Monday, January 26, 2015

In Which I Met Goals

So every year I make a list of goals (things that I can actually accomplish. It's more of a year long To Do list as opposed to resolutions)

And at the beginning of the next year I get to look back and see if I accomplished them.

So here we go!

2014 Goals:

1. Write a new novel. We have to work on something new for the MFA, but actually finishing the whole thing is what I'm going to aim for. I'd really love to finish it before my second semester, but we'll see how things are going and how crazy my life is.

Result: Accomplished! I finished my WIP (tentatively titled Monsters Within) in early November

 2. Write at least two short stories. I've been sitting on two that I want to write and I originally planned on doing them while I was querying ATR, but it turned out I didn't query it very long so I didn't have the time. So now I want to make the time to get these buggers written and hopefully submitted somewhere
Result: Failed. I'm still sitting on these stories and really looking forward to when i'll have some time to get them down.

 3. Read 105 books. I somehow managed to read 103 last year. Was it a fluke? No frickin' clue. So I guess we'll find out in 2014 if I can do it again. Aim high or go home, I guess.

Result: Accomplished!  I actually read 142 books, though a fair amount of them were picture books and graphic novels

 4. Look into teaching a class. For awhile now I've thought about teaching a query letter workshop at The Loft, our local writing center. But I've never been a teacher and I have no idea how to put together a lesson plan or anything like that. I'd like to spend some time figuring out the logistics, so I can maybe put in an application this year or the next to teach some query skills in the future. Just trying to pay it forward and all that junk.

Result: Semi Accomplished. I guess I don't know specifically what this one meant. Was just looking into it enough? Because I did that. Or was I supposed to actually teach one? Because I didn't do that.

 5. Redo our basement bathroom. Not a writing goal, obviously, but our basement bathroom needs a complete overhaul due to water damage. It's a very small bathroom, but we've never done drywall before so there'd be a bit of a learning curve. Of course, as always, our motto is "I could do a lot of things if I had money."  *nods head seriously*

Result: Accomplished! It took longer than we hoped, just because there was a leak we couldn't fix on our own, so there was a delay while the plumber came out, but after that it went pretty quickly. And besides some wonky mudding in a corner, it looks pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.


So that's it! How did your 2014 goals go?

Monday, January 12, 2015

In Which I Have My MFA Residency

Hey, blog pals.

I'm at my MFA Residency this week, so no blog posts for me. Have a great week!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Fun

Another Friday, which means one more week closer to getting out of winter and back into summer.

One day, the snow will melt

Let's get to the fun!









Wednesday, January 7, 2015


January is just filled with firsts.

And here were are, at the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the first Insecure Writer's Support Group of 2015.

And things are going pretty good for me. Yes I have a lot of work to do on a lot of different things (book, sequel, edits, school and my Critical Thesis this semester) but the Holidays seem to have mostly rejuvenated me, like I hoped they would.

Later this week my MFA residency starts and I'm super excited for that, especially to see all my friends again.

So I guess this is kind of a throw-away post. I'm not feeling insecure, really, about anything at the moment. Though I'm sure that'll change at some point.

How are things going for you?


Monday, January 5, 2015

In Which I Got Presents

We go all out crazy with presents in my family. So crazy, guys. Everyone is allowed to spend whatever they want on everyone else. Usually we tend to try to spend the same between people (if I spend $50 on Twin, then I'll try to match that between Brother, Sister and my parents) so sometimes you end up with multiple gifts for one person. And that is A-Okay.

I got a lot of great gifts this year (and Twin, Brother and I got a new Ninja blender for the house which we've already used 3 times and it is AWESOME).

But, because I like books and ask for books, I typically get a lot of books. And then I'm all "uuuugh! Which one will I read first??" (though this year I know which one I'm gonna read first. I just got to finish the book I'm reading right now)

BEHOLD! My stack of books!


And this doesn't even count the 5 books Twin got (most of which are nonfiction and I'm excited to read when she's done with them)

Twin also got me this awesome bracelet, for which I'm excited.

I have a few bracelets, but I have tiny, tiny (so tiny) wrists that most of them don't fit well. This one fits great. Also, books!

