Small Improvements

img_3194I’ve been working on my house lately. Improving it. Fixing things.

Specifically my kitchen.

Because it’s old, and a little bit of a mess.

It needed some TLC.

So, I ripped out the old faucet, the one that leaked and was also determined only to have as much water pressure as it absolutely had to, and replaced it with a shiny new one. I can actually fill up a jug now. Or water my plants. Then, I fixed a few broken and loose tiles on the pad for my woodstove and started tiling the backdrop behind my stove. Because I was getting a little tired of grease-stained paint.


These kinds of projects are completely new to me, and I have been figuring them out for myself—with a little encouragement from my sister and roommate. Two years ago, I would have looked at projects like these and said, “Nope. Sorry. I can’t do that. I don’t know how.”

Isn’t it funny how often I don’t know how becomes all-consuming? How quickly I can’t becomes the answer to . . . just about anything? I never realized how many walls I put up around my abilities by saying I can’t.

I couldn’t fix the problems in my house.

I couldn’t speak in public.

I couldn’t run a half-marathon.

I didn’t know how.

The last eight months have been a kind of releasing for me. I can’t has become I’ll try, and I don’t know how has become I’ll give it a shot. On Friday, I decided to see just how far I could really run and ended up with my first half-marathon under my belt. The week before, I participated in a week-long writer’s meeting and spent a whole day pitching my ideas to the group and talking about why I liked each one or thought it was important. Since starting my job, I’ve said yes to being videoed, recorded, critiqued, mentored, and even to semi-public speaking. 

Now I’m tiling my backdrop and planning for the spring, when I will be building an addition onto my home. (Because every writer needs a library.)

Suffice to say, I’ve gotten sick of the edges of my comfort zone acting as a fence. My efforts may not be completely perfect, but I can’t hasn’t factored into any of them.

I’d count that as an improvement.

What are some things that you have been doing outside your comfort zone lately? Tell me about them in the comments!

Introvert Recovery 101


I had a crazy week.

Like, really crazy.

First of all, I spent all five work days at conference centers, attending—and presenting—at meetings. Which meant a lot of talking and a firehose of information. Stories were planned. Characters were examined. Exciting things happened.

I think I survived. I haven’t checked yet.

Secondly, we had quite a lot of snow, which got so bad that Wednesday night my dad got stuck on his way home and had to be rescued. I elected to stay in town for the night rather than try to make it home through the drifts. I called one of my best friends who also happens to be my godsister, and she graciously invited me to stay the night with her.

So, I slept at her house instead of going home. And fell in love with her gorgeous dog.

It was actually wonderful.

But by the time that Saturday rolled around, I was pretty much spent. Like, blank stare kind of spent. Being a scriptwriter and telling stories for a living is the best, most awesome thing ever, but it is also probably the most draining thing I have ever done. There are no auto-pilot days at the office, and my creativity takes a pretty regular beating.

So, on the weekends, I recover.

Recovery, for me, usually involves quiet moments. Silence. Stories that I don’t have to tell. And really, really good food.

Because who doesn’t love good food?

This week, I spent Saturday housesitting for a friend. I took my little sister with me, and we spent the whole day cooking good food, eating an entire carton of ice-cream between us, and watching TLC’s Say Yes To The Dress.

I fell asleep on the couch.

For several hours.

Basically, we binge-watched shows and slept the weekend away. It was exactly what I needed. Introvert recovery is hard on the best of days, but if you can find a special sister to spend it with and a place to hide away without interruptions, you’re well on your way. And, since I firmly believe that creativity is impossible without recovery in-between, it was the best thing I could have done for my books and the scripts I’m currently writing.

So everyone won!

How do you recover after a particularly draining week? Tell me about it in the comments!

The Bear Story


This week, I have five straight days of meetings for work.

That’s a lot of talking for this little introvert.

So, to give myself courage for it all, I have decided to tell you all . . . The Bear Story.

*Ominous Music*

That’s right. I’ve hinted about it and promised to tell it someday. Well, today is that someday. Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, and prepare yourself for probably the scariest bear story that you’ve ever heard in all your lives.

Okay, not that scary. But close.


First some background. When I was younger, we lived in a cabin in the mountains. Like, right up in the mountains, with trees and huge rocks and long hikes up to mountain peaks right outside our door. It was great. But being so close to the mountains meant that we had visitors. A lot. Like the skunks who lived under our porch, and the deer who came every day to get corn and salt and say hello. I loved it. Skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, foxes, turkeys. Even a tarantula one time. We had them all.


We also had bears.

Most of the bears were scared of everything. They’d run away if you shouted and were almost as shy as I was. But every now and then, you’d find one that had a bit of extra courage. And one year, a very, very large bear decided that he wasn’t particularly scared of humans anymore.

Not good.

This particular bear made some serious trouble on the base where I grew up. He ripped the doors off the dining hall to get inside (I told you he was big, right?), chased the base director up his stairs, and generally made a serious nuisance of himself. And one morning, very, very early, he decided to show up at the Geiger residence.

The Geigers, who had a sliding glass door that we never locked and a fridge full of food that was just a little too tempting.

You can guess where this is going, can’t you?

He came inside, helped himself to a loaf of bread, went outside to eat it, and then decided to come back. You know, for the jam.

But, by this time, my dad was awake. And he wasn’t super into the idea of the bear coming back in, so he yelled at him a bit and tried to convince him that it was in his best interest to not be there anymore.

The bear wasn’t convinced.

Instead of running off into the woods, he laid down on our front lawn and waited for my dad to go back to bed. Because that was totally going to happen.

It was about this time that tiny Abigail woke up, looked out the window, and saw a bear the size of a truck on our front lawn.

Okay, he was considerably smaller than a truck. But I was tiny, remember? So proportionally, he seemed pretty huge. Possibly nearing the size of a truck.

Spoiler alert, he didn’t come inside again. My dad was able to convince him that he was better off searching for jam somewhere else, and he shoved off. Eventually, due to the hazards of a bear who liked going inside buildings with lots of people inside, he was trapped and relocated somewhere a little safer. Thankfully.

But to this day, I still have the occasional bad dream about bears coming inside the house to get me. A little childhood trauma for you.

Do you have any wildlife stories? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!


On Thursday, my boss came back from California with two things.

A picture, and the first page of the studio script they had been recording, signed by the actors.

That’s right. My first script has officially been recorded. I have an Adventures in Odyssey episode with my name on it.

How crazy is that?

Now the page from the script is framed on my desk at work, the picture is being shared with all of you, and I am back at work developing my other pitches, scripts, and outlines, because life goes on and the world doesn’t stop for fanfare.

But that script page, for me, is a massive milestone. It’s a cumulation of nearly eight years of hard work and about seven months of the toughest writer’s bootcamp that you can possibly imagine. I had no idea what accepting this job would mean for my skills as a writer, or that I would discover just how much I really didn’t know within the process. I am learning from the very best in the business, and there is no scraping by with something half-done. The last seven months have been a lesson in intensity, but I have grown in leaps and bounds. This script is evidence of that.

Getting this job, despite all the other people applying for it, was a huge milestone in my career.

This first script is the next one.

Milestones are so important to celebrate and remember over the years, especially for the days when life gets discouraging. The script page, signed by the actors who brought it to life, is my celebration of this milestone. Whatever else happens this year, whatever else comes my way, I had a script recorded. One of my ideas worked out. That, for me, is a huge win.

The episode isn’t done yet by any means, but for now, it’s the sound guys’ problem, and I’ll be on to new projects and other things.

That, in itself, is worth celebrating.

What kind of milestones has 2020 brought to you thus far? Tell me about them in the comments!