They Say the Third Time is the Charm

And we all need a little Charm in our lives, am I right? Happy Monday!

Me, reflecting on my activities for the past week:

  • Finished a writing assignment on giving presentations.

Check.

  • Started the Podcast, “Terri goes to Doctoral School”.

Riveting, I promise.

  • Began to write my third novel (for the third time).

WTF?  No really.

Yes, it has been a busy week for most people, but just another dizzy day in paradise for me.

Better in Time (the working title) is in progress. I am a firm believer in outlines, for books, articles, letters, email, text messages, and Tik Tok. Type-A personality meets excessive compulsive disorder meets senior citizen angst. That’s some scary shit when you think about it. I thought about writing about cats, as I love them so much, but I get so attached to my characters.

Don’t judge. And stay clear of my yard. I throw things at people…cantaloupes and such. My therapist is in hiding. I wonder if I finally broke her.

So, you are asking (if you’re still awake), what is this new novel about? I’m so glad you asked! Better in Time is of the Historical Fiction genre, and is set in the province of Quebec, Canada at the turn of the century. Most of Canada’s French-speaking citizens live in Quebec, and studying its history and culture has been a hobby of mine for some time.

In case you are unfamiliar with the historical fiction genre, writing such a novel can be quite challenging. I became obsessed with historical fiction after becoming obsessed with a modern American author named Kristin Hannah, and her amazing ability to transform the reader to war-torn Europe during World War II. If you have not experienced one of Kristin Hannah’s novels, please give her a read. You will not regret it. I recommend beginning with The Nightingale. After that, please try my favorite of all her novels, The Four Winds. I have read it three times. Make sure you have a box of tissues for each book, however. You are going to need them.

Well, what do you know? I went off-topic yet again!

I’m nothing if not unapologetically chaotic.

Thank you for visiting my bloggy space/dining room/office/writer’s retreat and confessional. Sorry for the mess. It was such a monumental step moving from the outline to the first chapter of my new novel, I’m going to need a moment to collect my thoughts and find my joy. Peace. Love. Joy to you all!

All Online Universities are Not the Same

Deciding to go back to college (or attending for the first time) is exciting. There are many important decisions to make. The first and the best advice I would give is not to sign up for the first online college you come across. They are vastly different, and I am well-equipped to say so, as I have first-hand experience with jumping into things without thinking. I’m a jumper. In schools. In relationships. In life.

It’s a struggle, people.

So, I recently transferred from Grand Canyon University to Northcentral University.

Why, for crying out loud? That danged little voice in my head is taking over. My apologies. She’s clingy.

Truthfully, I enjoyed my half year at GCU, but there were a few things that just were not a good fit for me. Grand Canyon is a faith-based school, and I confess I did know that going in. However, I was so compelled by their approach to the dissertation, I jumped in with both feet. I was assured there would be no obligation to the religious aspects, and there were not many. However, there were a few.

I am a very private person when it comes to my faith, as I have elaborated enough in my blog. I am not a proponent of religion in higher learning unless, of course, that is one’s concentration of study. Long story, even longer…..I was doing fine until my third class. The instructor was extremely “faithful” and let us all know it every day. I dealt with it, and it didn’t really bother me because she didn’t force anything on me. Things changed when there was a required religion question on a major assignment which would have forced me toward a full answer on my religious beliefs. This was unacceptable to me. I ended up answering something like, “I am more spiritual than would fit in normal religion categories, so I feel I am not equipped to answer this question”. The instructor was lenient and did not mark my grade lower because of my answer, and I did appreciate that.  

It made me think that I should look elsewhere for a school that could provide a better fit. Working toward a doctorate is a grueling, arduous, all-consuming journey that could last several years, and anyone signing up for it needs to find a doctoral program that is welcoming and provides an environment (even when online) conducive to their core beliefs and comfort level.

Bottom line. Don’t settle. In higher education. In relationships. In life. You matter, as do I.

And yes, I am happy at my new school. They are all-inclusive and welcoming. I feel it already. I’m going to do okay at Northcentral University.

See y’all at graduation!

Okay, that’s a tad premature. Don’t judge. I’m nothing if not embarrassingly optimistic. And scholarly. Don’t forget scholarly…

Thank you for visiting my blog. Everyone is welcome, no matter your beliefs. As long as you are peace-loving. Be kind and find your joy!

TIK TOK. There is no stop.

I have a new addiction. Sans the intellect and any delicate sensibilities I may have nurtured over the years, I managed to have fallen under the spell of tiny fast-talking dogs, fluffy felines with attitude, teaching teachers, dancing dancers, singing singers, ranting republicans, and a partridge in a pear tree.

TIC TOK. For crying out loud, I have landed right smack in the middle of Crazytown. Stop the train, I want off!

If only.

If you have not heretofore, experienced the magical ridiculousness of the Tik Tok, you need to run the other way, fast as you can. However, if you choose to continue toward the light, be afraid. Be very afraid. There are sights you have never witnessed. Sights you never wanted to witness. Sights that make you wish you didn’t have sight.

But you can’t stop watching, can you?

