Light in the Dark

This year has been an especially difficult time, and I don’t think I need to tell you that. My full-time job became part-time when Covid hit and I had to begin job searching in earnest at the hardest possible time. Living alone, I’ve been mostly isolated, with small pockets of in-person times when it seemed safe, but on this the darkest day of the year, I want to take the time to remember what brought light over the course of the year.

  • Discord and my friends – without them I’d feel truly isolated, and even if I sometimes feel cut off because they’ve focused on interests that don’t align with mine during the pandemic, they still offer glimmers of joy that keep the day-to-day from being miserable.
  • A steady paycheck – I was lucky enough to get a new job in September. It’s not in my field, I don’t particularly like the work, or the increased stress that came with taking a full-time job on top of everything else happening, but it gives me a regular paycheck, and with the state of things, I know how lucky I am.
  • My family – while my family isn’t as close (or big) as some, we’re used to seeing each other regularly at birthdays and holidays, so this year has been tough. Over the summer we were lucky enough to be able to meet outside for gatherings, but now that we’re indoors, that can’t happen. I feel lucky that my family hasn’t made a big stink about not getting together for Christmas, even though they would really love to be together. I’m also lucky that as the only child without spouse and kids, I have my parents to keep me from being absolutely alone on Christmas.
  • I’m also thankful for Great British Bake Off, which I watched a lot of to deal with my anxiety. So much so that I actually kind of burned myself out on it 😀 Not to mention my friends and I didn’t group watches of the newest season and it was nice to watch something with people again, even if we couldn’t all do it from the same couch. It was easier to share related gifs this way anyhow….

If you’re like me, the long nights are hard, so I hope on this longest night, you too remember the things that bring light to your days and that they carry you through and guide you forward.

Solstice Thoughts

On this, the longest night of the year, I like to take a moment to remember those people who bring light into my life. This has been a difficult year for me, and I’ve probably been difficult to be around sometimes. As always, this isn’t a list that includes everyone–maybe because I’m forgetful, maybe because I’m oblivious. The point is that there are people on my list, and I’m sure you’re on someone’s list as an important point that brings light.

My crew who introduces me to more new anime every year, and who put up with me showing them my favorites as well. You fill my weekends and make me laugh. What more could I want?

My tabletop crews who really do fill every weekend. You guys give me a chance to escape myself, and even though I might go mad as we try to schedule and I try to control everything, I really do have a blast. I look forward to these adventures, which let me write without fear of failure (that’s what the dice are for).

My family is always supportive and there, often in small ways. They might drive me nuts sometimes, and I might get frustrated with them, but we’re family and we’re there for each other.

My new riding buddy. It’s so nice to have a fellow adult to talk horses with (who isn’t the riding instructor), who lives nearby. You’ve given me a hand when I need it, and hope I’ve done the same for you.

Michelle and Reesa, who I spent a glorious evening with, eating and laughing. I wish we could spend more time together like that! It was the best part of my vacation (and it was a pretty good vacation).

May all your days be as bright as the light you’ve brought to me.

Solstice 2016

For the solstice, which is the longest night of the year, I like to mention those people that bring light into my life.

My brother (who I feel I mention every year, and it’s not just because he reads my blog!). He really is a great support, someone I can talk to, someone I can talk to about writing. We might not always see eye to eye about things, but we’re always able to talk about it. Also, he provided me with three amazing niblings (that’s niece/nephew+siblings if you’re not aware), who are delights. I never want kids, and he’s doing an amazing job raising these kids (and taking all the pressure off me :).

All my tabletop RPG groups. That’s mainly six people, and even though I should be writing original fiction and not stories for my characters, I really love that we can all get together and be with each other. And be huge nerds with each other.

The horse I rode all summer, Dish, who obviously doesn’t read this, and her owner (who also doesn’t read this). I’m just grateful for the opportunity to have a horse to ride all summer, while also helping out a friend. Dish is a fantastic beast, and it was nice to be able to ride and not fret too much, but also have a bit of a challenge so I was forced to be engaged in riding rather than my perfect pony who is amazing but not really a challenge (and I might be a bit of a lazy rider on him).

May, who has become my author buddy and is a huge help in giving me feedback (and just being someone who I can talk to about writing and Yuri on Ice…the two most important things in my life right now 😉

My parents are always a light in my life, providing support and love, and when I hear stories from other people and their shitty experiences with parents/family, it makes me eternally grateful that while my parents are human and not perfect, they are good people who have done their best (with my best interests in mind, I think).

