Booze & Caffeine: The Creative Combo

According several studies, including this one from researchers at the University of Chicago, booze creates big ideas and caffeine makes them happen. Shit. That means as a writer, I could be screwed. You see, I gave up caffeine back in February (hello, sleep!) and 37 days ago, I had my last glass of wine (goodbye, social life)! When I had to finish up Folsom’s 93 and get it to the publisher, I took a break from booze and enjoyed a month with less brain fog (imagine that). Once the book was out of my hands, however, I practically leaped off the wagon with a box of wine under each arm.

Now, my creativity red light is flashing and it’s time for a refill. Is it really from the lack of my favorite Malbec? Do I take a cue from the famous drunk writer Ernest Hemingway who said, “When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day, what else can change your ideas and make them run in a different plane like whisky?” I don’t know. I’m not entirely convinced that alcohol made me more creative (as evidence by previous blog posts) so I’m not going to race to the liquor store (where everyone knows my name), but I will try—what most writers will call—the less fun approach: paper and pencil. A little help from my friends doesn’t hurt either. Write Away: A Year of Musing and Motivations for Writers by Kerrie Flanagan and Jenny Sundstedt is a great book filled with ideas and advice for writers who need to refill their creativity tank. Kerrie’s excellent writing advice and Jenny’s wit is the perfect combination for getting sober writers like me to “stay drunk on writing,” as Ray Bradbury advises.
Write AwayEven though I can practically hear Edgar Allen Poe and Truman Capote guffawing at my teetotaler ways, I’m going to stick with being the designated driver for a while. Besides, someone has to recount (and retell) the events from the night before, which always has the potential to become the script for Hangover 3.

A Sneak Peek

I’m thrilled to be working again with author Dean K. Miller.  This time, it’s for his forthcoming poetry book, Echoes: Reflections Through Poetry and Verse.
Echoes: Reflections Through Poetry and Verse by Dean K. MillerIt’s not available until November, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this sneak peek of one of the several illustrations I did for the inside . . .
Past Due

You can also read one of Dean’s poems, “A Letter Home,” featured on Readwave.


Essay in Mind + Body Magazine

The Stress of Fractures -- April Moore

Check out my latest essay, The Stress of Fractures, published by Mind + Body Magazine!

Someecard Rant Irony

Because of my Pinterest addiction, I come across many Someecards where folks have something to say, but unfortunately their message gets lost in [grammatical] translation. With hundreds to choose from, it was easy to find some gems:

Grammer/Grammar . . . what’s the difference, right?
Knowing singular from plural is NOT your forte.

Plural, singular

Again, vein/vane . . . what’s the difference, right?
vein, vane

Hmm. Who’s calling the kettle black?
your, you're

Perhaps he left because of your bad grammar.
your, you're
The following all feature my biggest pet peeve: placing punctuation outside quotation marks. Okay, I get that in the UK, this is how it’s done, but I see American journalists, bloggers, professionals and even teachers violate this rule. If you live in the US, there is no excuse to get this wrong.
quotesAnd technically, there should be a comma after “hey.” Way to go, dumb ass Grammar Nazi.

your an idiotSigh . . .

So, before you hit “save” on that hilarious Someecard that you’ve just created, check your grammar. And if you haven’t had enough of my own grammar rants, check out my guest post at The Writing Bug about why I blame social media for the poor grammar epidemic.

Cover Reveal: The Odyssey of the Monk

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Dean K. Miller, a very talented writer, for his book, The Odyssey of the Monk. Below is the cover I illustrated. The story is about a young orphaned monk who leaves the Buddhist temple he was raised in, to venture out on his own. It’s a beautiful story and is now available as en e-book. You can read more about Dean and his other works at his blog and check out the other illustrations I did for the inside. I’m also in the midst of working on drawings for his poetry book, due out in November, so you’ll be seeing those shortly.

Odyssey of the Monk Cover

Visit Dean’s blog and be sure to check out his other wonderful book, And Then I Smiled: Reflections on a Life Not Yet Complete.

Mom Jeans or Butt Bling . . . How Do I Choose?

It’s been over a year since I bought new jeans and it was time for a new pair. I rank this type of endeavor with bathing suit shopping, and well, getting a pap smear. It doesn’t help that even in a city of 155,000, our shopping options are limited, especially since our mall is in the midst of renovations. It is what it is. But surely, there’s enough decent denim to cover this 37-year-old derriere. After a four-store excursion, this is what I’ve learned about my current options in my city:

Mom jeansFeaturing the high waist, roomy thighs and tapered leg. Fantastic. These would be perfect with my Rudolph Christmas sweater.

Fade OutNot only does it look like you sat on a light table for days, you also get to have these fabulous faux creases, showcasing that you sat on a light table for days. I don’t about you, but I just love having these particular areas showcased.

Blingy Bottom

As you can see, these are the most readily available option. Some even sport both fading and bling! I jokingly asked the sales guy if a pair of marshaling wands come with a purchase of these. Blank look. “You know, those handheld illuminated beacons airport signalers use to guide planes? These are like airport landing strips.” Ah, I then got the courtesy laugh and he politely pointed me to where I’d find the mom jeans. Poor guy, he’s just trying to pay for school.

Seriously, these are my options? I may be a 37-year-old wife and mother, but do I really have to be relegated to Lee comfort fit?! I don’t understand these trends in women’s jeans. Perhaps if I had two Boca chick’n nuggets for an ass (I’m a vegan after all), I might be able to get away with this, but even then, should I? Maybe for some women, their butt is so small, they need to bring attention to it; I’ve never had that problem. I fall in the range of size 6-10 (depending on the brand—and that’s a whole other blog post), so I most certainly don’t need jeans designed by a Las Vegas showgirl. Frankly, I think any woman, no matter what size she is, should never wear butt bling over the age of 18. (And I’m not even old fashioned; I have an arm full of tattoos.) But hell, if you can pull it off, more power to ya. For me, it’s a trend I’m all for boycotting. Sure, I could pay $80-$150 for less flashy designer duds, but I find that utterly ridiculous.

So I left these stores empty-handed and almost without my phone. Did you know you’re not allowed to take pictures inside Macy’s? Well, you’re not. My jeans are out there; I’ve found them before and I’ll find them again—with or without marshaling wands.

Butt BlingUgh.

2015 Top of the Mountain Book Award

NCW Top of the Mountain Book Award

It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about when I blog again. Yes, it’s been almost a year. (I will be posting regularly from here on out.) I’m talkin’ about the Northern Colorado Writers’ Top of the Mountain Book Award that is open to published and unpublished authors, and for fiction and nonfiction. Deadline is February 1, 2015 but I advise you to get your entries in before the time-sucking phenomenon called “HalloThanksMas” takes over your life. Before you know it, you’ll be tossing your shriveled jack-o-lanterns in the trash and waking from your post Thanksgiving meal nap to the jolly jingles of “Deck the Halls.” And don’t make this a New Years’ resolution because who sticks to those anyway? (If you do, call me; there’s an article in that.) Did I mention, the top prize is $1000? I’m pretty sure last year’s winner put his winnings in a low-risk, high return investment and now writes bestsellers from his Swiss chalet. What I’m saying is, that could be you. Check out the rules. Enter. Good luck.


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