Is Comedy “Getting Hard”?

On Saturday, I went to a comedy show. I don’t intend to mention any names in this post, as that’s not the point of this post.

I found it interesting that every performer, the openers and headliner alike, spoke some form of “comedy’s getting hard because people are more sensitive” near the beginning of their act.

Of the openers, two were received very well, and one received a lukewarm response. Thinking about the show later, I realized something crucial.

Let me pause for a moment to say I’m well aware I’m no comedian. I can’t refute comedians’ assessment that comedy is getting harder. What I can offer, however, is an outsider’s perspective of the situation.

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Necronyms

This post is a cross between genealogy research and random thoughts. As I’ve been delving back into my genealogy research, I’ve come across an increasing amount of uses of necronyms.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a necronym is a reference to, or name of, a person who has died. In this case, I’m referring to naming a child after a dead sibling. Thinking in terms of modern-day expectations, necronyms seem a little insensitive, almost like parents are simply replacing their child. However, I found reference in one of the articles I read to naming conventions and traditions. For example, there were traditions that dictated parents name their eldest son after his paternal grandfather. So if that son were to die, the next son born would be given the same name. 

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Genealogy Terminology

I’ve started working on my ancestry research again. I’m currently researching the Dutch side of my family right now.

It’s been a year or two since I researched that branch. While I remembered some of the terminology used on official documents, I’d forgotten some, too. And, of course, I’ve come across some new terms as well.

Google Translate is great, but it only goes so far. Sometimes, it even gives you translations that are obviously, and hilariously, wrong. For example:

Translation exampleFor the record, the highlighted portions should be “Sheriff &” and “appeared” (as in, appeared before me) respectively.

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Christmas before Halloween

I’m a little late on this post, but the point still stands. It seems to me as though every year, Christmas shows up earlier in stores.

I was really struck by it this year. I went looking for some orange yearn for a crochet project about 2 weeks before Halloween. (Side note, orange yarn is difficult to find. I could hardly believe I couldn’t find orange right before Halloween.) Already, Michael’s was half Christmas.

Springfield Town Center was completely Christmas-ed out the weekend before Halloween. They at least gave Halloween a nod by draping spiderwebs over everything. It still didn’t make it OK in my book.

Halloween and Xmas

I enjoy Christmas. I have no problem with decorations, celebrations, etc. What I dislike, what annoys me, is how Christmas is encroaching on the other holidays. It’s long since obliterated Thanksgiving, but now it’s taking over Halloween, too. What’s next, literal Christmas in July?

I also often hear and read grumblings that Christmas sales are down during the Christmas season (Black Friday – December 24). Perhaps if Christmas sales and shopping opportunities didn’t start in October – I swear I saw stuff in mid-September this year – sales would improve. Just saying.

A Peek into my Brain

My brain bounces around a lot. A side effect of that is ending up with a significant amount of random thoughts floating through my mind. I’d like to share some of them with you.

Most of these posts will be short, probably averaging around 300 words. I expect they will be like journal entries, potentially written in stream-of-consciousness style.

If this sounds like something that will be of interest to you, consider this intro post an easy way to find the future posts. You can view them all here, or you can choose the Random Thoughts option in the category drop down list on the sidebar — to the bottom right on desktop, below on mobile.

You can subscribe to my blog to get every post delivered to you. Also, consider joining my Facebook group or following me on Twitter. I’ll share the posts there as well.

Explaining Pens

“You spent HOW much on a pen?” Every pen person has heard it at least once. It can get a bit annoying to hear, mainly because you can hear the judgement in the tone nine times out of ten. If you aren’t a pen person, you’ve probably though it while reading my blog.

I used to just laugh it off and continue the conversation, but the tiny kernel of hurt remained. It seemed an unfair judgement. After all, I stay within my monthly budget. All my bills get paid. What difference does it make if I buy a semi-expensive pen? Semi-expensive in relation to the full spectrum of available pens, that is.

Granted, if you’re someone who’s spent their entire life using BIC ballpoints, it’s likely the idea of spending even $10 on a pen is too much. But we’re all different. We all have something we splurge on (when we can). The trick is to know what the person you’re talking to splurges on.

For example, I was talking to a friend the other day who was having the typical non-pen person reaction (basically, wow, that’s expensive). Knowing she’s on the girly side, I told her:

“Pens for me are like shoes and bags for other ladies”

It was really interesting to experience her near instant change in attitude with her new understanding.

“ohh got it 😉 they are like the jimmy choos”

I’ve had similar experiences with other friends, too. Once I can give them something to relate to, they understand me better and the judgement ceases.

How do you explain your pen habit/hobby to friends and family? Or if you aren’t a pen person, what’s your main habit/hobby, and how do you explain it to your friends and family? Leave me a comment to let me know. I’m really curious.

Making Your Passion Your Job

“Do what you love and never work a day in your life.” How many times have you heard that? I can’t even begin to count. But, I’ve learned over the years that it’s mostly, if not completely, BS.

I typically try to keep my posts positive, but today I want to provide a cautionary lesson. More and more, recently, I’ve seen examples of people making their passion into their work and finding that those passions fizzle and burn out.

The nice thing about a passion that remains a hobby is that you do it because you want to. And when you don’t want you, you have the freedom to take a break. The moment you turn it into a job, you do it because you have to, and breaks aren’t really an option. Having to force yourself to do something you don’t want to do is a quick way to lose interest.