And I’m thankful for my two publishers this year, Riptide and Nine Star, who released my two novellas:

That’s it for this year (though I undoubtedly forgot someone!). I hope everyone can remember on this short day and dark, long night that there are people in our lives that are there to help guide us from dark times. They may not always shine brightly, but hopefully you will notice them when the dark is deepest and you need them the most.

Finding the Light All Year Round

For the solstice, which is the longest night of the year, I like to mention those people that bring light into my life. Because I’m a dork. And to remind us when things are dark, there are lights to guide us to better times.

My brother, who has been extremely supportive of my writing. Honestly, if I didn’t know at least one other person who’d bought a copy, I’d suspect him of buying all the copies. He’d really, really great at celebrating what I sometimes am too stunned/disbelieving to celebrate.

And this next one may be silly, but I really appreciate publishers who take the time to give feedback on stories that need work that they’d otherwise like to publish. It gives me a chance to improve what needs improved (or move on). It gives me a chance to improve my story and my craft. Publishers aren’t just about publishing (or shouldn’t be), but about publishing great works that have been edited and honed to their greatest potential.

My friend, Noodle, who has to deal with my thousands of texts over the course of a week. I’m single, the rest of my friends are paired off, so anytime I’d normally text a significant other, she normally gets it. I’m sure it drives her nuts sometime, but she really keeps me sane by interacting. And keeps me from posting a lot of random stuff on Twitter.

The new friends who I have in my life, who don’t follow this blog….But new friends are an amazing thing. It’s always hard when you’re older to meet new people and set aside time for them, but this year/year and a half has brought two friends (a couple, of course) into our fold of friends and it’s awesome. They’re amazing and it reminds me that things can continue to change and grow.

My writers’ group peeps have been awesome. It’s not really conducive to how much I write, but it’s definitely teaching me. Teaching me to write better, or at least to edit myself better. And to read their stuff and my stuff with a critical eye. Also, the group that’s growing is around my age (the older crowd stopped coming for some reason) and made of some pretty fun people. We may not have much in common, but it’s nice to be around other writers.

Twitter friends, who I pretty much just interact with on Twitter, but you guys make me laugh a lot. And keep me company. ‘Cause I’m all aloooooone. There’s no one else besiiiiide meeeeee.

And all the authors who have put out books and made me want to read and write, and have entertained me, kept me company, and given me hope and curiosity.

I hope everyone has a warm and safe winter!

Solstice Post

Normally on the longest night of the year I make a post pointing out those people who bring light into my life. However, due to a very busy weekend, I wasn’t able to this year. But that’s not the only reason.

For the most part, the same people would be listed this year as in previous years. And this year has been especially dark for me, so those lights are dimmer and just seem to cast shadows. I know it’s not true, but when it’s this dark out, sometimes it’s hard to tell.

So this year, to not completely fall down on the job, I’m doing a more open-ended posting. Thanks to…

…my coworkers, who all give me a hand “…when they have a minute.”

…all the awesome people who I met/spoke to/ate Chinese food with at GRL this year.

…my tight group of friends.

…my family.

…all the funny, amazing, supportive people on the internet. I must be truly lucky, because I avoid the big jerks who do nothing but poke and prod.

May your days be as sunny as you’ve made mine.


And I’m thankful for my lil Hoover.

Giving thanks at the Solstice

On the longest night of the year, I like to remember who brings light into my life and helps guide me along the way.

This year, those who have brought light in my life:

Mom & Dad, who took care of me after my accident and put up with my mood swings, crying spells, driving me to doctors’ appointments, letting me stay with them, and then letting me pull away again.

Tuna, who keeps in touch, keeps me grounded, and lifts my spirit.

Em, who hunted high and low to get me a stuffed otter and then made accessories for that otter.

Lexi, for emotionally scarring my 9-year-old character.

Bry, for putting up with me and driving me to and from home when I wanted to be with my friends.

The trips, for being a surprise happiness in my life. I still don’t like kids, but I love you guys!

Each of you plays a special part in my life, and I’m grateful to have you there for me. I hope I can be there for you as well.


Lighting the Way

Happy Solstice!
When I first started posting the lists of people who bring light to my life, I was in college and it was easy. Or easier. Some years I feel like I’m naming the same people every year, because, well, those people are consistently bringing me joy. And frustration. But mostly joy.

* Last year my brother and his wife brought three little nuggets into the world and it’s a wonderful thing. I’m not a kid person by any stretch of the imagination, but these are family and I do love them. They are delightful (and headache inducing). Bright little lights they are. And breeding grounds for illness. Oh, kids!

* Amara, who always has a hug for me if I need it an a “Woohoo \o/” when I actually get more than 2 words written. And sometimes even then!