Yay for great presents! Did you guys get anything awesome for the holidays?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Fun

Wooo! Ape-friends. APE-FRIENDS! Today is the first Friday Fun of 2015!!

What's my resolution, you ask? To be cooler

Better get the year started off right!









Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday Weird: Beaumont Children Disappearance

The last day and last Wednesday Weird of 2014! So let's get to it.

In 1966 in the suburbs of Adelaide, Australia nine-year-old Jane Beaumont and her siblings, seven-year-old Arnna and four-year-old Grant disappeared into seemingly thin air.

The kids took a five-minute bus ride to Glenelg Beach, a place they often visited, including the day before. That evening, they never returned home, turning into one of Australia's biggest mysteries and infamous cold cases even today.

What we know:

  • Witnesses claimed to have seen the siblings on the beach playing with a tall, thin, blond man in his 30s.
  • The children, and especially Jane, were considered shy, so it was out of character for them to be seen with a stranger.
  • Jane Beaumont was spotted buying snacks (including a meat pie, which the children had never purchased before) with money she did not have when she left the house that day. The shopkeeper knew the children well from previous visits. 
  • A mail carrier who knew the family saw the kids walking in the direction of their home a few hours later. They stopped and spoke with him and seemed cheerful, which is strange because by this point they were 3 hours late for their 2pm curfew.
  • Several months after the disappearance a woman would come forward and say that on the night of their disappearance she saw a man with two girls and a boy enter a house that she thought was empty. Later she saw the boy walking alone until he was chased and roughly caught by the man. The next morning the house appeared to be deserted again.
Related Case:
in 1973 11-year-old Joanne Ratcliffe and 4-year-old Kirste Gordon vanished from Adelaide during a football match after Joanne's parents and Kirste's grandmother let the girls to go to the bathroom.
They were seen multiple times in the 90 minutes they were gone, apparently distressed and with an unknown man. The police sketch of the man resembled that of the man last seen with the Beaumont children.
Possible Suspects:
Bevan Spencer von Einem
  • In 1966 von Einem was 21 years old. Between 1975 and 193 the bodies of four young men and teen boys would be found badly mutilated or subjected to "surgery". Von Einem was arrested and charged for one of these murders.
  • Known as the Family Murders, there was evidence to show that in actuality 4 people with up to 8 associates were involved in the murders of the teens.
  • During von Einem's trial, testimony was given that alleged he was involved in both the Beaumont children disappearance as well as the Ratcliffe/Gordon disappearance.
  • One of the witnesses said von Einem boasted of having taken 3 children from a beach to conduct experiments on them. He said he "connected the children together", but that one of the children died during the procedure so he had to kill the other two.
  • von Einem somewhat resembled the sketches
  • He was known to frequent Glenelg beach to watch the changing rooms and was fond of children
  • The witness said that von Einem also told him that he had taken Joanne Ratcliffe and Kirste Gordon and killed them.
  • The murders he is associated with, though, bears little resemblance to the Beaumont and Ratcliffe/Gordon disappearances
Arthur Stanley Brown
  • In 1998 Arthur Stanley Brown was charged with the murders of 7-year-old Judith and 5-year-old Susan Mackay in Queensland who disappeared in 1970 on their way to school and were found later, strangled.
  • He was never tried due to suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's after he was charged.
  • With von Einem he's considered one of the best suspects in the case because he bears a striking resemblance to both sketches.

Brown in the 60s
  • Brown's appearance barely changed in the 30 years between the Ratcliffe/Gordon disappearance. In fact, one of the witnesses in that case recognized him as the same man just from a picture on TV after the Mackay murders.
  • Additionally, at the time of the Ratcliffe/Mackay disappearance she had reported that the man she'd seen with the girls had been wearing horn-rimmed glasses. Brown was known to have worn horn-rimmed glasses.
  • Mostly, he's considered a suspect in the Beaumont case because he's such a strong suspect in the Ratcliffe/Gordon case, though he would have been in his 50s during the Beaumont disappearance
Thoughts? Theories?
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