What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

31 October 2010

Ready... Set... Write!

Ah, yes, NaNoWriMo is hours away. Am I ready? Of course not.

So, my blogging buddies, the point of this little post is to tell you that I'm going to be neglecting you all for the next 30 days. :( I'm still posting here (thank goodness for the Blogger post-scheduling feature!), but I won't have time to read all your brilliant blogs and comment, as much as I'd like to.

I'll see you in December. Try not to do anything interesting while I'm gone.


I have already mentioned that I'm participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time ever this year (starting tomorrow-- yikes!). I had intended to participate in NaBloWriMo as well, thinking that it was also in November.

It is not.

So, it's too late for me to sign up for NaBloWriMo now, since it's over and all, but hey, look! I've managed a blog post every day in October, anyway! Excellent.

I participated unofficially last year in NaBloWriMo, or so I had thought, by blogging every day in November. And the year before that. And now, after two hit years in a row, I find out I got the wrong month. Nice. So, I've participated unofficially this year, too, and managed to hit the intended target this time.

And I'd like to know what else we have a Na------Mo for.

30 October 2010

Megan's Guest Post

Today's post is brought to you by the winner of my 700th post giveaway, Megan Bickel. We already heard from Megan on Thursday & got to know some random things about her, and today she shares another piece of herself with us. Megan is a picture book author and blogs at The Write-At-Home-Mom, which you should certainly go check out after you finish reading her post here.

29 October 2010

Meet the Penciler of Songs

As part of my 700th post giveaway, the winner and the runner-up both agreed to an interview similar to the one employed by James Lipton at the end of Inside the Actors Studio.

The Penciler of Songs, who I also refer to as the Songstress, is a long-time friend from Lubbock. I'm so glad she took part in this interview, because it was fun for me to read her answers to the questions, and I hope it will bring happiness to you, too. As a bonus, the Penciler of Songs is about to be published; a song she wrote will be in the upcoming edition of The Paperless Hymnal. (That's right; "Penciler of Songs" is a description, not just a clever nickname!)

28 October 2010

Meet Megan

As part of my 700th post giveaway, the winner and the runner-up both agreed to an interview similar to the one employed by James Lipton at the end of Inside the Actors Studio.

I learned how to make a screenshot
just for this post!

Megan Bickel, the winner (whose guest post is coming on Saturday, by the way; stay tuned!) is writer of The Write-At-Home-Mom and my fellow Hoosier. :) I've only "met" Megan on the internet, but I am so glad that I did, because her blog is such a delight to read! Her interview brought me all kinds of smiles, and I hope it will do the same for you:

27 October 2010

Mrs. Malaprop

You may not know this about me, but I'm a regular Mrs. Malaprop.

Actually, I'm not. I didn't really know what a "Mrs. Malaprop" is until I Googled it a moment ago, and found out that I've been using the expression incorrectly for a while. What I mean to say is, I'm really bad at pronouncing a word the first hundred times I see it, but I don't think there is an amusing literary character for that. Perhaps I'll write one.

26 October 2010

A Potential Christian Novelist?

When last we met, dear readers, I was lamenting the state of Christian literature and how most of it that I have run across is complete rubbish. Alas.

So today I shall discuss: What I do about it.

25 October 2010

Christian Literature

When I was in high school, I would pick up the odd Christian fiction book, read for a while, decide I didn't like it, and put it back down again. And then go around feeling guilty for not liking a Christian book.

After all, I liked Christian music, Christian t-shirts, Christian posters... but the favourite thing in my life, reading, didn't have anything Christian that I liked to plug into it. For years, I wondered what was wrong with me. And I have finally found the problem:

It wasn't me; it was the books.

24 October 2010

Post # 700!

It all began here at Cheekyness back on October 1, 2004. Here is my first-ever paragraph, reprinted for your reading enjoyment:
Wow, this is exciting... I finally have my very own weblog. All I need now is broadband internet, a PDA, a cell phone (perhaps even one with pictures), a laptop, and one of those memory-stick things that everyone is using instead of floppy disks now, and I'll be right up-to-date with the rest of the country. :) 
I'm happy to report that I have all those things now, except for the PDA. But darned if the rest of the country didn't go and change the "up-to-date" standards on me in the meantime. I guess I'll carry on as best as I can. Again.

23 October 2010

Oooh! Blog Awards!

So, it happens that this week, some of my new blogging buddies that I've met through the Crusader Challenge have given me some pretty pretty awards.

I'm awarding this one to:
Lesley @ Chad and Lesley's Adventures
Denyce @ Denyce's Posterous
Carolyn @ 4 the Love of Boys
Heather @ Swallowed Up
Andrea @ In White Fields

From Clarissa:

This one goes to:
Paige @ I'm on BASE!!
Timbra @ McWiist Family
Jenni @ Talking Hairdryer
Olivia @ The Nelsons

And, from Faith:

And I'm passing this one on to:
Ashley @ The Pittman Family
Amy @ Ellyson Four
Shannel @ The James Family

While I do know men who blog and do a good job of it, these are pretty girly awards. So, I'm only giving them to women. Since all my writing-blog friends have pretty well passed these around between themselves for the past couple of weeks, I'm going a different direction with this blogroll. Also, there were some sort of rules that went with these awards; you will note that I have ignored those rules, except for the part about spreading the joy abroad.

