46/52 – Transgender Day of Remembrance

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As of this writing, 25 trans people have been murdered this year, however that number may only be the US. This is something that needs to end. It’s not about whether or not you agree with someone’s truth, but the transphobia is killing trans people, especially women of color and youth.

We need to remember and continue moving forward to better lives for trans people, equality, and safety.

The first Day of Remembrance was held online in 1999 and has evolved into a day of action as well as a memorial. It occurs every year on November 20th, which is tomorrow.

Please visit the Trans Day of Remembrance site for up to date information and a memorial list of the 2017 deaths as well as Glaad.org/tdor

Nanowrimo 2017: Not Precisely the Halfway Mark

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My novel is not a novel, but a non-fiction multi-genre exploration. It is part memoir, part travel guide, and part spiritual journey. It will include photographs and history, both of myself and the land. I haven’t been this excited about a writing project in a long time. I’m very glad that I took up the challenge of Nanowrimo in order to jump into this book and get it started. I’ve been talking about writing this for at least two decades.

As you can see from the above graphic, I’m about 5,000 words short of where I’m supposed to be at this point.

But that’s okay.

I’m also 20,000+ words ahead of where I was on November 1st.

There were a couple of days when I wrote 0 words, but I was also writing other things, like pieces for here and my writing group. There was one day when I wrote 3,313 words.

Currently, I have 18 saved documents of varying lengths from 75 to 2,468 ranging in topics from the dreaded GPS of 2009 to Driving and Comfort Zones, two topics that don’t really go together. At all.

I had decided to simply write about what I felt like in relation to my book on my journey through Wales, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m very happy with my progress. Some of it can be repetitive, although not as much as I feared. Some subjects overlap with different years and places, and one of the hard parts is going to be gathering these writings into a cohesive form that flows but also stays true to my experiences. I’m planning on putting together an outline sometime in December as I read and edit what I will have at the end of November.

For those of you also writing for Nanowrimo, there is good news and bad news. They are both the same: we are halfway through. If you’re doing well, great; keep going. If you haven’t started or have slowed down, that’s okay; you still have time. Keep going.

Fandom Friday – Family Business Beer Co.

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Part of the extended Supernatural family, their motto is Serving People…Fermented Things.

They are family owned and run. Check out their website and then follow them on social media to get news and events updates.

Congratulations, Family Business! Can’t wait!

The Family Business (in their own words)

We are a family-owned brewery on 15 acres just outside Austin in Dripping Springs [Texas]. Come relax in the hill country and enjoy a wide variety of hand-crafted beers and one of Austin’s finest food trucks.

Bring your family and come meet ours! We are kid friendly, and even have a special place they can call their own. Check our events page for updates on special gatherings and live music schedules.

Located at

19510 Hamilton Pool Rd., Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Grand Opening

Fall of 2017

Donate to Stronger than Storms

Hair, Hair, Beautiful Hair

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​Hair and comfort. Not so much. I used to have kind of longish hair. There are a few cute pictures from my childhood where my hair goes at least to my shoulders, maybe a bit longer with those straight, severe bangs, but they actually sort of worked with my face and the rest of it.

I even have a school picture of me in a pink jumper with a shag haircut. Very Jane Fonda now that I look back on it.

Sometime in the fifth grade it happened. The knots could not be tamed. I hated brushing my hair especially when a really large knot would form. I tried to hide it under the rest of the hair, but it was eventually discovered.

And that was it.

I remember my fifth grade or maybe sixth grade class picture. A brown outfit, a wide collar; some kind of striped atrocity beneath it, and short hair. Very short hair. Not a cute pixie, but a “boy’s”. Not a bowl cut, but not much better. Page boy? Who knows? It was…ugh

I let it grow in middle school so I could wear a ponytail, but that got tiresome. I couldn’t wear one all the time, and I couldn’t not wear one. What a mess.

I wanted Indian braids for awhile, that was very popular in the 70s, so I let it grow some more. Thinking it would work because my hair is straight and dark, I discovered  that I didn’t know my hair at all. I was wrong because while my hair is straight, when it gets to a certain length, it begins to stick out on the sides, and there’s no fixing it. I have a picture of me when I was two or three, and my hair is exactly the same sticky-out way over the ears.

It was cute when I was three.

I cut it.

