The Scientific Method of Getting Luckie

Dear Neglected Blog,

I am neck-deep in two jobs and full-time school. I miss you. I miss writing my thoughts on a leisurely morning, coffee steaming beside me.

Those days will come again.

In the meantime, please take a trip over to Swoon Reads and read my book (for free) for a limited time.

The Scientific Method of Getting Luckie is the story of a boy learning about love and kissing and friendship and himself.

My oldest son has Tourette’s, and he (along with a few friends) were immensely helpful when it came to translating that experience onto the page. Of course, it will not match the experiences of EVERY person who has Tourette’s Syndrome, but it does dispel a few myths and introduce readers to a pretty awesome guy who is trying to figure it all out, just like we all are.

I hope you enjoy the read!

Yours,

Heather

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Alternative Theologies

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If you know me well or have read much of this blog, you already know I have a lot of struggles with faith and religion. I believe in something bigger than me, than this world, than creation. I love Jesus and want to be more like him. I am certain that loving one another and being kind to ourselves and others can change the world.

And I love to write.

I’m excited about this new anthology from B Cubed Press for all of these reasons. Alternative Theologies: Parables for a Modern World includes stories and poems from a variety of amazing authors. You will find my story, “Counting Sunrises,” among the pages, and I hope you will order a Kindle or hard copy (or both).

It has been a bit of a rollercoaster year, writing-wise and in other areas of life. School is going well. I have published a few poems and done a few readings. I received an official diagnosis of autism. My agent decided to leave agenting, and I decided to take a break from querying agents and focus instead on short fiction, poetry, and small presses. I started a second job that involves writing web copy and cropping photos for a decor business. I applied for a bajillion scholarships (and received two of the bajillion). My oldest son got his driver’s license. My youngest son started high school.

I could go on with ups and downs. Mostly ups. Instead, I just want you to go order Alternative Theologies and join me in one of the happiest experiences of my year.

 

What Does Revival Look Like?

I was chatting with a friend last week, and she said something that has stuck with me. She said, “Revival doesn’t look like they thought it would.”

My friend was talking about a particular category of church people, those mostly of an older generation (though not all) who often talk about praying for revival. For the most part, when these church people pray for revival, they have a very particular picture in their heads. If God were to answer their prayer, in their minds, America would look a lot like it did in the 1950s. For them, revival has a lot to do with people going to church on Sundays and adhering to traditional Christian values.

I’ve always figured the things I hope and pray for are bound to look different than I imagine. After all, Jesus showed up and looked nothing like the Messiah was expected to look. He did not act like those praying for deliverance expected a deliverer to act. He was God but nothing he did or said looked like the God of the Hebrew scriptures. Jesus tried to revive and reform Jewish teaching and practice, but the leadership wasn’t having it.

I’m married to a United Methodist pastor. Here in Mississippi, we have watched a handful of churches walk away from our denomination and we are awaiting decisions from our General Conference that will change the face of the Methodist church. To many, this is scary. To me, this is scary. However, this week, I have felt challenged to look at what is happening through another lens.

Regardless of which side of the human sexuality debate we fall on, the future seems unsteady. Things are going to change. And those praying for revival are missing it. Here it is… a revival that does not look or act as those praying for it expect.

Why are these questions and issues rising to the surface in our church? They are surfacing and making waves because of people who love Jesus and want to ensure we are following Jesus truly. Across the country, people from many generations are asking hard questions of their leadership, their tradition, their scripture, and their God. We are asking tough questions and begging others to engage in these conversations with us.

Revival has never looked like a quiet return to the way things used to be. Revival means a new day, a new life, a resurrection. In the case of the modern church, what looks like falling apart may actually be waking up.

Some animals shed their skins as they grow. Some animals shed their shells and look for bigger homes. Many times throughout history the body of Christ has had to shed her skin and her shell.

If you want to know what revival looks like, look at Jesus.

Revival will look nothing like tradition or status quo. Revival will look like uncomfortable changes, breaking bread with those the church has previously ostracized, stepping away from positions of power and nationalism. Revival will look like Jesus and Jesus looks like change. Jesus looks like love.

Scripture speaks of not putting new wine in old wineskins, and it seems like revival could mean letting go of the old wineskin of the UMC and embracing a new wineskin. That doesn’t mean the Methodist Church dies. That means she lives.

She lives revived, brand new, changed into a closer likeness of the Christ.

It’s still scary. The unknown will never cease to elicit fear, but it doesn’t have to paralyze us. It doesn’t have to tear us apart.

Revival doesn’t look like comfortable.

Revival looks like Jesus.