So, go give these ladies a spike in their page hits today! (I hope they tidied up their blogs for the company that is coming over.)

Wanna win the first-ever giveaway on Cheekyness? That's right, to celebrate my upcoming 700th post, I'm having a giveaway! Comment, follow or link to my blog to enter the drawing. Contest ends at 9 PM (CDT) TODAY!

22 October 2010


Terry Pratchett expresses so well how I feel about academia messing with things that I like to read:
"Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book... She listened with half an ear to what the rest of the class was doing. It was a poem about daffodils. Apparently the poet had liked them very much. Susan was quite stoical about this. People could like daffodils if they wanted to. They just should not, in Susan's very definite and precise opinion, be allowed to take up more than a page to say so."
I agree with Susan. (I'm fairly certain that Pratchett did not have me in mind, but if he did, I'd like some royalties.) Mostly agree, anyway; I'm happy for people to take up as much space as they'd like to write about daffodils or indeed any other subject, so long as I am not required to read it.

21 October 2010

Well, This Is Depressing

I'm reading In Retrospect, by Robert McNamara, for my rhetoric class. And it's depressing.

This is not a book review: I still have to write a paper over this thing, so I'm not interested in reviewing it. But here's a quick synopsis: McNamara was the Secretary of Defense for the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and was a big part of the decision-making process leading to the Vietnam war. Of course, the whole big mess was already in process when Kennedy took office, and it just went downhill from there for a variety of reasons.

20 October 2010

Running on Town Lake

Well, running by Town Lake. Running on Town Lake would require a fishing boat, a storm, and Jesus in the flesh to extract me from the water after I tripped over a passing wave.

So, running the trail around Town Lake has been on my "to-do" list since we moved here. But until better motivation arrived in the form of Sarah being in town for the weekend and wanting to get a run in, I didn't manage it. We got up early enough to get downtown before dawn, managed to figure out the way there between the two of us, and started out.

19 October 2010

Texas Book Festival

Welcome to Cheekyness, too.

I think I've mentioned a few dozen times how much I love living in Austin, right? Well, I found another reason to love this city this past weekend: The Texas Book Festival.

This year was the festival's quinceaƱera, as one of the organisers put it, or 15th birthday, if you prefer. In 1996, the then-First Lady of Texas, Laura Bush, started the festival. She said that a columnist in the Austin Statesman noted before the inaugural event that there was a beer festival and a gun & knife show also happening in Austin that same weekend, and it was to be hoped that attendees at the Book Festival didn't turn up drunk and armed. (They did not, as far as anyone can tell.)

18 October 2010


I'm pretty sure that stands for "National Novel-Writing Month." And I, in a moment of madness, signed up. The crazy starts November 1st.

Because, between uni, blogging, and volunteer work, I didn't have enough ways to fill my time. Clearly, I needed to add something else to the stack. So, why not this, that I've always wanted to do anyway, right?

17 October 2010

Coming up on a Milestone

By my count, unless something extraordinary happens, I'm a week away from 700 posts here at Cheekyness. (I already passed the 6-year mark on October 1, and the 30-follower mark a couple of weeks ago, so we'll include those in the celebration.) Yay! And while I frantically make up carefully craft the best possible post to celebrate this achievement, I want to also show my appreciation for you, my readers, by holding my very first Cheeky Giveway!

16 October 2010

Airport Security

On our comings and goings to Lubbock last weekend, Chad was stopped for special screening. Twice.

In all our travelling in nearly nine years of marriage, I think Chad has maybe been subjected to extra screening once, ever. Me, on the other hand-- the TSA loves me.

15 October 2010

Meet My Instructor

My favourite instructor this semester, by far, is my Rhetoric instructor. (Just as well, since it's my major.)

I knew she had a brilliant sense of humour before I entered her class, because her office is across the hall from my instructor's office from over the summer, and I used to read the stuff on her door while waiting. And that's when I decided that I wanted to be in her class, whatever it was.

14 October 2010

Stephen King Gets it Right, Again

You know something funny? I've never read a single one of SK's novels. The only thing of his that I've read is On Writing, which is pure brilliance, and I'm just taking millions of strangers' word for it that he knows what he is talking about. (Of course, that one book by itself is enough to convince me that he does know what he is talking about.)

13 October 2010

And Then They Were One.

 I have, seriously, no pictures of the bride & groom. None. Sheesh.

Chad with Goliath.
So, Sunday we were up bright and early (one of those, anyway) for breakfast with Phill & Keely. Sweet potato pancakes from the Slide Breakfast House... yum. Then we raced over to South Plains, where Chad (the good friend) promptly went to work getting things ready for the wedding while I (the bad friend) went to Family Builders like we never left in the first place. (There was some discussion about bringing a beach ball to bounce around the room for the occasion, but that did not pan out. Since the conversation was on Facebook, though, enough people read it to ask about it on Sunday morning.)

12 October 2010

Fastest. Trip. Ever.

