Hey, remember how I disappeared for the last three months of 2021?

Yeah, me too.

I have a good reason, actually. See, besides working full time to get two scripts in before the end of the year, I was also in classes.

Class? Classes? One class, stretching out over multiple weeks?

Basically, the show runner for the radio production I work for let me know that one of their freelancers—a college professor—would be giving his college writing course to several of the people on the team. He asked if I wanted to join.

No pressure, of course. I wouldn’t have to do any homework assignments unless I wanted to.

I, naturally, replied very professionally that it sounded like a good opportunity and I would be happy to attend.

Then we hung up and I called four people and screamed because FREE EDUCATION Y’ALL.

Would you like a life tip?

Never, under any circumstances, pass up on free education in your career field.

Just don’t. You’ll regret it.

So, once a week, I fired up Zoom on my phone and scribbled notes like a madman while the amazing Phil Lollar—yes, I’m name-dropping, I’m sorry—taught us everything that he’s spent the last thirty plus years accumulating at a writer.

It was a lot.

Like, a lot.

The man knows things, y’all. He’s very smart.

I didn’t expect the class to add as much to my work load as it did—homework is actually a lot more work than I always thought it would be—but I made it through. Scripts got sent in, assignments were finished, hair was torn out, and I discovered more about my writing and myself than I would have ever imagined I would.

It was a great class.

I feel much smarter.

As helpful and informative as it was, our ten weeks are up now, and I’m back to a normal schedule and a normal workload—which means a book, a TV show, radio scripts, and this blog.

Thank goodness for that.

Do you have a favorite class you’ve attended, either in college or otherwise? Tell me about it in the comments!

Slowing Down

They’re waking up when I come into town. Shopkeepers, housewives. A few beggars. This town doesn’t have very many—I remember that from the last time I came through. I’m not sure they like that sort.

I probably look like a beggar to most of them. My shoes are getting thin around the soles, and my jacket’s been threadbare for, oh, nearly a hundred years now.

They don’t make things like they used to.

I head for the pastry shop first. This town has an impeccable pastry shop, and if I remember rightly, it’s run by a very sweet young lady with a streak of gray in her hair. I don’t make many friends on my rounds through the country, but I’ve always counted her as one of them.

Her daughter answers my knock. Her daughter with the cold eyes and ash gray hair. Her mouth pinches when I ask about my friend, and she tells me that particular grave is more than a dozen years old.

I’ve been gone longer than I thought.

I mumble apologies—and my condolences—and buy three sweet rolls and a chocolate bun, although the smell in the shop isn’t nearly as heavenly as it was years ago.

The price of time, as they say.

The woman’s sharp gaze fastens on the pennies I’m counting for her, and the silver coins mixed in with the coppers cause her eyes to widen greedily. I want to laugh. I want to tell her that those particular silver coins won’t bring her any luck or happiness. They never have for me.

But I don’t. I pay for my meal and wander on, munching a sweet roll and studying the town. It looks worn thin. The streets are thick with dust, and the buildings slump wearily, although I’m willing to bet they’re not half so tired as I am. Nor half so old. I’ve been charged with bringing the life back into these places—this town and about a hundred others scattered all over the western coastline. I travel to them each in turn, leaving pieces of my soul behind, and they never used to get in such bad shape while I was gone.

I think I’m slowing down. Getting old.

A thousand years as a cursed man will do that to you.

Quite a few of the shops in the main square are empty and boarded up. People left, I guess. They must have gotten tired of waiting for the grass to grow and the flowers to bloom again. The fields around the town are nearly dust themselves, but that will change soon enough.

I sit down by the fountain in the middle of the square and finish my bun. I used to rush through the towns, when all of this first started. When I was a young, newly murdered conquerer, and the gods sentenced me to spend a thousand years undoing the damage I’d done to the western coastlands. I’d rush through the town without stopping, flipping my silver coin into the fountain as I passed by, somehow thinking that if I hurried, I’d get through a thousand years a little quicker.

I’m not in such a hurry these days. I’ve got time to buy a few sweet rolls, talk to a few drifters, maybe make a friend if a shopkeeper doesn’t mind my worn-out coat and whiskers.

They don’t last long, those friends. I learned that the hard way. I miss them when they’re gone, more than I ever missed anyone when I was alive. I don’t think I appreciated life the same way back then, but I’ve grown to treasure the moments a little better now.

A thousand years as a cursed man will do that to you.

I brush the crumbs off my coat and dig a silver coin out of my pouch, dropping it into the fountain before I head off on my way. It’ll be raining soon, probably before I get out of town, and before the week is out the trees will push out new leaves and the flowers will be blooming in the hollows again.

I can’t wait around to see it, of course, but it’s nice to know the trip was worth the effort. Maybe I’ll shuffle a little faster this time around, and get back before the last of the day lilies die out.