Apropos of Nothing

I love spring weather, but my allergies are ridiculous this year. Even after taking my meds this morning, I walked into Spanish class with puffy red eyes, smudged eye makeup, etc. I looked like a 15-year-old girl going through her first breakup. I’m sure my classmates were tired of blessing me every time I sneezed. I did take a Benadryl on top of my regular allergy pill, and that finally kicked in. So I quit sneezing but was groggy the rest of the day.

It is that point in the semester that I am mentally finished. I have been in class basically non-stop since January of 2017. I even took a full load last summer. I love school. I really do, but I am looking forward to taking summer to regroup.

Should I study abroad in Madrid?

I am reading a book that includes that whole concept of falling in love with anyone if you answer a certain 36 questions and then stare into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes. I find the concept fascinating.

My youngest son has his first girlfriend. THAT makes me feel even older than being on a college campus makes me feel.

I turned in my last poem of the semester today. Bittersweet. I have really enjoyed writing so much poetry this semester. I mean, aside from my novel-in-verse manuscript. That is coming along well enough, but I think writing outside of YA is really good for me too. It helps me to stretch my writing muscles in various directions.

I started a new job, writing product descriptions for a farmhouse decor company. That means I am officially a paid writer. I won’t be winning any pulitzers for my ethereal descriptions of rustic finishes and antique inspired charm, but I am getting paid to write. It’s a nice feeling.

I started watching “Love” on Netflix yesterday, and I think I have my new binge show. Not that I have time to binge any TV right now. I have a Spanish final I am super nervous about. Plus my other finals, of course, and the last assignments of the semester as well.

I am doing an open mic at school next week.

Okay, I think I am done rambling. I just hadn’t blogged in a while. I’m sorry there is no substance to this post.

Have a picture of my cute kitten, Edna Millay:

Photo Mar 17, 4 31 19 PM

Currently: Edición de Pascua

Current Books: I had a gift card from my birthday, so I bought myself Amanda Lovelace’s new volume: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One. On audio during my school commute, I am listening to Pretend We Are Lovely by Noley Reid. I just finished Maybe the Saddest Thing by Marcus Wicker (I get to take a workshop with him next semester!). Most of my reading is from textbooks right now. At least I have interesting textbooks.

Current Playlist: I just bought a song that I heard at the start of the Justice League movie, “Everybody Knows” by Sigrid.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Window shopping on Poshmark and ThredUp. I don’t end up buying anything, but I spend way too much time browsing.

Current Color: I’m into purple lately. This wasn’t a conscious shift. I just noticed that I have bought a lot of purple items lately.

Current Food: I had O’Charley’s for dinner last night, thanks to gift cards from my coworkers after my brother’s funeral. I basically made out with the rolls. Don’t judge me.

Current Drink: I’m fantasizing about Banana Tropical soda from Honduras. I need to stop at the Honduran place on Getwell Rd and buy a bottle (or three).

Current Favorite Favorite: The Goodwill on Winchester in Memphis. My friend, Carrie, and I went last weekend. I don’t let myself go over there often, because I always find a ton of clothes I want and that would break the bank if it happened monthly. Ya know? But I had not been in over a year, so I splurged and bought some fun clothes and shoes. I adore second-hand shopping. I have a lot of opinions about ethics in the fashion industry, but buying the ethically made clothing I can feel good about costs more than I can budget. Second hand is my compromise. I am not giving my money directly to the brands that worry me. And yes, I know, there have been concerns raised about Goodwill also. I have been researching other options in the area.

Current Wishlist: I want an electric kettle for the kitchen. Oh, and I want to buy a crimping iron. I know…. Corey says I am currently reliving my teenage rebellion phase of life.

Current Needs: I need to make a dentist appointment now that I have a more flexible work schedule. I also need to make an eye appointment. And I need some scholarships for the fall semester.

Current Triumph: I was invited to read poems at a Women’s History event for the English Department on campus. I chose my college based on their English department, so that made me very happy.

Current Bane-of-My-Existence: The essay I have to write for Anthropology this weekend… I don’t know why. It’s a simple essay about a topic that interests me. But my brain is resisting.

Current Indulgence: I joined Ipsy. I am trying to find make-up products I like without breaking the bank, so it seemed like a good choice.

Current Outfit: This year’s ensemble for Easter includes red striped skinny jeans with a white tee and cowboy boots.

Current #1 Blessing: Time with my husband. With our respective work schedules and my school and all of the kids’ activities it can be difficult to make time for just the two of us, but we did this weekend and it was a lot of fun.

Current Quote: “But remember that reading provides nourishment for hungers we might not even be aware of. How often have I chosen a book at random and found in it an answer I didn’t realize I was seeking.” ― Beth Ann Fennelly, Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother

Current Photo:

Photo Mar 30, 11 11 11 AM

Poem I wrote on the wall at Huey’s

A Blog About Socks

Socks?

