Bright spots in a shitty year

There is so much bad shit that’s gone down this year it’s almost satire.

Rampaging virus. Wildfires. Murder hornets. Elections. Zombie minks. That last one, what the actual fuck?

So amidst all that, I decided to think about some of the good things that I’ve managed to do in this dumpster fire of a year. Believe it or not, there were a few. Here they are, in no particular order.

  1. Dungeons & Dragons
Moragg, my half-orc barbarian.

This was the year I finally started playing D&D. I had no fucking idea how, but after suggestions from folks in the know, I joined a campaign at the library back in January. We only got a few sessions into the campaign when the lockdown hit, but we decided to continue it online through

This little group has continued to meet up online almost every week since then, and it has helped keep me sane. Essentially playing make believe with like-minded folks has been so good for my mental health, it’s rather astounding.

We’ve completed two campaigns, and I’ve created two characters that I kind of adore. I’m actually planning to crochet dolls of my characters at some point, because I kinda want to keep them around.

We’re now trying the original campaign we did, but this time we’re all playing monster races with evil alignments. It’s been ridiculous and I love every minute of it.

2. Writer’s group

Back at the start of the lockdown, I saw an email from the regional arts council saying an online writer’s group was looking to start up as a way for writers to get together (virtually) and encourage each other in their work.

Since then, I’ve discovered that I can sorta write poetry, and that I’m not completely terrible at prose. I’ve even submitted to a couple of writing contests, which I doubt I would have even considered if I hadn’t joined this group. I’m not expecting accolades or anything, but it’s helped boost my confidence a lot.

We were even featured at a writing festival that was normally in person , but like everything had to go virtual this year.

I think that’s pretty cool.

4. Cross stitch

After humming and hawing for like two years, I finally decided I wanted to learn to cross stitch. Over the Easter weekend, I got some supplies, watched some tutorials, and got started.

You’re goddamn right.


Taking something that feels dainty and frilly and using it to make statements about female empowerment just does it for me.

I’ve also found a whole community dedicated to witchy cross stitch, which includes horror movies, ghosts, and other delights.

If I’m not crocheting, I’m cross-stitching. There’s always something on the go now.

I have plans to do some pretty massive pieces, but I also wanna do the tiny little quick ones. So many patterns, so little time.

3. Audiobooks

My favourite thing in school was always silent reading time. Second to that was when the teacher read to us out loud.

So it’s not a wonder that I finally got into audiobooks this year.

It was great for when I was driving to Dawson Creek and back every day for work. Listening to a story made the drive go by so much faster.

But then I found going for a walk and listening to a book was just as nice. And then I realized I could multitask by crafting not with the TV on like I usually do, but while listening to a book.

I have whiled away many a Sunday this year with selections from my sci-fi/fantasy book club. And I just adore it.

5. Animal Crossing

This one’s a late addition, but still worth noting.

When it became apparent that the Province wasn’t going to drop any and all restrictions for the holiday season and that I’d be spending my Christmas alone, I decided to splurge and get myself something I’d been humming and hawing about for the last year and a half.

Christmas Eve selfie.

I bought a Nintendo Switch.

Literally one of the best purchases I’ve ever made for myself. Mine came with MarioKart 8 Deluxe and I proceeded to win every grand prix cup in the game. I loved original MarioKart, and this version is spectacular.

Back in March when it originally came out, I saw everyone and their dog posting about Animal Crossing on Twitter. I had no idea what it was, but people seemed to really enjoy it. Once I got my Switch, I debated spending the money to buy this game that others had been playing for like 10 months.

I finally caved, and oh my fucking god, I’m so glad I did.

I love Animal Crossing. It’s so chill and laid back and exactly what I needed to wind down this dumpster fire of a year.

So there you have it. 2020 sucked all kinds of ass, but there were a few bright spots, at least for me.

I’m making no predictions about 2021, just that I’m assuming the universe isn’t obliterated at midnight tonight.

Happy Fucking New Year.


Overheard In The Work Truck, Part II

So I wasn’t working with a crew for a while there, I was on my own in my medic truck and didn’t have much for a full post.

But I’m back in that work truck for a few days, so we definitely have enough bullshit for a new Overheard post!

Please enjoy the raging ignorance of my coworkers!

Find the original post here.

“Apparently Fidel Castro’s brother is claiming Justin Trudeau is Fidel’s son … (Margaret Trudeau) was a rabid slut.” – this guy just hates women, I don’t understand it.

“What’s wrong with cilantro? Cilantro is ISIS. And I say fuck ISIS.” – we were talking about cilantro being gross (it is, fight me) and this was his response. I actually don’t get the point he was making.

“If you were getting married and your husband-to-be was away for work and getting back a couple weeks before the wedding, would you wait for coitus?” – I can’t fucking believe he actually used the word ‘coitus.’ Barf.

