My Favorite Charities 2018: AdvoCATS

Hawaii is most famous for being a tropical paradise, and it totally deserves that reputation. After having lived on the Big Island for two years, I don’t think I’ll ever love another place the same way.

But even perfection has problems, and AdvoCATS is working to tackle one of them.

Helping Hawaii’s Homless Felines since 1999.

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How I spent my vacation: An Essay

Did anyone actually write these essays in school, or was that just something that was made up for entertainment value? The only time I remember anything like it was when my parents pulled me out of school over Thanksgiving to take me to Disney World and my teacher made writing a “what we did” essay part of my make-up homework.

ANYWAY, this past week my in-laws took the family on a southern Caribbean cruise to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. (I know, crazy generous right?) We did all the cruise things: ate until we looked like balloon people, swam in crystalline water, learned local history, and ate some more, just to see if we could. It was a heckin’ lot of fun.

But one of my very favorite parts of this trip was the towel animals. Our room steward, Herminio, was an artistic genius:

Just look at that menagerie

Naturally, when I learned their was going to be a towel-animal-folding class, I was there.

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My Favorite Library Dates

I’ve mentioned this before (a lot) on my Instagram, but I live in one of the best public library systems in the world. I could spend an hour listing all the amazing things my library has (3D printing. A sewing lab. A/V recording studios. Classes on everything. A regular social worker. DELIVERY BOOKS TO YOUR DOOR.). But I don’t want to proselytize. And I definitely don’t want to make everyone who doesn’t live in the Orange County Library System to feel jealous. So instead we’re going to talk about my favorite dates that my library–and probably yours–can facilitate.

Picture borrowed from EDU Leaders.

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Post Cancelled

Hello friends!  I was going to post today (really!) but I’ve developed an infection of some sort that’s actually given me two black eyes, so I’m taking today off instead, because looking at the computer for more than a couple minutes at a time hurts.

Hope you’re having a better Monday!

My Collection

For the whole of my life I’ve been “the book girl,” as in, “You know, Bess. The one who reads all the time?” When I downsized my book collection from over 2,000 to under 600, I also went through a bit of an identity crisis. Am I still me without the number one identifier people have used to pinpoint who I am?

That crisis was eventually resolved by moving to Florida where my library delivers books to my door by the dozen.

During the book purge, when most of my collection went to donations, Kevin asked “What about those? Are you going to stop collecting them?”


T’challa, our newest foster.

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My Favorite Writing Blogs

When you’re a writer, there are a LOT of people who want to give you advice. A lot of that advice contradicts each other, although that doesn’t actually make it bad. It just means that not all advice is for everyone. Part of the learning process is figuring out which advice works for you and what you can safely ignore.

I try to absorb as much info as I can, on the principle that it can’t hurt to get as many different perspectives as possible. It can get overwhelming, especially in the bad old days when I was still trying to find my feet and listened to everyone all the time. As with anything else, once I had read enough and got more practiced at sorting out the useful from the not-for-me it got easier to find the writers who really made sense to me.

Over time I’ve curated a collection of blogs that I find to have the most diverse–and useful–advice for me. YMMV, of course, but in no particular order, here are the top blogs on my weekly reading list:

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