The Coughatory Upset


For most of this week, my body has been trying to catch a cold.  It’s no surprise; the weather down here in Dixieland has been pretty nasty.  First cold, then unusually warm, then freezing rain for a few days followed by real cold weather.

It’s when the weather does its schizophrenic thing that I usually catch something.  I could almost set a clock by it, it’s that predictable!

So yesterday morning, around 9 AM, I’m just sitting at my desk working on stuff ‘n’ things, when a coughing fit shows up out of nowhere.  And it’s not one of these “I just drank something and it went down the wrong way” kind of coughs.  It’s a “Holy cow, did I just cough up a lung?” kind.

Thus started the epic battle between me and my body.  One thing I loathe more than anything else, perhaps even traffic, is being sick.  I’m no fan of pain, and don’t like being held down by anything, much less my own body!

After taking beaucoup of vitamin C supplements, plenty of hot throat soothing tea flavored with honey, eating chicken noodle soup, and getting plenty of rest yesterday….I still felt funky later that night.

There was only one thing left to do.

I didn’t want to.

I knew the ramifications.

But there was nothing else for it.

I had….to take Nyquil.

I took it early enough, around 9:30 PM.  Unfortunately, acetametaphine and I do not have a good relationship.  Or, rather, our relationship is too good!  It knocks me out, sure.

For nearly 24 hours.

Not.  Kidding.

I will always try to fight against it.  I’ll try to force myself to get up, to drink caffeine and eat a hearty meal so I can get back to stuff ‘n’ things,  but it never works.  The only thing for it is to sleep it off.

I don’t fair much better with Dayquil, either.  Perhaps not quite as sleepy, but still ridiculously, I-shouldn’t-be-driving, why-is-there-a-fairy-sitting-on-my-unicorn groggy.

So that’s why I haven’t updated until today.  🙂

But fear not, dear Readers!  For I have updated my newest project, Green Tea To Go!, wherein Kitty Awesome has also fallen ill due to her overlong trip, but must forage in a foreign land for basic necessities regardless!  What wonders will she encounter in the markets of Sad River City?!  We shall soon see…

That being said, if there’s a nerdy, geeky, or just plain weird topic you’d like me to expound on, please comment below.  I LOVE COMMENTS!!!!


I need to write a story about a Victorianesque 'Jurassic Park'./
No one expects a Victorian velociraptor.
They are the unicorns of the time/space continuum.
Sometimes, I think I put too much pressure on myself to try and turn out an awesome product.  I forget to have fun with it.

I think it’s better to be okay with the idea of not being the greatest writer, etc. in the world, rather than stressing out over whether or not other people will like what I’m doing.

I believe this because, most of the time when I stop worrying about the ramifications of what I’m doing artistically, I come up with the best ideas that people seem to really like regardless.

The worst thing in the world is to work super-hard on something that you end up hating because it took so long…and then not even have folks like it very much.  Likewise, it’s ALWAYS fun to have just been doing your thing without thinking of what other folks might say, and then have them come up to you and tell you how awesome your stuff is regardless.

I’m going to try and keep that in mind.  It’s not the destination that counts half as much as the journey.  🙂

~L. A.~

The Green Tea Percolation

green tea travel cup

Have you ever wanted to tell a story, but wasn’t sure how to go about it?  You knew you needed to share the experience, but the idea of publishing it as a book doesn’t seem like quite the right format?

For the past seven years, I’ve had a story in my heart that needed telling:  The story of what it’s like living and working on the other side of the world.  With that, I bring you a new blog, something of an experiment in both story-telling and online journaling.  Not to mention plenty of exotic food!

So follow the tea leaves, and get yourself some Green Tea To Go!


She’s Got The Look! (A Short Post on Themes.)

Today is a very dull, gray day outside.  I guess that’s why I’m in the mood for something shiny and new!

Also today, I have changed my theme to Book Lite.  Don’t get me wrong; I thought that Runo was cool, but I wasn’t 100% satisfied.  I like the Book Lite theme better for at least one reason:  The font is larger.  And, in the realm of Those Who Wear Glasses, that’s a big deal!

