved Star Trek.

Twenty years ago, I hated Shakespeare.

Twenty years ago, I would sometimes wake in the middle of the night sure that there was something special about me... something unique and relevant to the world. There were moments that I would be so full of ideas and potential energy that I could hardly breath. Twenty years ago those moments were frightening. Today... they still are, but I appreciate them on a whole different level.





Here's to the next twenty years.


I judge you... Amazing!

I was extremely excited to be a part of the annual Fresno Library Poetry Contest this year. I didn't submit a poem... instead, I was honored enough to be a judge!


You guys, it was great. The poems were wonderfully written, and it was such a blast to see these kids winning accolades for their words.

Words matter. Fostering future artists is so important. I loved being a part of the process.

Thank you Fresno Library!

Bye Bye Lack of Bi!



Hooray for #Bi #Inclusion / #Representation! I’m Bi, #proud, and loving this Vox article!

How bisexuality on TV evolved from a favorite punchline to a vital storyline



The article is great. I just have to add that representation is soooooo key to being okay with who you are. We need examples, we need to not have to educate and explain ourselves every damn time we out ourselves. I cannot wait to see how television continues to evolve in this way.

Happy National Grammar Day!



From one of my favorite authors and artists, Sandra Boynton:


A word to the wise: Today is National Grammar Day. Objectively speaking. Yes, I do realize that the prior sentence is a fragment. This could be a tough day. #NationalGrammarDay

The Hamilton-My Little Pony Mash Up You Have Been Waiting For!

So sometimes I write profound literary things.
Sometimes I rewrite Hamilton to be about My Little Pony.

I'm.... versatile. (And I have a five-year-old)



How does a pony, book worn only
Good at crafin’ spells, doing work for royalty
Sent to a colored place of metaphor
Filled with loneliness and feelings unsure
Grow up to be a bad ass kickin’ alicorn
This pink bottomed scholar without a dollar
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder by being a lot smarter
As a ‘prentence got put in charge of a lil’ fire starter
And every day while ponies were living their lives not carried away
Will all the magic and flying pies Discord kept his guard up
Inside he was thinking of ways to mess the kingdom up
The brother was planning on sowing his own brand of mischief rough
Then Princess Luna came and devastation reigned
The herd saw the moon hang out above with not an ounce of restraint
Celestia took a chance and listened to a scribe
And she solved it just in time
Well the word got around, they said this chick’s brain is mighty fine
Sent her off to Ponyville for an unspecified bit of time
Get your education, don’t forget to use your rhymes
And the world is gonna know your name
What’s your name miss?
Twilight Sparkle of Equestria
I’m Twilight Sparkle of Equestria… and there’s a million things I haven’t done… but just you wait, just you wait…



... You all can see it right?

Would it be AWESOME?!?!?!


Why Copy Editors Exist




Going to take this moment to promote my copy editing skills for you all...

I'm still technically in school for my copy editing certificate... but even *I* would have caught that!
Here is my website in case you want to hire me!





Upcoming Poetry Event

I will be hosting a poetry event at the Fresno Unitarian Universalist Church on April 22nd.

How nifty is that?



I plan to give a brief (for me) lecture on how poetry can be used to incite political change and then we will workshop some of our own activist poems.

I am very excited!

FB link here! 

World Poetry Day

I have a favorite poem, do you?

This poem has brought me back from many a ledge since I first read it at the tender, and dramatic, age of thirteen.

It is my "I'm a nerd, so what?" anthem.
It is my "I'm low-vision, so what? anthem.
It is my "I'm queer, so what?" anthem.

It is my "I'm not perfect but at least I'm me" anthem, and I want to share it with you all today.

Be Nobody's Darling


Alice Walker :

Be nobody's darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
To madness
With ample cheer;
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone
(Uncool)
Or line the crowded
River beds
With other impetuous
Fools.

Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
They said.

But be nobody's darling;
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.


Website Redo!

I have a new website up and running.

Feel free to check it out!

Kaylia's New Fancy Website!

I really need to get a better photo of myself up there.. oy vey.


#lowbar

Every now and then I think "I'll never get published... my writing is awful! Who would want to read what I have written... is what I wrote any good?"

