Monthly Archives: October 2014

For the Love of a List

Really.  I love lists a lot.  I have a continuously running grocery list, a list of book I have read, a list of story ideas, a list of blog ideas, and the cliché To Do list.  (Oh, look!  I just made a list of lists!)  Before I’d started my freelance business and my husband and I worked completely different shifts, I would have a list of all the things I wanted to tell him or talk to him about when I got to see him.  He would joke with me when I got home about checking my list before we started any kind of conversation.

Why do I love lists?  I love crossing things off of them.  Sometimes I even put things on my To Do list that I know I’m going to get accomplished soon just so I can cross them off (but don’t you tell anyone or I’ll deny it).  There is something so satisfying about that swipe of a pen or a pencil to let me know I’ve accomplished something.  It doesn’t stop with paper lists, though.  Even the lists on my phone make a beautiful little ding! when I check them off.  (Check out Wunderlist; it’s awesome.)

I started keeping so many lists because I can be forgetful.  My husband may ask me to make a veterinary appointment for our dog, and if I don’t write it down it will take me weeks to get around to it, if I ever do.  It’s not that I don’t want to do it or that I forget entirely, it’s that I don’t remember while the vet’s office is open.  Remembering at 11:30 pm is not especially helpful.

My lists help me plan my day.  Being self-employed, it’s tempting on some days to curl up and read a book instead of doing pretty much anything else.  (Okay, okay, that’s tempting every day, no matter what.)  But I can look over my lists, pick a few certain things that I know need to be done, and make a smaller list for the next day.  It sounds like a lot of work, but I promise it’s what keeps me sane.

I’m not the only list lover out there, either.  We know David Letterman loved his Top Ten lists.  You can find numerous fiction books called The List (which means I won’t be putting it on my list of potential book titles.)  There are even books you can buy solely to create more lists, such as List Your Self and Listography.  I also found a book called To-Do List Makeover.  (I’ll be adding these to my wishlist.)  Here’s a fun list of historical figures that are famous for things they didn’t do, and you can also spend some time on this list of controversial death masks.  Oh, and they tell me there are also several Best Dressed lists, but considering I’m sitting here in yoga pants and a sweatshirt that’s probably not the most important list on my list.

What’s your favorite kind of list?

To Do List

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Book Review: The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon-Keeping by Ashley O’Melia

An awesome review for my latest book!

A Keyboard and an Open Mind

Title:The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping
Author: Ashely O’Melia
Genre: Urban fantasy
Date Read:
03/09/2014
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

dragonkeepingcoverAll right, I admit it, I am a sucker for baby dragons. Well, dragons of all sizes are awesome, but there’s something about the way baby dragons tend to fall somewhere between a puppy and a kitten in terms of behaviour and are definitely just as cute that makes me want to flail my arms and go “Aww!”

This book is a quick. delightful little fantasy story, centering on Aubrey Goodknight, who discovers a mysterious book, “The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon-Keeping”, just when she is feeling most alone. Next thing she knows, she is hatching a dragon in her oven, and raising him while trying to keep his presence a secret.

Hugo, as she names him, is completely adorable, and I was continually  “Aww!”-ing as I read. Aubrey was a well-rounded…

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Why I Still Shop at Hobby Lobby

Don’t get yourself all up in arms over birth control rights just due to the title of this post.  I’m not here to talk about whether employers should have control over their employees’ reproductive rights (they shouldn’t) or if people should have the right to choose what they do with their own bodies (they should).  I’m not here to spark a debate about what your religious beliefs are (your business, not mine) or what my religious beliefs are (my business, not yours).  I’m here to talk about how to get craft supplies when you are in desperate need of crafting therapy.

Okay, that’s a bit of a joke, but still kind of true.  (Truth makes it funny, though.  Right?  Right?  *crickets chirping*)

Here’s the deal:  When I’m not writing, or cleaning, or taking care of the kids, or studying, or catching a little bit of shuteye, I like to craft.  Sometimes that involves scrapbooking, or cross-stitching, or sewing.  Most recently, my favorite thing to play with is polymer clay.

Carrot Cake from Athena's Dream.  www.facebook.com/athenasdreamjewelry

Carrot Cake from Athena’s Dream. http://www.facebook.com/athenasdreamjewelry

As I stepped through Hobby Lobby’s doors last night, I remembered the snort of derision someone gave me in a recent conversation when I had mentioned I had been in that much-debated store.  I know that the flames have died down a bit, but it is obviously still a relevant issue for people.  But here’s why I still shop there:  They are a local store.  That’s it.  There’s the magic for me, right there.  I could get clay on Amazon or Etsy, but if I shop at Hobby Lobby I know I’m supporting other local people.  Despite what their corporate office has had to say about healthcare, Hobby Lobby still provides me with the instant gratification of a hunk of clay in my hands and the knowledge that I’ve supported a local store.  Sure, there are Hobby Lobby stores across America, so you can’t technically call it a local business, but there are local people that work there.  That’s the part I care about.

I think we let the media get us so riled up about one little corner of the picture that we forget to see the rest of it.

So yes, I will continue to shop at Hobby Lobby.  And I will enjoy it.  And I will make cute crafty things when I get home.

Happy Pumpkin Pie Earrings from Athena's Dream.  www.facebook.com/athenasdreamjewelry

Happy Pumpkin Pie Earrings from Athena’s Dream. http://www.facebook.com/athenasdreamjewelry

You can find more of my craftiness at my Facebook page for Athena’s Dream Jewelry and Crafts.

 

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Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

Let me start off by saying how very truly sorry I am.  I’ve neglected you.  It’s been three weeks since you’ve seen a post.  As I type that, I think, “Surely that can’t be right!”  But it is; the date stamps don’t lie.

I’ve been so consumed with these classes that I’ve been taking, the massive amounts of homework the kids drag off the school bus every day, and harvesting a few fall crops out of the garden.  Don’t forget that recent book release, my Girl Scout Daisy troop, and the fact that I’m trying to purge my house via eBay.  It’s no excuse, I know.  Just because my education, my children, and my garden are thriving on the vine of life doesn’t mean you can’t.  There’s always room.  I just need to be better at finding it.

I will say that I’ve carved some time out in the mornings that is purely for writing.  The kids aren’t here, the house is quiet, and thanks to Sam’s Club I have a few pounds of coffee close at hand.  Most of the books I’ve read about writing (cause you can never learn enough!) say that you have to train your creativity through a writing routine.  I was doing really well with that for awhile, and it does work…As long as you stick with it.  So I raise my coffee mug in salute to forming good writing habits instead of playing Farm Heroes Saga and watching old reruns of The Golden Girls when I have the house to myself.

So anyway, Blog, I just want you to know that I’m going to make a better effort.  I know you are what inspires me to stay fresh with my writing.  You are what allows me to take that really tiny writing idea and still get to use it, even if it doesn’t fit anywhere in a book.  You are truly awesome.  I look forward to being addicted to you once again.

Love and Hugs,

Ashley

Blog concept

 

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