#Blogtober14 catch up day!

The #Blogtober14 bandwagon made a stop at my house this weekend and I jumped off for a little bit of a screen break. I got to spend a day at home with my boy, and I didn’t realize how much I missed our Mommy-Arthur days until they became such a rare treat. I also got to spend some time with my mom, a gift that I will not take for granted whether I have her with me for another three days or another thirty years.Another big thing that took me away from blogging was working on my book! I’ve had a story in my head for some time and though I’ve written random snippets for it I’ve always put it back on the shelf. In the last week, though, I have come back to it and I know that now is the time to make it happen. So I spent part of the last three days doing a lot of brainstorming and getting into my main character’s head. I don’t want to go into too much detail until it’s finished and we’re on to the next step, but guys I am so. excited. for this book. It could change everything.

Well! I actually like some of the prompts that I skipped so let’s do something of a quickie through them and we’ll see what happens.

#Blogtober14 Day 11: If you were President…

Ha. This is fitting. Did you guys see my campaign posters from the other day? I only have 10 more years until this possibility can become a reality. While I’ve already begun crafting a platform and planning my Cabinet, the reality is that I no longer believe I could truly affect the change I want to see through the office of President unless I enact a benevolent dictatorship and, honestly, who has time for that? I would ultimately just like to see a foreign policy focused on more global cooperation and engagement without so much intervention; an economic policy that grants dignity and potential for success to every member of society; domestic policies that support women, working mothers, members of the LGBT community, and others who are marginalized in today’s society; and education policy that focuses on true education rather than tests designed by the companies that profit off of test preparation materials. (Here’s a novel idea: let educators contribute to designing education policy!)

Plus I’d create a few fun new Cabinet departments. Why not?

#Blogtober14 Day 12: Best advice you’ve been given

Whoo, I’ve been the recipient of some awesome advice through the years…I could probably actually create a whole new blog dedicated entirely to that good advice. But as there are plenty of perfectly good advice blogs already populating the Interwebs, let’s stick to a few of my favorites.

From my mom: Work hard so you never have to rely on a man to take care of you.

I would extend that advice to say avoid having to rely on another person to take care of you. It’s great to be able to depend on people, and even the strongest people want to be taken care of sometimes, but it sucks – SUCKS – to have your star tied to another person’s. It’s dehumanizing even when the support comes with love and understanding; when it’s wrapped up in condescension and judgement, you’ll seriously consider selling everything you own and living under a bridge just to avoid the humiliation.

Kurt Vonnegut: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

Cover of "Mother Night: A Novel"
Mother Night: A Novel

The greatest American author of all time included this quote in his introduction to the paperback edition of Mother Night, and I can’t stress enough how true it is. Nobody can keep up an act for very long without it changing who they are on a fundamental level. If you tell yourself something enough times, it becomes your truth. Consider this more modern example, from the immortal Mean Girls:

you're plasticEverything I’ve ever read by KV should by rights be on this list, so to keep the word count modest just go here for more wisdom: 15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will

My former coworker Erin: “Nice doesn’t pay in the real world. Bitch pays.”

While it would be tempting to take this advice as a blessing to turn on full-bitch mode with the rest of the world…it really isn’t. I’ve remembered this gem for nearly 10 years because it’s a reminder that you have to stand up for what you want to do and say and be. Kindness and stillness and quiet reflection are all wonderful things, in their time, but there is also a time that you have to raise your voice and put your hands up and fight for the right to be heard. Sometimes you’re even fighting yourself, and that’s okay – we all need more practice in getting out of our own way.

#Blogtober14 Day 13: Favorite Fall Recipe

Guys, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this enough in the last few days but I LOVE FALL. I love the clothes, I love the sounds and the smells and ohhhh boy, the food and drink possibilities. Fall itself is a recipe for awesomeness.

My favorite: mulled apple cider. Four years ago Angela and I had our very own Pumpkin Day with pumpkin soup and pumpkin roll and all sorts of fall-themed goodies, but our huge deviation from the pumpkin theme was a warm cider mulled with cinnamon, orange and spices. The recipe we used was this one from AllRecipes – super fast, super easy, and super delicious.

I think three #Blogtober14 quickies is enough, so I’ll play fair and write a full post today about my favorite childhood memory. Or something else, I don’t know if I like that prompt. You’ll just have to wait and see!

Helene in Between