Then someone sends me this and my faith in publishing houses plummets while my opinion of myself skyrockets.




Personal Note re Surgery

My daughter, who is five, had to have kidney surgery.

This is what I am focusing on: gratitude.

I am grateful that we have good insurance.
I am grateful that I have the parenting style to give her the space and safety to tell me about her pain.
I am grateful that we have good insurance.
I am grateful that I had the energy and passion (not to mention the support of my partner) to fight for a second opinion.
I am grateful that we have good insurance.
I am grateful that even though we had to travel to have this surgery, we only had to go three hours away.
I am grateful that we have good insurance.
I am grateful that she is strong and healthy. she will recover and lead a normal life.
I am grateful that we have good insurance.
I am grateful to our friends and family who helped us (and will continue to help us).
I am grateful that we have good insurance.




The more you know...

There is a reason grammar nerds get kicked out of writing groups.


This almost seems counter-intuitive, right?

The only way I can make it make sense is if I rearrange the second sentence to read: When the phone rang, he was (ALREADY) annoyed. With the "already" being implied.

But sheesh.

New quarter, same issues.

Is there some sort of karmic imp that gives you all the best ideas when you don't have time to actually implement any of them?

Maybe it is that it is January and everyone is obsessed with the new... new diet, new daily planner, new goals, new semester, new projects...

Maybe it is the rain.

Maybe it is my brain's perverse delight in sabotaging my best-laid intentions by feeding my natural inclination to procrastinate "you could start this week's reading for class...... but wouldn't it be more fun to start a queer lady zine?" "Sure, the school newsletter needs to be formatted... but hey, your closet could sure use an overhaul!"

Photo from this article that I totally read. 


Ugh

Time to get out the daily To-Do list and set up attainable goals and properly calibrated motivations (ie bribes and rewards).

Get up: Done
Drink Coffee: Done!
Take the kid to school / get the kid from school: Yessir I have done those things!
Have piano tunned: Yup! (Had a very interesting conversation with the tuner as well)
...
umm
Blog!: Hey look, I am doing that now!
...

...


Newsletter format
Email team
Confirm sitter for Wed
Make weekly menu/grocery list
Fold laundry
Finish dishes
Read assignment
Work on BWQ submission

Crud... that's a lot before dinnertime.

Sigh. Ok. Off I go to be /grumble/ productive.

Storm Before The Storm

Y'all I totally forgot to write about this because... well... (persoanl life bbit here) our family had a scary medical emergancy that sort of took over everything for the first half of December and then there was the holidays....

But!

Before all that (a month ago)... The Maifan-San* and I went on a combo birthday trip to LA where we go to eat yummy food and see Mike Duncan in person!

Who is Mike Duncan? Allow me to educate you.
Mike Duncan is the amazing podcast man behind two of my all time favorite podcasts: The History of Rome and Revolutions.

If you have any interest in history or great stories please check out his podcasts.

History of Rome: it is suuuuuuper long... because it is suuuuper in depth and suuuuuper fascinating. I cannot say enough good things about this very comphrensive look at the Rome. Starting with twins fed by a wolf all the way up to when the Empire split, this is a journey of epic porportions all broken up into easily digestable chunks.

Revolutions: The Bristish Revolution. The American Revolution. The French Revolution. The Hatian Revolution The Central American Revolution... SO MANY revolutions and SO MANY interesting stories! Again, bite sized chunks with enough details to give you the story without weighing you down and making you angry.

I wish Mike Duncan could be in charge of all the history classes... I seriously learn so much through his work.

Ok, so the podcasts are great (seriously great) but wait... there's more! He wrote a book.



And yeah... I preordered it... and yeah I am super excited to read it. (Go here and buy it yourself!) 



BUT WAIT... there is Still MORE!



We got to meet him! 

Yep! He gave a talk... he signed our books... and we go to meet him.

It was very very cool.

And yeah... it is pretty nerdy to go hear a historian podcaster talk about Rome as a birthday trip. But that's the sort of nerds we are.

Happy Birthday my love... and Thank You Mike Duncan for the hours and hours of listening and all the knowledge you have given me over the years.

Best birthday Ever!



*My Stud Muffin of a husabnd to any new readers