I have a friend who might like a few on her grave.

Saying Goodbye

We said goodbye to Mrs. Hudson yesterday.

She was sixteen years old, which is pretty elderly for a cat. She’s been my old lady since I brought her home seven years ago, creeping around the house, hiding in my towel cupboard, and catching the mice that tried to invade my home. She drooled when she purred, shed all over the entire house, and hated every single other cat that I tried to bring home—including the three week old kittens my sister found by the side of the road.

I’m utterly devastated.

I don’t know if animal soul mates are a thing, but she was mine. I’ve never met an animal who so completely matched my personality before. She was introverted, crotchety, picky, and—when she felt like it—overly needy, which, if you know me, is basically my entire personality. But she was also incredibly loving, loyal, gentle, and always seemed to know when I was crying on the couch and needed a friend. I’m pretty sure we were the same person, and I don’t think I’ll ever find another cat who was so completely suited to me. In fact, I very much doubt I’ll ever try.

We buried her in the woods behind our house, with a big chunk of white stone over her grave, and my sister is fairly convinced that she’s going to come back and haunt my house for the rest of forever.

I’m hoping she does. She would make a very gentle, very loving ghost.

So, here’s to Mrs. Hudson. She was not my housekeeper . . . but she was my very special friend. And I’ll miss her.


I spent the last week of 2021 organizing my entire life.

Also battling Covid with hot ginger tea, Netflix, and NyQuil, but let’s not talk about that.

Actually, let’s talk about that, really, really quick. First off, Covid sucks. For all of the reasons. Second, there are so many good shows on Netflix. Like, so many. I had no idea there were so many. I started browsing through after we got our subscription, and before I even knew what was happening, I had a full list of shows I will never have time to watch all the way through.

How does that happen?

But, like I was saying, I binge-watched Netflix, coughed up more phlegm than I care to think about, and organized my entire life in the Evernote app on my computer.

Ahh, Evernote.

Where have you been all my life?

Seriously, guys, this app is now my happy place. I am a productivity freak, okay? I love to-do lists and check boxes and neat little files with all my important documents in them, and this app has them all. I had a place for my morning routine, my shopping list, my weekly menu, the recipes I want to try, my business documents, my taxes, my bills, my invoice statements . . . literally, my entire life.

All in one app.

I’m wildly excited. Probably more excited than is reasonable for me to be.

You know you’ve reached peak adulting when a special file for your tax forms gets you excited about life.

Obviously, it takes a while to gather all these bits and pieces into one place, but what better way to spend my entire week in bed? I typed away, drank tea, and watched Avatar the Last Airbender.

Because Zuko, obviously.

But, now that I’m back on my feet and back to work, I can already tell I am going to reap the benefits of that work. My work schedule is more streamlined, my habits have been adjusted to a rhythm that is supporting me again, and—best of all—I know where everything is!

Is there a better feeling than that?

Have you tried Evernote, or a similar productivity app? Tell me about it in the comments!

Breaking Ground

To celebrate 2022 arriving, I would like to take a moment to stop and appreciate the craziest purchase I made in 2021.

Weird, right?

Don’t worry.

It gets weirder.

Know why? In 2021, my husband and I bought . . . an aircraft hanger.

Are you shocked? Horrified? Intrigued?

So was I.

What happened was this. The day—and I kid you not, the exact day—I packed up my desk and left my full time job to start my own business in March, my husband and I met my sister and her husband at a local sushi restaurant to celebrate my nerve-racking transition into self-employment.

We were going to talk and laugh and eat sushi and pretend I wasn’t terrified about the idea of running my own business and setting my own hours.

Instead, we decided to buy an aircraft hanger.

Decisions get made in sushi restaurants, guys. It happens.

Obviously, my sister and I do not own a plane. I can’t even make a decent paper plane. But . . . we both needed a house. And my dad had a contact in the metal building industry who had an aircraft hanger he’d built for a client. The client had changed his mind, and our contact was now offering us the building . . . for a massive discount. Turns out, with a few minor tweaks, an aircraft hanger makes for a pretty nice house—one that will fit two growing families quite easily.

Obviously, we’ve got a long way to go before the pile of metal struts and beams becomes a house we can live in, but I’m feeling optimistic. The last parts for the metal building have finally been delivered, and a few weeks ago, we broke ground on our property, so we actually have a place to put this house.

When it’s actually built, anyway.

Needless to say, buying a home just as I was transitioning into a business owner has been a huge stretch for me. I like to make my huge life transitions one at a time, thank you very much, and navigating both of these monuments at the same time has been a lesson in faith, especially when it comes to finances.

But I am learning to trust.

So . . . now we own an aircraft hanger.

Do you have any huge milestones in 2021 that you felt stretched you to the limits? Tell me about them in the comments!