Ask the Author and S’Mores

The water was a lot of dead algae and also a thick pancake batter-like sludgy foam. Yech.

The water was a lot of dead algae and also (not pictured) a thick pancake batter-like sludgy foam. Yech.

So, I missed the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold conference last weekend, and I feel pretty bad about that. I’ve been to the Colorado Gold only once, last year, but I really enjoyed the people I met there and the conference sessions themselves.

We should maybe rethink some of our environmental stewardship choices.

Dead fish everywhere. We should maybe rethink some of our environmental stewardship choices.

But I did get to spend a weekend at another (non-writing) event with friends, being eaten by mosquitos beside the highly questionable waters of Maumee Bay and Lake Erie, so that was some consolation. The tap water was officially safe again, but the lake water, not so much. I’ll let you know if the pollution-affected mutant mosquito bites turn out to have imbued me with superpowers. We can always hope. Continue reading

Charities and Giving – Want to Join Me?

So I’ve been meaning to work on my charity donations for a while now, and I’m only just getting around to it, because sometimes I’m easily-distracted.

But really, this stuff is important. And normally, this isn’t the kind of thing I’d publicize. We don’t do good for the praise of others, and that’s even Biblical (“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them,” Matthew 6:1). So I wasn’t sure I should share this at all. But it occurred to me that if I did, others might be inspired to donate too, or even just become aware of some issues and needs that they weren’t previously aware of. So please read this post in that light. Continue reading

How Do I Love Chocolate? Let Me Count the Ways….

(I wanted to be blogging this week about the Midwest Writers Workshop and the coolness thereof, but I’ve been considerably distracted. So please accept this pre-written post about chocolate in the meanwhile.)

What does dark chocolate do for me?

writer: a peculiar organism capable of transforming caffeine into booksWell, it provides the caffeine which I don’t get from coffee. (Yeah, I’m one of the maybe four writers in the hemisphere who don’t drink coffee. Makes me the odd one out at conferences and workshops, where I have to find my own soft drink or something.) Continue reading

Speedy Chocolate!

Endangered Species - Coexist All-Natural Dark Chocolate Covered Hazelnut Toffee 72% Cocoa

Endangered Species – Coexist All-Natural Dark Chocolate Covered Hazelnut Toffee 72% Cocoa

This post will have to go live a few days later, since I ordered some gifts I don’t want to telegraph, but here’s the deal: I ordered from Endangered Species Chocolate and found my order at my driveway about 24 hours later.

Let us count the ways this went right: Continue reading

Stakes on a Plane — Men, Women, and Entitlement

Today’s post features a rude game of airplane footsie and some sociological pronouncements. Continue reading

Earth Day, and I’m off to the Northern Colorado Writers Conference

Grass

(Photo credit: DBduo Photography)

So for Earth Day today, I didn’t mow my grass.

Okay, so I probably wasn’t going to mow today, anyway. I have real grass, the grass that was here when the bison were still eating it, and it don’t need no stinking fertilizer and it don’t need no stinking water — during last year’s record-setting drought, it stayed green long past the time when most grass and many trees in central Indiana were dead or dying — and it’s tougher than most mowers. So it takes a bit of mental gearing up to challenge this grass. Continue reading

I Ran for Freedom. And I Didn’t Collapse.

So this morning was the 5K run to benefit International Justice Mission, combating modern slavery. (Yes, real slavery still exists today. In higher numbers than ever, in fact, but thankfully also as a smaller percentage than ever.)

International Justice Mission charity run

Yes, that’s a six-year-old. Ahead of me. Shuddup.

What you have to know is that I don’t run. Really. So this was a really good cause for me to even sign up. I had planned to do at least a bit of training beforehand, but a rotated pelvis nixed that. And that’s my best excuse for why I was able to take a photo of a six-year-old in front of me in the pack. Continue reading

Thoughts on the Boston Marathon Disaster

I didn’t hear about the explosions at the Boston Marathon right away. It wasn’t until my sister and I were on our way home from a library, where we’d been running a simple jewelry workshop for kids, that she checked Twitter and asked, “What happened at the Boston Marathon? Why would they need blood drives?”

And she read back, and she told me. And my first words were, “Why? What is WRONG with people?!?!” Continue reading

Political Insults — Assault Weapons & Weapons of War

The most insulting letter I’ve ever received from any government entity or official was a form letter from TSA, informing me that the agent who had invited me to come back for some costumed roleplay with him was in fact only acting for my own security. Not a word about the inappropriateness of the sexual overture, just a party line about all agent actions being for my benefit.

The second most insulting letter I’ve received from a government entity or official came yesterday from Representative André Carson. Continue reading

More Options for Guilt-Free Chocolate

Dove Chocolate Rainforest Alliance Certified

this caught my eye

Well, free of guilt from exploitation. You’re on your own for the calories. (But dark chocolate has important antioxidants and flavonoids and stuff. It’s good for you. That’s science.) Continue reading