No me was harmed in the making of this post

There are days when you get lucky. With a lot of craziness going on in the world lately, maybe it’s important to appreciate the small miracles? Someone on TV said that the other day, so if you disagree, take it up with them.

I don’t usually think of myself as a bright side person, but here is an instance where it was easy to find a silver lining. At dinnertime yesterday, I began cooking a meal. Except I don’t do that. I started to microwave dinner. I had macaroni, with veggies dammit, because I’m a responsible adult/vegetarian. My meal was cooking when I looked at the counter and realized I never got an eating utensil out, so I did that.

Then the microwave dinged and I removed my food. As it turned out, I had indeed gotten an eating utensil out. A metal fork was in there with my food for about a minute. Yet nothing went wrong or exploded! While I’m not going to make a habit out of doing that, hopefully, it’s pretty cool for a one time thing.

klee-941597_640I have not yet decided whether this means I should buy a lottery ticket or whether I’ve used up all my luck and should do whatever the opposite of a lotto ticket is. Invest in a savings bond?

PS, I originally looked up kitchens when finding pictures for this post, which may not be obvious by the photos I chose. A fair number of kitchen results had no microwaves in them. I guess if you’re fancy enough to take pics of your kitchen and post them on the internet for others to view, you’re too good for a microwave. The other option is that I just didn’t notice the microwaves, which may be more likely. My ability to pay attention to detail can best be described as huh?

The end. I don’t say that at the end of every post. I felt like saying it now, so guess what? I did. Thank you and goodnight.

College Admissions, but in a fun way!

Talking about anything in the world? Super easy, I will do that even if not asked. Talking about myself? Not my favorite thing. Especially if I have to say nice things about me. My self esteem isn’t terrible, but boasting about yourself is just awk. So I’m pretty sure I hated writing college admissions essays.

But college essays written by the Stranger Things kids? I’m so there. I also enjoyed these because ‘freaking out about college’ is half the plot of One Step Forward. The real college application process is stressful as hell but fun when fictionalized.

My favorite character in general is Steve. And that he used a dictionary definition in his essay is objectively hilarious and perfect. I also enjoyed it because I had the character Luke do the same thing and they are both sweet, un-creative confused bisexual disasters.

I have one friend who also loves Stranger Things and we were at trivia the week after the third season aired. I asked what he thought about the latest episodes, and he looked at me and said, “You can’t spell America without Erica.” Which might be the best response to anything ever. So this is my way of saying that Erica’s essay was also awesome.

Dudes Making out in a Car: A Short Story

Man, I’m so great at titles. However, it is accurate and to the point (two things I rarely am).

This is what I’m calling a quick writing exercise because that makes it sound professional and official, but really, I was going to post a song on this blog and then I decided to write a short story with it. Since I’m, you know, a writer.

The song is Little Secrets by the band Passion Pit.

And now, here’s a short story!

Panted breaths after dashing to the car were the only sound in the enclosed spaced for one blissful moment while my hands dug into his styled dark hair, relishing the chance to mess it up while his hands settled on my chest.

Lips brushed against mine, a quick kiss and then, “No, we’re not really doing this,” he whispered in the space between our mouths.

“Making out in your car?” My smirk couldn’t be seen, but he could feel it against his lips. “I hate to tell you, but it kinda seems like we are.”

He put space between us, furrowed brow and annoyed dark eyes watching me from thick framed glasses that were either the style these days or he just didn’t care if they weren’t in fashion.

“In theory, the whole throw caution to the wind thing?” he carried on. “It’s hot, having to get our hands on each other immediately–”

Since he was watching, I didn’t let myself smile, but that was so him, having to say things that didn’t need to be said.

“However, there’s a limit to the thrill,” he continued. “It’s also extremely risky—”

While I could only stand to look away from him and outside of the car for a moment, it was pretty clear what was out there. Bright sky, no raindrops on this dry day, and the car stayed where it was despite the two guys that just rushed to it, so yeah, wasn’t hard to figure out what was going on if someone saw us. However…

“Some risks are worth taking,” I responded before surging up and crashing our lips together, my hands moving to his back and drawing him nearer to me.

He made a little annoyed noise at being interrupted that quickly turned into a groan and then our tongues were dancing together. Really surprising that worked, but I wasn’t gonna say anything because I’d have to remove my mouth from his.

“Risks are best undertaken only after a thorough cost-benefit analysis,” he told me a moment later.

“Sexy—”

“Isn’t the whole point of a secret relationship that it stays secret? Hidden. Everything we’ve been doing, all the caution we expended could be set asunder in this one moment.”

I sighed, giving him an even look. This wasn’t what I wanted at all, but I managed to sound neutral when asking, “Okay, so you wanna go somewhere else?”

Expecting him to get off me and move into the driver’s seat, my hands tightened, as if to confirm he was still there, watching me with a frown.

“Huh,” he said quietly. “I guess we’ll just have to… risk it.” He didn’t want to leave this moment either.

“No cost-benefit analysis?” This time, he could see the smirk, which made it widen as I wryly commented, “I’m honored.”

He shut me up with his lips.

There were many things I thought of for this scenario. One of the guys involved could be the president’s son, one of them could be a vampire and the other a werewolf, maybe they come from rival warring families. An innocent preacher’s son and the bad boy next door. Something like that.

Good morning! A greeting and a song all in one

I like posting music on this blog because sharing good songs is fun, and it gives me something to post about. Plus, I get to pretend that I know things about music.

All I really know is whether I like a song or not. Which means that when I do post songs, I never know what else to say, other than, hey, here’s a song! Do you see where I’m going with this?

Hey, here’s a song!