He's cute.
Chad and I left our apartment at 12:20 Saturday afternoon to head for Lubbock, and got back this morning at 8:20. For other non-numerical folk out there, that's 44 hours that we were gone. Forty-four really packed hours.

11 October 2010

I Could Do Without Some Bits of Life

I blogged already about the suicide at UT a couple of weeks ago.

Two days later, I logged onto Facebook and saw a status from my cousin Missy that a police officer in our hometown had unfairly had his life taken. I followed the link to find out what happened; he was on a training ride with other members of the bike patrol when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver and instantly killed.

10 October 2010

Pretty Pretty Things

I set out on Monday after class to get the battery replaced in my sport watch, so that I could run intervals on Tuesday and, you know, keep track of how fast I was going. A missed bus stop turned what should have been a trip of half an hour, tops, into an epic journey worthy of saga and song... or not.

09 October 2010

Friends in Town!

Last weekend, some friends converged on Austin to attend a wedding. Excellent.

I didn't want them to be in town without getting a chance to hang out a bit, so I obsessively patiently reminded them of my current presence in this city and waited for them to have free time. And that free time came on Friday night.

08 October 2010

Oooh! A Giveaway!

Quinn over at seeing, dreaming...writing is having a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers! I know you don't want to miss out on that. (And I wonder what it would be like to have 100 followers... I wouldn't know what to do with that big of an audience! Guess I would adjust!)

Head on over to his blog, leave a comment, follow the blog, tweet... whatever you want to do to have a shot at a $40 Amazon Gift Card.

And in case you're feeling like I'm a horrible blogger who doesn't give nice things away to her readers: Don't worry, a giveaway is coming to Cheekyness, too. Stay tuned.

07 October 2010

Doing It Again

This week, I have begun training for my second marathon.


By virtue of being members of the Austin Running Club, we have access to their free marathon training group. We ran our time trial (5K) on Labor Day, got our training plans by email, and then... sat around for a month.

06 October 2010

Changing It Up-- Already

I started UT with a double major in Rhetoric and Writing and Hispanic Linguistics.

We've realised that, if I'm willing to sacrifice 1) sanity, 2) a social life, 3) TV, 4) recreational reading, and 5) free time, I could get through UT with a double major by next December. If I give up sleep, I can even do it with University honours. It's the recreational reading and sleep parts that are holding me back (and the free time, a little bit; how can I tell you about my life & times if I don't have time to blog?). 

05 October 2010

Crusader Challenge #1

I sat down to write the other day, and realised that my posts tend to be astronomically-long.

Maybe not astronomically. Not like the distance from here to Mars. But long enough that my intrepid readers might get bored halfway through and wander off for a pick-up game of Quiddich. Which would be less of a bummer if they would only invite me to join them; heck, I can write shorter posts if there's going to be a Quiddich game at the end. Emptying my brain doesn't have to take that long.

04 October 2010

Happy Birthday!

I know; he's hot.

Somebody in my house has a birthday today. Hmmm... who can it be? I know it isn't me, so... that really only leaves one option. Only my husband could be born on 10-4, right?

03 October 2010

Writers' Platform-Building Crusade

Do I have any would-be writers reading along? If you are out there, I'm not technically aware of your presence... but it wouldn't be the strangest thing that's happened on this blog.

So, if you exist, Rach over at Rach Writes has started a Writers' Platform-Building Crusade to enable us all to find each other, share support, etc. And probably have some fun along the way, if my personal blogging experience is anything to go by.

And as a bonus, there will even be some Crusade Challenges. Nice!

Head on over and check it out.

The World is Watching

I Googled the blog title before I started writing, just to see who else is using it: Obama, Greenpeace, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Organization (I'm a bit worried that such an organization even exists), and a documentary from 1988. It gets around, apparently. I'm going to suppose that my take on it is different than any of these, especially the good (I hope!) people at ITERO.

02 October 2010

People Who Are Hurting

In case you missed it, there was a gunman at UT on Tuesday morning. I got up late on Tuesday, and by the time I logged into Facebook I had messages inquiring as to my safety because of the shooter. That was the first I had heard of it, so I sent a round of general "I'm okay; not on campus" messages to those who had asked before turning on the TV; meanwhile, the "worst possible scenario" section of my brain went into overdrive as I ran through a mental list of who among my acquaintances were almost-certain to be on campus: My linguistics instructor, who was holding extra office hours because of our scheduled test; both of my rhetoric instructors; and the younger sister of one of my aim friends. Then my mind continued racing through all my classmates who might also be on campus on a Tuesday, so I was already praying as I turned on the TV.

01 October 2010

Get a Filter Installed

One of my favourite things about That 70s Show is that Eric Forman has no filter. And there are two reasons that is funny: 1) Outside of real life, being filter-free is hysterical, and 2) Since I do have a filter, it gives me a measurement of sorts to see how far I've come since I was that age and likewise had no filter. (I wonder if Tofer Grace ever cringed when he saw the lines he had to deliver; goodness knows I would have done.) So I watch it and think, "Shut up, Eric; shut up, Eric, shut up-- Oh, too late."