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Friday Reads: FanFiction

I can’t believe February is over! March is going to be nuts! The Most Special Chosen is out tomorrow. You can pre-order it now on Amazon. And make sure you check out my Facebook release party on Sunday, there will be a ton of giveaways and takeovers by some fabulous female authors.


This month’s Friday Reads is very different. I’m not recommending a book, I’m recommending a… let’s call it a genre.

I’m a huge fan of fanfiction. Good fanfiction that is. And yes, such a thing exists.

I pretty much only read Harry Potter fanfiction. There are just so many fun ideas within that single sub-genre, I haven’t manage to expand to much of any of the other sub-genres yet.

If you’re a Potterhead like yours truly, or even if you’re not, honestly, I suggest giving fanfiction a try for whatever fandoms you’re part of.

It will never replace books, obviously, but in those “low income” interludes between paychecks when you’re dying for something new to read, fanfiction is a godsend.

Understandably, the online thing may pose a problem, after all, neither wifi nor cell signal are available everywhere, and you don’t want to eat through your data. However, the fanfiction.net app (Android | iOS) lets you download stories for offline reading. There’s also ficsave.xyz which downloads ePub, mobi, and txt files at the press of a button. I tend to prefer the app when I’m reading a story in progress since it will automatically download new chapters, but I like ficsave for finished stories since there’s no worry of the author deciding to remove the story from the site.

So if you have some extra time, I highly suggest you check out FanFiction.net. Some of my favorite authors include robst, chem prof, Clell65619, old-crow, and Rorschach’s Blot. Go take a look. Maybe even try dabbling in some fanfiction writing yourself. It can be fun to take a story precisely where you want it to go. Heck, I’d love to see some The Most Special Chosen fanfiction. *wink*

But be careful, fanfiction can pull you in, and before you know it, you can’t separate canon from fiction. Don’t worry, though, it’snot like I’ve doomed you to a black hole that will suck you in and consume your life or anything. Mwahahaha.

If you’re a fanfiction reader, or writer, drop your favorite author or story below. I’m always on the lookout for something new.

Lola’s Blog Tours

January 24th was my cover reveal. Congratulations to the winners of the accompanying giveaway!

I did some research while preparing it, and decided to go with Lola’s Blog Tours for the simple fact that, at the time, her cover reveals were free. I figured it was a good way to evaluate her services, and if it was a flop, I hadn’t really lost anything. Thankfully, it was a decent success.

Of course, the question is, how do you measure success? I’m not naive, I didn’t expect my book cover to be plastered across the internet on every single page, especially not as part of a free service, but I’m pretty happy with the 16 people who signed up.

Between the participating bloggers, the social media reach was pretty impressive (to me). It’s impossible, of course, for me to calculate the total reach. But based off of a simple follower count of accounts that posted, tweeted, retweeted, etc., the social media reach of my cover reveal was approximately:

  • 8,000 accounts on Facebook
  • 36,700 accounts on Twitter
  • 428 accounts on Instagram.

This does not account for overlapping followers, nor does it consider blog subscribers, so the reach could be considerably higher.

I also ended up with 29 giveaway entries, which isn’t bad considering the prize was one ebook.

I felt the results were good enough to book additional services with Lola’s Blog Tours. I’ve scheduled a blog tour for March 5-18. If you’re interested in participating, check out the sign up post. I’ve also scheduled a review opportunity that will start around the same time as the blog tour. Subscribe to my blog to get notified when it starts.

I’ve really enjoyed working with Lola. She’s professional and efficient, qualities I greatly appreciate. If you’re in the market for any of her services, I heartily recommend Lola’s Blog Tours.

Good Times at Bertram’s Inkwell

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I like “pimping” companies that I’ve had good experiences with. So far, I’ve discussed Edison Pen Company, Goulet Pens, and Surreal Makeup. This time I’ll be telling you about Bertram’s Inkwell.

Bertram's Inkwell

Shopping Experiences

Photo of a Red Nibbed Platinum Preppy 05Bertram’s holds a special place in my heart as the store where I bought my first fountain pen. It was a red-nibbed Platinum Preppy 05. I don’t have a picture of mine, as it sadly disappeared in my recent move, but I did find this photo from WonderPens. It was my gateway pen, and the experience of purchasing it was so pleasant that Bertram’s was forever fixed in my mind as a top-notch store.

Photo of Lamy Safari Dark LilacThe next time I visited, I picked up a Lamy Safari Dark Lilac, completely oblivious to the fact that I was buying a special edition. I just knew I liked the color and feel of it. I also picked up bottles of Diamine Meadow and Diamine Aqua Lagoon because they were beautiful, bright colors. I’ve since learned that just because a color is pretty doesn’t mean it will make a good writing ink. Meadow hasn’t gotten much use because a full-page of it can be hard on the eyes.

While we were there, Jim bought a Namiki Falcon as a birthday present to himself. I can’t recall if it was Bert or Adam (or both) who helped us out that day — I was too focused on buying my first “nice” pen — but whoever it was was incredibly patient with me as I went through all of the Lamy colors, and let me dip test a few different nib sizes. Jim was also treated very well as he tried to decide if he was actually willing to buy such an expensive pen (oh, how our views have changed).

And now the really fun part. I get to tell you about some of my customer service experiences that I feel went above and beyond what your typical store offers.

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