You Get What You Give (And You Don’t Throw a Fit) | Weekend Wishes

🌷Reciprocity & the Platinum Rule🌷

A wise squirrel teacher in a children’s book once said, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit”. It was in deference to a tiny, adorably tubby tyke who was unhappy over treatment he deemed unfair. Image: two cupped hands parallel, one over the other, in dark lighting. Well, I came here today to add to that: you get what you give, and you don’t throw a fit. Continue reading “You Get What You Give (And You Don’t Throw a Fit) | Weekend Wishes”

Kindness in Words Both In and Out | Weekend Wishes

🌎 🌍 Will you accept this challenge? 🌎 🌍

Toward the end of 2018, I sat and considered some of the feedback I’d received over the year both internal (from talking to myself) and external.

I have specific goals for my writing, but I have specific personal goals as well. One is to improve the way I communicate with others when things go wrong.

Falling Flat

My car had a flat tire a while back. The air cap was missing. I ended up missing a very important doctors appointment. It ended up throwing off my plans for the rest of the day and bleeding into the next.

I called my husband and was fuming. He calmed me and said … there had been a flat tire. He took it to a tire shop and had them patch it. They refilled the tire and must have forgotten to put a cap on. It had been slowly leaking since then, and with cold weather had compressed enough to reduce the air pressure.

Even if it had been his fault, I shouldn’t have expressed my anger that way. I said things that I regret.

I sat and read about conflict resolution and how to stop saying things that I regret.

Can’t Stuff It Back In

Sometimes I say things that I regret. I’m tired. We had upsetting news, and I felt exhausted and hopeless. It doesn’t excuse me. It’s just an explanation. When I’m physically having a rough time, or under too much stress, I’m most likely to reach that tipping point. I react, it’s a nuclear reaction, and I can’t stuff what I said back in my mouth. I’ve given life to frogs and malice like a cursed princess instead of jewels and flowers following me wherever I go.

Reading about conflict resolution, gentle parenting, and being a friend to myself has really helped me. I want to keep putting into practice those new tools I have learned.

When I find myself getting frustrated, it’s often mixed with a panicky feeling because something else is also wrong – I need rest, or food, or less stimuli. Less stimuli for me can come in the form of a clean house. If I need to clean, then I’m constantly noticing dirt or clutter and adding to a never ending to-do list.

Introspection can be difficult. It’s my observation that most of us are a little unreliable when it comes to how we perceive ourselves versus actuality.

Outward Kindness

Someone recently commented that they are “nice” to strangers but reserve kindness only for their close friends and family. I didn’t engage with them. They have the right to their approach to life.

I don’t understand this thinking. I strive to be kind to everyone I meet. Sometimes I fail, but I want to be good for goodness’ sake, not just to those who are close to me.

Image description: silhouette of an eclipse of the planet with the quotation: “The world is my country. All mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion.” - Thomas Paine

Kindness is often both priceless and free.


My challenge to myself this year is to be kinder in my words both in and out – in how I speak to myself, and everyone with whom I come in contact.

My challenge is to listen to understand, not to reply, and to consider the people around me, and what they need to hear versus what I want to say.

Do you have any personal challenges this year you’d like to share?

Schmovie | The Tabletop Letters

🎥🏆 Write Your Own Movie Title & Let Hilarity Ensue 🎥🏆

Dear Readers,

With award seasons upon us, it feels like the perfect time to share with you … Schmovie!

Schmovie is a hilarious game that’s easily adaptable for anyone with a sense of humor – no movie trivia knowledge required.

Image Description: the cover of Schmovie with a white hand in a blue sweater clutching a golden Cthulhu with 3D glasses and a popcorn bag.

In this game, you are given a genre, a description and a character. Then it’s up to you to impress the judge with your movie title.

The winner is given a golden (cardboard) Schmovie award to stand in front of your place at the table. These are all themed differently.

A whiteboard with a sample movie title, Gluestick: Stuck on the Starting Line
A movie title of a drama about a clumsy racehorse

Here’s the breakdown:

Players: 3-6 players or teams

Play time:

Age: 8+

By: Galactic Sneeze

Here we go- I’ll rank it on Accessibility, Mechanics, and Engagement.

Accessibility ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Image description: a UFO symbol on a die to indicate Sci-Fi with the cards Genius & Soldier.
An example of a movie title themed around Sci-Fi with a Genius Soldier.

You don’t have to be a movie buff to enjoy this game.

All you have to do is come up with a title for a movie around a premise. There are examples on the back of the whiteboards for each genre.

Image description: three examples of Schmovie awards.

I’ve played it with kids and had a good time, and played it with adults and also enjoyed it.

Mechanics ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌑

It works very well. I have only one complaint about the mechanics, which we fix with a house rule inspired from The Game of Things.

My complaint is that if you pass the titles to the judge, they may instantly recognize someone’s hand writing. That kind of ruins judging unless you’re playing with playing with people who can put aside the author and judge solely on merit – I’ve known adults who couldn’t.

Image Description: a game whiteboard with the caption Cocoa Spanky and the Tootsie Rolls Get the Hell Outta Dodge
I can’t remember what this title was themed to, just that we thought it was hilarious at the time.