It just looks cleaner to me, for some reason.  Cleaner, better organized, larger font – call me a sucker for a pretty design!  Plus, it puts me in the mood to write, what with the book-like font and style.

Feel free to look in on this official WordPress blog post if you’re in the mood for something a little different yourself!

The Free Wi-Fi Quandry



An open letter to a particular physical book store that will likely soon be out of business if it doesn’t shape up soon.

Dear [Popular Book Store]:

I am not happy with you.

I do not understand why you won’t provide the public with free wi-fi, especially when your kind is in very real danger of dying out.  What incentive is there for me to patronize your cafe if you insist on charging for your services?

In this economy, folks aren’t willing to pay your fees for your “discount” card (which is hardly a discount at all) just to use the Internet.  Nor are they willing to pay $4.95 per day to have it, when they are only going to be in your store for a couple of hours.

We are more likely to go to the coffee shop with our laptops, our tablets, and yes, even our e-readers.

You are the only game left in town; all of your brothers and sisters are dead, or have ascended to the Web!

It’s time for you to start getting competitive if you want to survive.

It’s time for you to accept the inevitable, and allow free internet for everyone at your store.

It is time…to evolve.


L. A. Howard


Question for the Masses:  

Are physical bookstores doomed?  Why or why not?

The Achiever Quandry


I am a great planner.  I can plan like nobody’s business!

But actually sticking to said plan, now  that’s something else entirely!

Inevitably, if I set an alarm to go off at a certain time, I will hit the snooze button, wondering in my half-asleep brain why in all of creation I set it for so early.  It won’t be until I’ve finally been awake for a while that I’ll realize why I set it for that time, and what I meant to do.

This is about the time that I start feeling really down on myself.  What kind of weak person lets sleep get the better of them?  Surely I can manage a simple thing like getting up when the alarm goes off!

These kinds of thoughts continue until I’m downright stymied with self-pity, and I’m having myself a nice old fashioned party while wallowing in my own low self-esteem.

Thus, I’m going to endeavor to stop feeling sorry for myself, and take control of my day.  Even though I stayed up until 3 AM (a luxury often only bestowed on the jobless or night job person), I’m going to endeavor to stay up the rest of the day.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity if I do in fact give in to the very basic need of rest, I’m not going to feel sorry for myself.  If I’m still up at midnight, I’m going to do laundry.  Or, I’ll write.  I’ll put down the controller and leave Fallout:  New Vegas and Fallout 3 for another time.

I’ll do the things I well-intended to do during the day, except at night.

What’s more, I’ll try once again to make a plan that works.  One that’s simple, manageable, and above all, realistic.

A plan very similar to what Jim Franklin is doing over on his blog, Write Way Around.  

My list won’t be as extensive as his, nor will it be as bold as Jon Acuff’s.  But, it will exist, and I will endeavor to accomplish it.

But only by God’s Will, and His Blessing, because I just don’t have it in me to keep with it on my own.  (What I’m saying is that yes, I need divine intervention to help me out, folks.  🙂 )

When the list is finished, I’ll share it with you good folks.

Viva la 2013!


What is your plan for the upcoming year?  The upcoming month?  Week?  Next 24 hours?  

The Average Normality


Sometimes I read things like Jon Acuff’s recent blog post, and I have to stop myself from replying with the following:

“All my life I’ve worked towards average. Being ‘unique’ or ‘special’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

I have to stop myself from saying that because I know that he’s not talking about emotional or psychological stability. He’s not saying, “Be weird! Be strange! Be downright DEMENTED!!”

Yet, that’s what I think, almost immediately, whenever I see someone lamenting how average things are.

What they are saying isn’t “I wish that nuclear bombs would fall so I can be more traumatized than I could ever imagine.” Rather, they’re saying, “I’m bored,” or “I’m tired of being bored; how can I change that for the better.”

Today, I’m going to try and remember not to be bored.