This is Good Morning by Max Frost. Oh, there is one other thing I can say. For inspiration and to get pumped up and whatnot, sometimes I play this song in, duh, the morning.

Mimosa holy ghost running through ya
Hell yeah, it’s a new hallelujah

Baby it’s a brand new day
Ain’t no clouds hanging over me
Something doesn’t feel the same
The rest of my life gonna start today

Also because writer and I like words and stuff, I included some of my favorite lyrics. Why not? I can do what I want, I make the rules. Well, no I don’t. Making rules is too orderly and if I made them, I’d need to remember them.

Good morning!

A quote from nothing (Also books and gay magicians)

Soon as I started writing this post, intending to share an image quote, I got sidetracked and thought of something from Arrested Development, so I will now journey down this detour and see where it goes.

First order of business is, of course, the obligatory disclaimer. I, F.N. Manning, being an Arrested Development fan of Sound(ish) Mind and Body, and having seen all the episodes and seasons while in possession of a brain, do hereby acknowledge that the new offerings aren’t as good as the old ones.

If you like AD, you will never in your life be able to have a convo about the show without talking about how the Netflix seasons aren’t as good.

footage-not-found

And now, a very brief version of the story of one family and their disappointing magician relative

Do I sound a little bitter? I didn’t hate the new stuff. (It wasn’t as good the original, I agree and I know, but I didn’t hate it) And without the new stuff, there would be no gay-magician Gob in all his glorious gay-magician glory.

blunderI would never want to live in a world without the beautiful trashcan fire that was Gob Bluth and Tony Wonder. Two narcissistic showmen with few redeeming qualities realize that they’re alike enough to fall in love with the only person they could ever fall in love with: themselves.

A wild and very entertaining ride to watch. Gob, a person who only knows how to make a giant spectacle of himself had very little experience with being a human being suddenly had to handle real emotions in his over-the-top, completely stupid way. Basically, he was very suited to being in peak gay disaster mode, but he also got just about as close to acceptance and honesty as a person like him is capable.

Gob and Tony also have one of the best and most accurate couple names: Blunder.

Closer to what I actually intended to talk about

The very precise and thoughtful way I come up with titles for blog posts is just by writing down whatever and then going, eh, good enough. As soon as I wrote, a quote from nothing, it made me think of the moment (in the 4th season of AD) where Tobias starts singing what sounds like a show tune.

Why is that hilarious? I have no idea. I think it’s hilarious. That’s basically the story of AD, you either love it and all of it is brilliant for reasons you aren’t really sure of (minus the new seasons) or you don’t care about it at all.

At long last

We get to my original point, which is an image quote related to Ryan and Luke from the One Little Word series, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t actually from any of the books. Unless it is. Keeping track of things is hard.

wordswag_1574889856049

Ryan and Luke are really good at being giant idiots together! So that’s… something.

Optimism

12187595703_0343c160ec_z

Today is grey and bitter. There’s no snow yet, but the winter is truly here. The sky is empty, the trees are stripped bare of leaves, and no one is venturing outside more than they have to.

I’ve been having some trouble with positivity lately. It’s easy to get discouraged as a self-published author. The weather doesn’t reflect my mood, it’s not pathetic fallacy, it’s just December in the Midwest.

Being a self-published author isn’t the easiest thing. I won’t moan on about all my struggles and difficulties, but I’ll just say it has some challenges. Doing it on your own means you have to do so much from writing, editing, making graphics, marketing and more all while competing against people with bigger teams and budgets.

I received a lesson in optimism from my nephews. Every day they want to go to the park. The cold doesn’t bother them. Or more likely, they just don’t care that it’s cold. They still want to go outside and run around and play. They don’t let the weather ruin their fun.

Their favorite response last year when someone said it was too cold to go outside was to say, “Well, to me it isn’t.” Naturally, no one bought this. Ignoring reality didn’t work or produce results, so they’ve adapted. Now they just don’t care. Yes, it’s cold outside, but they want to go out anyway.

Winter? Eh. I mean… yay?

December is here! The mild Nov. we’ve been experiencing in my area is gone, and the weather is supposed to get chilly and icy. I enjoyed snow in the winter when the possibility existed that school could be cancelled. Now that I’m a grown up, winter sucks.

Some people like the cold and how pretty things look covered in snow, but not me. I’m from the Midwest, and I don’t mind life on the coast at all. The temperate in the southern climate where I reside part of the year gets colder but doesn’t even require a heavy jacket.

Except I’m back in the Midwest for the holidays. Seeing my family is worth it, but I’m still going to complain about the snow. I don’t know what Ari’s thinking. Screw winter things, I want to be back there where it’s warm.

Okay, now that I’ve been a Grinch, there has to be some bright sides to the winter. Let’s see…

Hot Chocolate

247b843cf4d3f67cbe0f7fcb1c630f84.jpg

Apparently this one’s healthy, if you’re into that kinda of thing.

Sweaters

7deaf2326c13eec4bba72eb209a3803f

Mmm, cozy. And sometimes the person wearing the sweater can enhance the product.

Snow Forts

64cebb6f86d01f31d4deefbdd3d38579

Okay, I’ve never built a successful one, but they’re still damn cool.

Twinkle Lights

f1cfb45c116bf63dd3ab6b7010adfa4a.jpg

I chose this picture as a reminder that twinkle lights are not exclusive to the winter season. They’re an anytime decoration. And because it’s pretty.

An Excuse to Stay Inside

db637f4d89441a4f2470d47b25267cd9

Alright, this might be my favorite thing about cold weather. Nothing’s better than bunking down in a warm bed with a good book.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of winter?