I’m snowed in for the sixth day. I’ve had time to think about everything in the world. This particular post has been forming for a few weeks, and now I have a little bit of free time to type it out.

It started when my friend raved about Woven Pear socks. I commented to tell her “I have a sock addiction.”

I do. I am a person who hates spending money on items of clothing people never see, camisoles worn under sweaters, bras, panties, etc… But socks, an article of clothing rarely viewed by anyone but the wearer? I spend money on that without a second thought. I want my socks to be thick and warm, because I am prone to really cold toes. I have some circulation issues in my feet.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. When I think about socks, I hop on a mental time machine and land back in 8th grade. Let me channel my inner Golden Girl Sophia for a bit:

Picture it. Hopkins Middle School. Valentine’s Day, 1996.

IMG_0800

I was an awkward 8th grader, to put it mildly. Over the years, I was made fun of for everything from my pale complexion and black hair to my flat chest and crooked teeth. The most common thing people teased me about was clothing. No matter how I tried, I could not wear the right thing. Even if what I had on looked like what someone else had on, I would have the wrong brand, the Walmart version of whatever was popular at the time.

On Valentine’s Day, I was excited to wear my new red baby doll tee. Baby doll tees were in, and I knew this one looked good on me. It accentuated the slight curve of my breasts and waist. It was red and black, which looked good with my dark hair and eyes. That morning, as I got dressed, I chose a pair of red socks.

That was my mortal sin, y’all. Red socks.

It was another case of me almost getting it right. No one had a word to say about my cute shirt, but I vividly remember a girl in my science class pointing at my feet and laughing in that mean way girls laugh when they are certain of their personal superiority to the butt of the joke.

That day, I learned that no one wore red socks. No one wore any kind of sock except plain white athletic socks. My red socks were like a neon sign blinking over my head, exclaiming, “DORK CENTRAL.”

I never wore those socks again.

For years, I never wore any sock that wasn’t white. I can remember, as an adult, needing to wear black dress socks and feeling total panic over the whole thing.

And then, some time after having two kids and fighting through Depression, I bought a pair of goofy socks. Now I own two baskets of socks, ankle socks in one and knee socks in the other. I have plenty pair of white socks, but even the white socks tend to have bright colored toes. I have socks featuring Doctor Who, Alice in Wonderland, gnomes, kittens, etc… And now we can add these Woven Pear socks from my friend’s boutique: Speck and Louise.

 

They are thick around my cold toes AND they are adorable. This month, I will turn 36 years old, and I no longer give a damn what anyone thinks about my clothes.

Thankyouverymuch.

Currently: es enero

Current Books: I am reading (and loving) The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed, and I cannot believe that I share an agent with such an amazingly talented writer. If you come near me, I will gush about this book. Be prepared. I am almost through Richard Rohr’s book on the Enneagram. It has been both enlightening and also confusing. I am 99.9% sure I am a Type 9, but a tiny part of me thinks I am a Type 4. Anywho, I will also talk your ear off about the Enneagram. In the car, I am listening to Caesar’s Last Breath: The Epic Story of the Air Around Us. This is mostly research. I am using air as an overall metaphor in my new manuscript. The main character’s name is Airy.

Current Playlist: A couple of Cranberries MP3s, since Delores died, and I saw the news this morning.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: I binged all of season 1 of The Magicians this weekend. I’m not even sure I liked the show, but we were snowed in, and it was easy to just let it keep playing. Plus, classes start tomorrow, so my binge watching time is basically nil until summer.

Current Color: I’ve noticed I buy a lot of aqua/teal lately.

Current Food: I had leftover pizza for breakfast. Don’t judge me.

Current Drink: Pineapple Fanta

Current Favorite Favorite: I am finished ordering/buying textbooks for this semester. My tuition and parking are paid. I like being done with tasks.

Current Wishlist: Here is my Amazon list. My birthday is the 27th. 😉 WISHLIST

Current Needs: A clear idea of the second half of the plot for my new manuscript.

Current Triumph: I graduated from community college in December. 🙂 I had a 4.0.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Snow and ice and cold. Either I’m snowed in and can’t work (bye-bye paycheck) or I am at work and can’t take the kids outside so they are wild.

Current Indulgence: Running the fireplace and drinking extra cups of coffee.

Current Outfit: jeans, my 1984 sweatshirt, a big cozy sweater, three pairs of socks (my feet get cold, hush)

Current #1 Blessing: My totally selfless husband who also happens to be handsome and strong and in love with me.

Current Quote:  “That’s what bites about the future — there’s no way to predict it. You just have to show up and see what happens.” ― Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children

Current Photo:

Photo Jan 07, 4 58 26 PM

My son is so tall!