California vs. NC: Time Zone Battle

By now, you’ve probably noticed my absence for the past week. If not, act like you did. I was in the sunny state of California visiting family with my fiance. Except while we were there it was cool and breezy the whole time which meant I never got to unpack my shorts. My one pair of jeans were well used.

It was such a fun, relaxing trip, which we both really needed. You don’t quite know how much you need to rest until you finally do. Plus I got to see my fiance’s family, whom we don’t see much because of the distance. I’ve got the best parents-in-law!

The tricky part for me right now is adjusting to that pesky North Carolina time zone again. It was easy adjusting to California because, being the sleep-lover that I am, I gained three hours. On the way back, I lost three. I’m that person who takes forever adjusting when we lose an hour every spring, so this is a challenge. Hopefully, I’ll get back on schedule in the next few days. And no, this isn’t my first time adjusting to NC time after being in California. It just sounds like it!

So anyway, that’s the brief update telling you I’m back! Prepare for more fun stories in the future. 🙂

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‘Tis the Season for Graduations

My fiance is graduating. I’m about to pop because I’m so proud of him and how hard he worked for his degree. His upcoming graduation has brought on a bit of nostalgia–or at least memories of my own graduations.

Including high school, I’ve been in three. I was never the student thrilled to be walking on the stage in the cap and gown. The cap messes up a girl’s hair unless she uses copious amounts of hair spray and that’s generally frowned upon by those trying to save the atmosphere. On top of that, the gown is miserable unless the temperature happens to be a crisp 30 degrees. Quit frowning. You know it’s true.

But the part I always dreaded as a graduate (more so than the cap and gown) was the speaker. My brother got lucky at his graduation. The speaker was very short, which made everyone happy. I, on the other hand, was not so lucky. The speakers at mine always had a speech the length of the Gettysburg Address and they weren’t going to cut corners on it either.

I don’t remember much of what they talked about, but a couple of points stood out to me, a future (wannabe) graduation speaker:

1. Tell Everyone How Educated You Are

It’s important that your audience understands how much smarter you are than them so that when you use grammar incorrectly, they are in awe at how masterfully you break the rules. The best way to do this: explain in great detail the many degrees you have attained in your life and note that none of them are in English or communications.

I had a graduation speaker who, every time she said “tonight”, said “on tonight”. For example, “Thank you for being here on tonight.” No joke, people.

2. Talk About All of the Irrelevant Things

Did you have a puppy when you were three? Did your best friend in high school snub you one time in favor of her new boyfriend who dumped her a week later? Those are perfect topics for graduation speeches. And then if you can tie in those with themes of resilience and hope, you get mega bonus points because it’s impossible.

3. Make Someone Sleep

If your speech is the length of the Gettysburg Address, it is a fact that someone will either go to sleep or die of boredom. While you don’t want to kill someone, putting them to sleep is socially acceptable at graduations. Just remember the above points and you’re set.

I hope you’re prepared for this upcoming graduation season now. And if you’re ever asked to speak, keep these tips in mind and you’re on the road to success.

Want to know what my speech would be?

“Congrats! You graduated. Keep working hard.”

I’d be the lamest graduation speaker ever.

Pets are a Writer’s Best Friend

I’m sitting in my living room, trying to figure out what to write for this day, and Bandit is hogging my complete and total attention. The puppy eyes he keeps giving me makes me feel so guilty for even attempting to write. Then he’ll get up and come see what I’m doing like he’s saying, “Hey, Mom, are you done yet?” And so I’ll say, “Hang on just a minute, buddy. Almost done.”

He’s been with me many times when I write and he’s great, but tonight he feels like hogging his mom. So this post will be short. My boy needs me. It’s already taken me way longer to write this little bit than it should have.

What about you? What do your pets do when you write? How do you get past the big, sad eyes that just scream “Pet me, I’m pitiful”?

More on Bandit in the near future…

Writing Weekend #8

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By now, you have learned the basics of world-building. For your weekend writing challenge, re-read some of the questions I’ve asked in the previous posts (Setting, Rules, HistoryInhabitants). If you haven’t answered them yet, do so now. If you have, combine those answers to start building a world for your story. Push yourself to discover new things and create a lush world full of details. Readers will be wowed by the thought and research you’ve put into it!