Our house rule to avoid that is that the whiteboards are passed to the person on the judge’s left and read to them. This seems to help very much.

Engagement ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌑

Image description: several golden Cthulhu Schmovie awardsSince most of the time you’re wracking your brain for an excellent title, it can be very interesting. At the same time, when you are the judge, there isn’t much to do. The turns are pretty quick, and that’s just an aspect of the typical judges game. Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity are also subject to this.

In Conclusion

Image description: Game cards Unlikely + Sports Team

Schmovie is an excellent party game, and since it’s so easily accessible this is a game that you’ll be able to play with a wide range of groups.

Image Description: the starburst action die with the cards Blind + Butcher. The whiteboard says, Chopped: Outta Sight.
An action movie themed around a blind butcher titled, Chopped: Outta Sight

This post was #NotSponsored. Schmovie is available at Amazon and other retailers.

Happy Gaming! Play On!

50 Publications Accepting Sci-Fi/Fantasy Submissions – Winter 2019

Winter 2019 Markets for Sci-Fi and Fantasy Short Fiction

Dear Writers,

In Fall 2019 I made a list of 26 magazines accepting Sci-Fi and/or Fantasy submissions. This is the updated list for Winter 2019 – there are some removals due to closing, hiatus, or reading period limitations. Many additions have been added – I’ve really scoured the web this time.

I’ve broken this into three groups:

SFWA Qualifying Markets
Qualifying Rates but Not Approved SFWA Venues
Non-SFWA Markets

New to magazine submissions? Then this link will take you to something I previously wrote – What the ****? Things Beginners Might Want to Know about Magazine Submissions.

Continue reading “50 Publications Accepting Sci-Fi/Fantasy Submissions – Winter 2019”

Going the Distance – Thoughts After NaNoWriMo

🏃‍♀️On pacing, burnout, and progress 🏃🏃‍♀️

Writing a novel takes time – even if you’re a pantser (a NaNoWriMo term meaning someone who writes by the seat of their pants), it is still a process: drafting, developmental edits, line edits, and that’s not even considering critiques and re-reading it yourself.

Athlete’s feet over asphalt.

Today I want to talk to you about pacing, burnout, and progress.

Continue reading “Going the Distance – Thoughts After NaNoWriMo”

5 Reasons I’m Attempting NaNoWriMo This Year

I know what I said before …

Long time readers may remember my lamentations about National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo).

I know what I said:

The “at this rate you’ll finish your novel on x date” ticker in NaNoWriMo is stressful for me.  It causes undue stress…

That was a few years ago. It’s been long enough that I’ve been able to forget some of the stress.

This year I’ve succumbed to the madness. Here are my thoughts on why I’m attempting it this year:

Continue reading “5 Reasons I’m Attempting NaNoWriMo This Year”

Words Matter: Unfortunate Edition

Words matter! Say what you mean.

There’s a word I hate hearing. It’s a word that others often use to explain away poor behavior, harsh company policies, or an unlikable decision.

A pair of dice displaying sixes.

This word has been twisted from the primary meaning. This word makes me cringe every time I hear or read it. It instantly makes it more difficult for me to accept what is being communicated to me.

Continue reading “Words Matter: Unfortunate Edition”

Lost Magic | Book Review

🇨🇦 🔮 🕶 Think The Dresden Files meets Anita Blake but with a snarky Canadian Woman of Color

With Egyptian and Métis/Native American* roots, this sorceress has a long life span, souped up powers, and a big attitude

In a world where witches, wizards, and vampires have all been integrated (though painfully) into modern society, Irelynne – a sorcerer – must hide her unusual magic while investigating a series of murders that only she will be able to solve.

Black cat laughing maniacally.
Source: “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, original, via GIPHY

Ire is funny, relatable, and very competent. Zoro the “cat” is very sassy.

There were fresh takes on common tropes, but with a sense of modernity and respect that can sometimes be lacking in fantasy.

I look forward to the next book (due out in 2020).

Canadian cityscape reflecting on water at night

Continue reading “Lost Magic | Book Review”

Ghost of the Gaelic Moon | Review

👻☘️🌝If Hallmark had a modern Jane Eyre in Ireland with Supernatural’s Rowena as the Villain. 👻☘️🌝

What comes to mind when you think of Ireland? Maybe it’s the Blarney Stone or leprechauns. Maybe it’s St. Patrick or druids.

After reading Ghost of the Gaelic Moon, I think this book will come to mind for me. This was a lighthearted paranormal romp through Dublin and beyond. Ireland is on my travel bucket list, so maybe one day I can experience this magic myself.

Here is my (hopefully) spoiler free review covering the characters, setting, and emotional payoff.

Continue reading “Ghost of the Gaelic Moon | Review”

The King of Ash & Bone Review

My Thoughts on This Desperate Mission to Save What’s Left of The World

Legends sometimes have roots in reality, a grain of salt that’s too much to bear but too chilling to be forgotten. As society crumbles around Mackenzie, she trusts a stranger. The fellow survivor is a means to the end of reuniting with her brother. As tensions run high, she’s plunged into a nightmare beyond her imagining. She has information about the invading species, but can she get it to the army in time?

Continue reading “The King of Ash & Bone Review”