* Aija and Moya, just for being fun people to talk to! Sometimes all you want to do is share funny stories and gifs.

* Tuna, as always, because you show me such kindness.

* Bry because, even though it’s a tad materialistic, you gave me the iThing. And you’re always there to help when I have computer troubles. And I really love my iThing.

There are many other wonderful people in my life who bring me happiness but right now it’s hard to see their light through the darkness of this short, short day.

Also, in case you’re interested, here’s an article from a psychologist sharing how to make resolutions you’ll keep. I’ll think about resolutions when I have a second!

On this, the Solstice

Every Solstice (the longest night of the year), I try to think back on the year and remember those who brought light into my life and how they did so. I know most of them don’t read this blog and I do try to show my appreciation to them in life, but this feels like a good tradition I’m building, even though some years I’m not in the mood to make a list. …so to speak.

My brother and sister-in-law for giving me 2 adorable nephews and 1 sweet niece. I’ll never be having kids, so it’s nice to know I can do my part to screw up influence the next generation. They worked hard to get and have those kids, and it’s kind of amazing every time I stop to think that they haven’t killed each other. It’s a lot of work to raise one, and they’re doing it with three. It’s amazing (and makes me feel like a bum ;).

Aleksandr Voinov for being someone to look up to and inspire. (He knows what he did 🙂

JMD for being a great friend who puts up with many random, stupid text messages through out the work day when I feel crappy or unfocused or just need to reach out and not feel so … alone. Thank you for being there, a string for me to grasp and not fall.

Rachel Haimowitz for inadvertantly getting me to go to an event I wouldn’t have gone to without some inspiration/motivation.

My parents, because even though you may drive me crazy sometimes, you’re always there if I need a car fixed, a ride, or the likes. I may not let you into most of my life, but I know you’re there for me. Just like I’m (begrudgingly) there for you.

There are many others who have done plenty of small things to make this year worth living, and I wish I could thank you all, but for fear that I may forget someone, I shant. Hopefully you know how much I appreciate what you’ve done for me and know that I’m thinking of you tonight.

Snow day!!

Okay, not really a snow day because I had off anyway, but it’s the first real snow of the season and it’s pretty substantial. 4-6 inches at least (too much drifting to be positive).

To the right is my Christmas, as summed up in presents. As much as I love getting and giving presents, I really enjoy spending time with my family. This year was especially sweet <3.

I haven’t done any writing in five days, which saddens me. But I hope to do some today. Tomorrow I hope to go to the barn and give my riding instructor her present (which is mainly me cleaning her tack room of all the crap she doesn’t need). I was scheduled for today, but decided not to risk the roads if I didn’t have to, and I didn’t really have to.

So if everything goes as planned, my next update should be my new year’s resolutions.

For the Solstice – 2010

Every winter’s solstice, the longest night of the year, I like to remember those who have brought light into my life this year. This list is not all inclusive–it is dependent on a faulty memory. If I’ve forgotten you, I’m sorry; it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what you’ve brought into my life. If I were a different person, I’d probably tell this to your face and you’d know immediately for how grateful I am. But you all put up with me, so I’d imagine you know I wouldn’t.

Tuna and her Parrotfish – For making me part of something special. For making me feel special. You’ve brought me so much fun in my days and introduced me to so many new things. And Tuna, thank you for never losing faith in me.

B Sides – For being an awesome brother. We may not have gotten together as much as we both have liked this year, but you take the time to hang out with your dorky lil sister, and I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Gregg – For picking me. I never win random prizes, except this once, it seems!

Lanyon – For being a giving person who writes wonderful pieces of fiction.

Breaking (of B&E) – For working on my computer when it breaks. For being patient and trouble shooting and probably wanting to crack it in two and say “whoops”. BTW, it broke again.

Missy – For the amazing (an unnecessary) payment for riding your horse. And for being happy and funny and delightful to be around. Your heart is huge.

Meggs – For joining the barn and giving me another person to ride with, especially since my other one has been absent. For being a geek and funny and just as willing to talk as to listen. For trying to find a guy for me to hook up with.

For some reason I had more difficulty this year making my list. Normally, I start the list a week or so before, adding people as they come to me. This year, I forgot until a few days before, started the list…and it sat there. And sat there.

I’m wondering if there are a ton of people I’m not appreciating as much as I should. People who put up with me on a daily basis, people who help me, who expect nothing in return. I’m sure there are plenty of people I’ve missed; I tend to be rather oblivious to what people do and appropriate social protocol. Plus, Jan 1, 2010 is really far away.

I hope everyone has a happy solstice; may your winter be warm, your summer cool, and your smile true.