Today, I celebrate the creativity that years and years of hardship brought me.

Today, I let my abnormality shine through, with God’s blessing.


What do you consider “normal”? Do you prefer “normal”, or do you want to be different? In what way do you want to stand out from the crowd?

Daily Prompt: Stroke of Midnight

Daily Prompt: Stroke of Midnight.

(I’m playing around with the idea of answering some of the Daily Prompts that WordPress provides every day.  Perhaps doing this every other day will help me stay on track with my blogging, plus provide some unseen fodder for yet-unseen nerdy subjects!)


Today’s Daily Prompt:

Where were you last night when 2012 was turning into 2013?

I was actually in the bath, working on my first blog post of the new year via my new Nexus 7!

Is that where you’d wanted to be?

Yes…and no.

Yes, I wanted a bath.  And yes, I wanted to be working on my blog post.

But part of me, a tiny, tiny part, also wanted to be with friends at some grand New Years’ party somewhere.

Keep in mind, though, that I had no knowledge of such a party, and that my tolerance for people (especially those under the influence) just isn’t what it used to be.

Not to mention that, when it struck midnight, my husband came in and gave me a kiss anyways.  ❤  So sweet!

So, in a way, I was exactly where I wanted to be!  But, in another way, I couldn’t help but feel a little bummed and lonely.

This feeling, however, may have just been a result of rainy winter weather and a little cabin fever.


What is your favorite New Years’ Eve memory?  

The New Year Analyzation

Happy New Year-2

As I write this, there is only an hour left in 2012.  In 60 minutes or less, 2013 will be upon us with all of its hopes and dreams.

As I look back on 2012, there are a few things I will remember.  On the negative side, there were a lot more shootings of schools and other public places.  (May God comfort the beloved of the fallen.)

On the positive, and somewhat surprising, side, I’ve not heard of any cults going all David Koresh or Hailey’s comet, which is something of a surprise to me, considering.

As for me personally, I’ll come away with some good memories:  my first missions trip in seven years, seeing an old friend for the first time in forever, and being forced to move on in my career, (whether I wanted to or not).

In the end, it was a good year.  I have a few regrets, (mostly related to lack of self-motivation) but I can’t say it’s been a bad year!

Then again, any year that Bethesda decides to put out not just one, but TWO expansions to my current favorite game (and use one of my most favorite fictional mythoses to boot!) has ‘a good year’ written all over it.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:  Name three things you loved about 2012, and three that you disliked.  They can be general or personal. 

Pretty Presents & Panicked Ponderings

CHRISTMAS (Griswalds + Squirrel)

The holidays always stress me out.


Yet, every year, when all the stockings have been emptied and all presents unwrapped and all relatives visited with, I wonder why I stressed out so much.  I have a lot of fun once I actually get to the Christmas gatherings, or actually give folks their presents and send them their cards.

Yet every year, from the weekend before Thanksgiving straight through to New Years‘, I am just a  bundle of nerves.

This year, it’s double-stress because of the big U — Unemployment.  I’m Unemployed, a word that, these days, might as well be a proper noun.

As such, I’ve had something of a George Costanza mentality over the past few weeks, realizing all the money he’s losing during the march out.

Granted, I didn’t quit, but it’s still the same idea about feeling that first twinge of freedom right before the war hammer of “Holy crap, I’m poor again!!” swings down to hit you square in the gut.

In my logical processors, I know that we’ll be okay, and that we’re far from destitute.  In my inner spiritual sanctum, I know that God will take care of us.

But then there’s that voice of panic that wants me to do little else than sit and stare, contemplating how terrible everything is (even though it’s not) and how untalented I am (I have skillz) and how hopeless everything is (even though I fully believe that this life is definitely not the end!).

I’ve let that voice of panic take over far too much these past few weeks.  It’s time to put it out of its misery, and enjoy the lights, good smells, and happy celebrations of friends, family, and a little baby born in Bethlehem some two millenia ago.


What holiday do you celebrate around this time?  What do you do to celebrate?