This is my life (or The Year of No Bullshit).


I have been blogging for thirty days now. In that time, I have written/posted 10,103 words. 44 pages in Microsoft Word. There are 22 posts. An average of 460 words per post.

My goal is to write 500 words a day – every day. So, I’m still working on that. An average of 44 people read everyday. I don’t know who you are, but thank you. That average may be reduced by the days without posts when 3 or 4 people look at the site anyway. The site has had several referrals/hits from google.ie – how weird is that?

In the last thirty days, I have made a commitment to myself to write more and read more. To that end, work, email, and Facebook aside, I have read, How to Tell a Story and Other Essays, by Mark Twain; bits and pieces of Essential Manager’s Manual no clue who wrote that (clearly, work related), and Telling Stories, Joyce Carol Oates, editor. Also on the read list; Shit My Dad Says, Justin Halpern; Hogfather (Pratchett), Good Omens (Pratchett & Gaiman), and Sharpe’s Rifles, Bernard Cornwell. I read NPR, The BBC, CNN, The Raw Story, and Paul Krugman everyday.  Ok, I confess, I read The New York Times everyday too. I also read several blogs daily (or at least every time a new post appears): Emily Rapp’s Little Seal, Amy Rizzo’s Creative Space, Cliff Garstang’s Perpetual Folly, and Anjie Henley’s 365 Humans. I have recently begun to follow Amber Page’s From the Depths. I follow Neil Gaiman on Twitter, religiously. Twitter can’t really count as reading but I read his blog too.

I am currently reading Sharpe’s Eagle, Bernard Cornwell. It’s historical fiction based around the Napoleonic Wars. Not Shakespeare, but interesting nonetheless. I’m also reading The Lazy Project Manager, I don’t know who wrote it – but it seemed like a good fit, so yeah…

I am thoroughly enjoying reading on the Kindle. I was ambivalent at first. But, yeah, do it. And I haven’t even played with any of the extras yet! Just imagine always having an Oxford Dictionary in your purse, in addition to a complete Shakespeare, Marlowe, Poe, Austen… At all times. Plus what you are currently reading… Imagine going on, say, a writing retreat and carrying all of the books in something smaller than a paperback. It’s the same awesome feeling that washed over me when I realized that with my Zune I could carry all of my music on a machine smaller than my cell phone; that it could be in my pocket at all times.

I have worked to eliminate negative, dysfunctional people from my world. I do know some dysfunctional people who are positive. Really, I don’t know anyone who is 100% functional. Dysfunction is relative—in more ways than one.  I accept that family doesn’t ever go away – but they don’t have to be in my immediate bubble either. No more S1 and her midnight tirades, nor do I have to put up with her daughter – who should look closely at her mother, because that’s where she’s headed. I have hurt some people’s feelings, because I am not going to be involved with certain people. And no one can make me. You are welcome to get sucked into chaos, I don’t have to. And won’t.

Life is becoming more engaging. I took Ian, Jamie, and Ryan (yes I got permission to use names) to the Holocaust Museum in Richmond. We’re going to the one in DC soon (you know, after now, but before later). We also have plans for the Picasso exhibit at the VMFA. I’m traveling with my two of my amazing coworkers to Baltimore for three days in March. I will be in the company of two amazing writers (Antioch grads and fellow Tanagers) in May at The Porches (run by another Antiochian). In October, I will spend several days at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas. Work related, but ok fine.

My Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms are still lingering in the background. For those of you who don’t know exactly what RA is, the immune system believes your joints are invading germs/viruses/bacteria. So, your immune systems attacks and tries to kill your joints. The periodic episodes in the last month can mostly be traced to food (tragically, rice). There have been no episodes that have rendered me incapacitated.

Yes, I am enjoying the year of no bullshit. It might be my best idea ever.

Word Count: 723

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3 thoughts on “This is my life (or The Year of No Bullshit).

  1. Yes, when I choose me to be the one who needs and and deserves my best, I take really good care of Me. Not in that “me, me, me! ***little girl in a snit** kind of way, but in the clean-off-your-garden-tools-and-put-them-away-oiled kind of way. It really isn’t an either-or, it is a “both” kind of thing.

    At some point along the way, I realized that I’d drifted away from myself. So now my resolve is to be like I was as a little kid, maybe about age 5. Because she was really cute and fun and joyful. She liked to play dolls and skip and imagine that the forsythia bushes were like a little house for tea parties. And she isn’t above tossing herself down on the floor for a good fuss or sucking her thumb. So you go, Mel. Be awesome.

  2. I thoroughly admire your resolve and your industry, your thoughtfulness and good humor. And I’m trying to imagine what 100 percent functional looks like–and thinking it would probably look a little dysfunctional. Too perfect? Imperfection is perfection. Or maybe “pretty darn functional” should just count as functional–with continued room for improvement. Anyway, I admire your efforts to keep improving and your wonderful writing!

  3. The discipline to do this every day is telling of your interest in it. Since starting this semester I have made a point to read the Boston Herald, The Boston Globe and the WSJ and a few other business web sites to prepare for every class. At first it was daunting, then, you know what, it was more a pleasure than pain. You are much more well-read than I in fiction. I love reading history, and my taste is Historical fiction when I read fiction at all. I still enjoy Shakespeake from our SFX days.
    The Smithsonian Holocaust Museum in DC took my being and shook it. One of the most moving things I have ever seen. My two girls who were then 12 and 13 got a lot out of it too. (My son who was 9-clueless, but I expected that). Do it sooner.
    Sorry to hear you have such arthritis. Terrible thing. Several rels had it.

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