Sometimes I cut it myself. Put it in the ponytail and snip. It was not great, but amusingly still better, although not by much.

There was high school and feathered back, and don’t forget, I graduated in 1984, so … perms. Big perms and in actuality mine wasn’t really all that big.

I don’t know when I cut it all off. At some point, I decided I needed it gone.

My hair has had silver in it since high school. I never minded it. It gave me character. It used to be copper until it changed to silver. I planned on never dyeing it. It really never bothered me.

One Halloween, my friend had his annual holiday party. That year’s theme was Super Heroes and Villains. My boyfriend at the time, now my husband went as Green Lantern. I went as Poison Ivy so we kinda matched. It took me forever to decide to dye my hair red to be that character, although I would not let it grow out. I finally relented and dyed it red. I hesitated until the very last minute, but I did it, and when I looked in the mirror at my full face, yellowy-hued skin, not olive of the Mediterranean, but an undefinable not brown, not tan, not pink either, just kind of sallow and tallow and yellowish, and the red just there, framing my face, whatever big, plastic late 80s glasses I had at the time reflecting the red subtly, and I knew:

I’m a redhead.

Genetics had made a mistake, and no one told me. Why couldn’t we be one of those Jewish families with the one odd, youngest red haired child? They’re everywhere, but not us. We all had brown eyes like our Dad, dark, dark hair, like our Dad, and silver in high school, like our Dad. My middle son has a couple of strands of silver in his thirteen-year old head, but I think that’s from worry and stress that goes along with his personality. I think my mother’s hair was brown, but we never saw it. She either dyed it or wore a wig. Those were very popular. She had heads with wigs in her closet; at least three. I liked to play with them. I remember her being red for awhile, especially in one of my favorite pictures of her, so I guess our reds are hereditary.

But my short hair, my red hair, it’s me even if I had to create it myself. I wake up and I go. I almost never brush it, and I almost never look in the mirror. Some days that is not such a good thing, but it feels good. It is the one thing of me that is my comfort.

I wasn’t planning on going until closer to Thanksgiving, but this prompt gave me the opportunity to get my hair colored and cut last month, so I could end the writing workshop in comfort and with a much more tamable bedhead.

I once got it cut in Scotland. Pitlochry.

The idea of having a stranger cut my hair was almost anathema to me. And her hair…she was seriously 80s punk, and when she asked what i wanted, I said just do what you want. She did, and I loved it. I kept joking that in six months I’d have to return to Scotland to get my hair cut again.

It was the first time I’d done it on my own, and it created the mantra I live by today:

It will grow back.

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Travel – Caernarfon, North Wales

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Caernarfon was not a place I’d ever heard of before it was suggested that I visit the town. My friend lives near there, and offered it when I asked for recommendations for my 2009 trip. He mentioned the Castle and the Strait and the nearness to other Welsh attractions, and we could meet for lunch or dinner in nearby Bangor.

I picked Caernarfon from his recommendation before even reading up on it.

I’d be arriving on Monday morning and driving in. I’d stay at an international hostel. I had stayed at a youth hostel my first time in Wales (in 1987), but they had a maximum age of, I think it was 25. This hostel took all ages as well as families. I’d have to find my way around, but on Tuesday, I’d get to Bangor for our dinner.

So far, those were the only plans that I made.

I wasn’t exactly flying by the seat of my pants, and I would eventually have some sort of plan for the week, but it was nice to have a base for the first half of the week, and Caernarfon was perfect for that.

Caernarfon was wonderful in so many ways. I hadn’t planned on returning in 2017, but we did manage to pop in. I was happy to be able to show my family a place that I could kind of get my way around, and share my experiences with them, not to mention creating new ones with them.

Here are a few of my recommendations of places I visited in and around Caernarfon and a few on my list for next time. Please use the links to make your own travel plans. It is well worth the trip.

This and the above photo: Caernarfon Castle, taken in October 2009 in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, North Wales. (c)2009-2017

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Assistance, Please?

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​I am currently planning on teaching a writing class for one of the local continuing education groups. I think I’m in a good place as a writer and former teacher to try this our for a semester or two, and I have several ideas on what I’d like to do. I think I have something to offer.

I also want to make sure I cover as much as expected in a first time class, so my question to you is what do you look for in a writing class or workshop?