“It’s called being cuckolded you fucking loser.” In response to reading a dude’s Twitter profile saying he was a bisexual in a polyamorous relationship with his wife and her boyfriend. I told him cuckolding is an actual kink that some people are into and he shouldn’t judge. He shut up for a while.

“My husband was pissing me off, so when he rolled over I bit him in the ass.” – I just thought this one was funny.

Won’t be back with a crew for a few weeks, but when I am I’ll be sure to document!


Back at it

It’s been far too long since I wrote anything, and I’m clearly overdue for something resembling an update.

The last several months have been trying. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both of my knees, which goes a long way in explaining why they have hurt so fucking much over the last couple years. It was going to happen eventually, what with both my mother and grandmother having it, but a lifetime of random knee injuries (thank you softball, cross country skiing, and roller derby) and my weight gain over the years meant it just happend a lot earlier than expected.

Since knee replacements only last about 10 years, and you can only do so many of them before you run out of leg bone, and I’m only 36, surgery is an absolute last resort. I’m going to physio when I’m actually in town (with exercises to do at home and out in the field) and I’m working on taking some weight off to take the pressure off the knee joints. I’d like to not hear that gross bone-on-bone grinding sound if at all possible.

I also have to start moving more. I stopped going to the gym because of the pain, but apparently I need to keep moving even though it hurts to do so… total catch-22 over here.

So that’s me health-wise. Not great, but working at doing better.

I’m marking my one-year anniversary with my new career as an oilfield medic, and it’s been a pretty great year if I’m being honest. Working with people that actually respect you and care about your wellbeing is weird, but also kinda nice? I actually got a mini-lecture from a coworker about not letting people know I was OK when I got back from the field on Monday, because they were worried when no one had heard from me.

I had a whopping TWO incidents on site, and both times the guy just needed a band-aid. So the rest of my time was spent devouring books, watching Netflix, and crocheting the shit out of everything.

I set a New Year’s goal for myself last year to master the Magic Ring for crochet. It took forever, but looking at the things I’ve made this year, I think I definitely succeeded. Take a look here to see my first attempt at amigurumi and here to see how far I’ve come over the year. I’m pretty impressed with myself.

I’ve even managed to sell a few things, so maybe that should be the goal for 2019? Get myself set up with a Facebook page, get a good supply of stock together and try to make some bank on this little hobby. Couldn’t hurt, right?

I’ve already started to turn the spare room into the offical Craft Room so I have a specific place to crochet and write, as I’m doing now. When I’m actualy at home, I intend to spend at least an hour in here doing something creative, whatever that may be.

So yeah, that’s it for now. I’m planning to get back into my weekly rants again, but we’ll see how that goes. Keep an eye out if you’re of a mind.


Tell me a story…

So as I wrote in another post a while back, I’ve been working on my fiction writing skills.

After several attempts to turn words into coherent sentences, I finally got a short story written, revised, edited and submitted to a lit magazine contest.

Pulp Literature’s Hummingbird Flash Fiction contest was for stories under 1000 words and could be about pretty much anything. Coming off a decade in journalism where you write clear, concise, and to-the-point articles, writing a flash fiction story felt more natural than trying to world-build and extensive character development.

Is that a cop out? I dunno, perhaps.

So I hummed and hawed and questioned myself and doubted myself and let my anxiety run away with me for a bit before hitting ‘submit’ on the website.

And then it went to the back of my mind and I almost forgot about it.

In the meantime I worked on some other stories – I wrote three pages of a post-apocalyptic dystopian story that got wiped from my hard drive and started on a creative non-fiction piece, which is more in my wheelhouse – and just kept going.

Then I got an email one night saying my wee little story made the longlist for the contest. That means it was good enough to be considered for the top prize. That means it wasn’t terrible.

If that’s not pure validation I don’t know what is. Considering all I was expecting was a critique of the story, this was very exciting.

I didn’t make it any farther than the longlist, but I still feel pretty accomplished.

Now, I had a few people as to read to the story, because of course they do, why wouldn’t they? But I am reluctant to share the story at this point in time.

Why? Because it’s about a mass shooting in a grocery store.

You may have heard about a similar situation in the states at a Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles on July 21. This was a coincidence to the nth degree, though I suppose it was only a matter of time before mass shootings in the states went from schools, movie theatres, and churches to the local supermarket.

Another “why” folks may be asking is, why did I write about such a bleak subject? My short story ideas come from a list of nightmares I’ve had over the years. If the dream is vivid enough that I actually remember it, I usually write down the gist of what happened and use it as a story prompt. One of those was about hiding amongst the hot dogs while someone was holding shoppers hostage at some random store.

So, yeah. It would be a bit insensitive to post the story here where the public can see it. Maybe some day, but not right now.

For the time being, I’m just gonna keep plugging away on my little Chromebook and get some more of these ideas out of my head.

Wish me luck.


UPDATE: I received the critique on this story last night and it was positively glowing. A couple things to change, but beyond that all positive feedback. I really don’t suck after all!