Let’s assume you completely disregarded the above advice, and ventured into the TIK TOK app, promising yourself you would just take a little peek. The first thing you see is a grown man in a tutu, wielding a wand (which you assume is for granting wishes?). You feel somewhat excited and are quite convinced that there are good people floating around somewhere in the universe. TIK TOK must be a good thing! A place you want to be…

UmmmHmmm…

Let’s talk about earworms. The next TIK TOK pops up, and a little chihuahua is trying to convince his human that they must go to MacDonald’s. He is successful in his quest and off they go. Suddenly “Macarena” is blasting on their car radio and the tiny dog is bobbing his head to the music. It’s riveting, I tell you. This is good stuff.

Except that it will be days before that song leaves your brain.

Next appears a lovely lesbian couple getting married. Ah, so beautiful! At this point, you are convinced that you are in the right place and TIK TOK was meant just for you.

Ummm…not exactly. I hate to burst your “love is love” bubble, but the TIK TOK app works like the others. By using algorithms, rendering words into figures, exploiting mathematical similarities, using meditation and reflection, waving the talking stick, ignoring all reasoning, chanting and performing tribal dances, and the regular infusion of medicinal gummi bears, TIK TOK is able to entertain everyone from toddlers to the most highly educated and enlightened without hesitation or remorse. It’s really quite fascinating. I am hopelessly hooked.

Once you have been using TIK TOK for a certain length of time, you are put into a category, whether you like it or not. This is not specified, so you will not realize it right away, but for example, at least every other TIK TOK I watch has something to do with lesbians. I am not complaining, mind you. That’s totally my jam. That being said, they took away some of my little talking dogs and cute kitty cats. I miss them. They are my emotional-support animals, and now I am at risk of a nervous breakdown. I am also missing the TIK TOKs of all the different groups dancing to the exact same toon. If you don’t understand from whence I speak, think back to the old days and those Halloween dances, and everyone getting out on the floor to offer their own renditions of the “Thriller” dance. Remember that? Do you also remember that not everyone had mastered the dance? Some were not, shall we say, dancing machines, but rather just drunk. Well, TIK TOK has lots of dancing videos, and some are quite addictive. Some, however, awaken your scrolling finger, as you try to find something better with which to waste your time.

Ah, but it is entirely too late for you. Just scroll on to the next TIK TOK. Lean into your obsessions. Feed your hunger for third-grade humor, giggling babies, and that dude who twirls a towel while dancing with a line of other men to “Here Comes the Hotstepper.”

You cannot move mountains. TIK TOK will now be part of your daily existence. For how long, you ask? Well, my guess is until someone comes up with a 12-step program. ‘Accept the things you cannot change’ and all that sort of thing. Good luck. You might need to rearrange your schedule and maybe even delete some activities to make room for your TIK TOK time.

I may have to drop out of Doctoral School…

Thank you for visiting my little bloggy universe. So happy to see you all. I think my membership may have grown to five by now. Progress! Please Comment below if you are so inclined. And check out the rest of my blog, where you will witness my mission to change the world, one mind-numbing post at a time. Have a beautiful day, people, be kind, and find your joy.

Hola Friends!

Doctoral Dreaming. It’s a thing…

I thought it was about time I made a blog entry! I have been knee-deep into this doctoral school stuff, and on most of my days, my brain is pretty fried. I had not realized it would be similar to a full-time job, with overtime. Non-paid overtime. In fact, non-paid anything. Oh, wait! They get paid, not me. I just get the loss of sleep (from assignment deadlines), droopy eyeballs (from all the reading! So much reading), arthritis (in my fingers from all the writing. So much writing!) But someday, I will get that Doctorate Degree, and it will have been worth all the effort, to be quite honest. I love it, even if I do tend to whine, drool, curse, pull my hair, gripe, flip other drivers off, talk to myself, scare kids off my lawn, and eat my feelings. Worth it all!!

But I digress…

So, what have you been doing? I miss the blog. I really need to visit more often. I began writing my third book, also, but that ended badly. I had a nice outline, but trying to switch between creative writing on the book, and academic writing for school was near impossible. The two styles are so unique to their respective genres and require completely different structures, I just could not manage the time or patience it would require juggling both consecutively.

But the book will get written. The storyline is compelling. The characters are fun. It will happen when I am once again, fun, and compelling. Well, fun. I do not know about the compelling part. Tired is probably a better adjective for me at this time. I need to color my hair. I need to buy some clothes other than sweatpants, pajamas, and T-shirts. I need to leave my house occasionally. I need to get some sun. In fact, my Vitamin D is low, and the doctor put me on supplements. I think she wonders if I live in a gopher hole. Back to the things I need. I need a lady friend. Not a lady who is a friend, but a lady friend. If that does not make sense to you, then you probably do not want to know. Trust me.

Wow, 373 words ago I started this post, and I have virtually said nothing. My apologies. Next time, I promise to deliver something that will either make you laugh, make you think, or make you move on to the next blog. It is all good…

Have a great Mother’s Day, all you moms. If either of my sons read this, I love you. And I need a coffee maker (preferably a Keurig), a vacuum, and/or gas money, chocolate, or a good historical fiction novel. Or a lady friend, if you happen to see one. Just ship her on over.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you return again and again, as I need the company and I love attention. Please feel free to leave a comment if you are so inclined. Kindness, please. We do not do hate on this blog. We are lovers. Of kindness.