I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions – I think they’re the kind of rules that are meant to be broken, and usually don’t do much to inspire actual long-lasting change. At least that’s how it’s always worked out for me.

I do, however, resolve to avoid clickbait headlines and listicles. Here, let me tell you how to feel about this link — amazed, uplifted, shocked — before you click on it! Here, let me tell you 28 things about a thing you don’t think about very often, like the hairstyles of Saved by the Bell.

And as much as I hate hollow, overly ambitious resolutions, I did get a kick out of Health Month in January. Metafilter made me do it. It was a pretty painless way to get into the habit of flossing everyday, anyway, and I’m going to try it again this month.

And I’m also digging my fitbit, which is like a little virtual carrot that dangles in front of me all day long. Turning little fitness goals into a game somehow makes them more achievable.

AND I resolve to blog more often. Funny because I write plenty, all day long. I have a strong daily creative practice, and I spew out barfy morning pages every day too, and there’s the ol’ novel, in which I’m regularly slogging and sighing and grinning and thumbs-upping. But I always like checking in here anyway as well.

2013 Favorites, while I’m thinking about it…

Favorite concert: Neutral Milk Hotel. (Months later, I still get goosebumps just stringing those words together. Neutral Milk Hotel! Concert!)

Favorite movie: Moonrise Kingdom

Favorite album: Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

Octoberfest 27: Ghosts at Gettysburg

I had attempted to post a fascinating October “thing” everyday, but with all the other writing I do, I didn’t want it to be a chore so I let it slip. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve, though, and we’ll go out with a Halloween-style bang over the next few days!

I didn’t actually see any ghosts in Gettysburg, and while I have had a couple kinda-spooky things happen to me there, the whole ghost-tour industry thing in the town gives me the creeps more than an actual ghost actually would. I spent some time up there doing some novel research, and stayed overnight in a quiet little lodge off in the farmland. Visited my great-great grandfather’s regiment’s position and monument.


What would he think of that, I wondered? He didn’t die there, but was injured in a way that ensured he probably thought about Gettysburg every day whether he wanted to or not. So what would he think about his descendent wandering around, all caffeinated and squinting in the cold sun? He’d probably think I was some kind of high-and-mighty arty-farty la-de-da overeducated lady-type, even after I offered to share my trail mix. Or hell, maybe he’d be glad that SOMEBODY, anybody remembered his name and bothered to think about him and visit a place where he’d been. It’s a question for the ouija board and I am way too chicken to use a ouija board.

It was colder than I expected and I wasn’t dressed for it so I didn’t linger long. Had a lot of good information for making changes to details in my story — and the space and freedom to really work through things with decent focus. Did I mention that the Internet was broken in my little overnight sanctuary? I didn’t bother to troubleshoot, and for the most part worked solidly for hours. I felt good, like a scrappy tough little champ, even if I’d just conquered procrastination and some plotline stumbling blocks and not the confederate army and a debilitating injury.


Octoberfest 16: Darth Kathleen

My oldest friend’s youngest daughter was marching around the house today, humming The Imperial March. Since my friend and I have known each other since we were just a little older than her little girl, well, it brings a poignant Halloween tear to my eye. The ciiiircle of liiiiife.

darthkat78ish copy

Me with my brother, The Amazing Spider-Man.

Octoberfest 15: A field trip!

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers.

Octoberfest 14: “The Fortune Teller”

“Tonight’s story began many, many years ago on a cold, dark night in late October, when I was much younger, and much more ambitious…”

It’s called THE FORTUNE TELLER, and it’s by Erik Sanko. Music by Danny Elfman. Narrated by Gavin Friday, he of the most Octoberest of voices.