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Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell, 2012. You saucy minx.

And now a brief New Year's Eve post to tie a bit of a messy, loose-ended bow on this challenging and bizarre gift of a year....

It's not a tradition of mine to reflect on the year on December 31. Usually that comes on May 16, my birthday, in which I write a couple of pages in my private "Birthday Journal" (a Google doc, really) to sum up what's happened to me, how I've grown, what I'm proud of, what I'm afraid of... It's fun to periodically go back and read them, all in a row, so I'm fast-forwarding through time, and gazing at myself from a place of retrospection, an older sister to myself, whispering, "Keep going."

But 2012 has been profound, and I think it deserves some kind of acknowledgment, however brief.

First thing's first: astrology. The intellectual in me doesn't believe in horoscopes, but the other part of me does, and I'd say the forecast for Taurus for 2012 turned out to be fairly accurate. It would be a year of upheaval, it said, a year of "setting the stage." I wouldn't get a whole lot of stuff done in a neat, A to Z kind of way. Rather, I would initiate a host of changes and lay the groundwork for a fulfilling future, all the while enduring lots of shifts in my life's tectonic plates.

This is sort of like code for: "Dude. Your year is going to suck!"

On some level, it did.

But, on other levels, it didn't. The year meant too much to suck. I accomplished too much for it to be mostly bad.

Was it super hard? Yes. Did I come to some painful realizations about my life. Heck, yes. Did I leave behind a lot of what I considered "my identity," my origin, my sense of home, family, career? Heck to the mother-effing yes! But now, looking back at the past 364 days of my life, I feel, in a broader sense, the way one does after a super challenging, kick-your-own-butt throw-down workout. I am a better, stronger, more capable person now. My buns are killing me. But, man. Do I feel like I can do anything!

In addition, there were lots of unadulterated, joyous events this year! Straight-up, heartwarming, romantic comedy shit. Man of my dreams, check. Loving friends and family members, check. Shopping sprees with my little sister imagined as montages set to pop music, check.

It was all there. So I must pay homage to all the blindingly amazingly good things, too.

In summary: 2012, you were a saucy minx of a year. I won't miss having you around, but I will remember you fondly, the way one remembers a strict, ornery chemistry teacher -- the hunched over, high-wasted pants-wearing type, who never awarded a single A, sent us to the principal's office, told us we were too big for our britches -- and turned out to be one of the best damn teachers we've ever had.

I'm ready for you, 2013. Let's do this!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Videograms for Christmas!

Are you thinking of buying Unnaturally Green as a gift for somebody this holiday season? If so, congratulations: you are one of the most brilliant people I have ever known.

Even more importantly... 

If you buy a copy of my book, then forward me your confirmation email of purchase, I'll send you or the person you're buying for a videogram! (I'm at

What is a videogram? It's a short video from me being like, "Heyyyy thanks for buying my book. You're cooooool let's be friendddddds" etc. in which I'll look very similar to the above screenshot, except my hair is shorter now.

When you forward me your Amazon/Barnes and Noble receipt, just tell me the name of the person I'm talking to and one or two fun facts I can throw in. I'll do my best to entertain, and will reply to your email with the link to the videogram by January 1, 2013.*

Note: Videograms are for paperback copies only and are non-retroactive, meaning the purchase receipt has to be from December 14, 2012 onward. 

So what are you waiting for, my little elves? Make somebody super happy this year by giving them a really fun book and a video of somebody they've never met making no sense whatsoever.

*Pending the Mayan apocalypse.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Hitting on" Tom Hardy

Fun fact! The stats section of Blogger reports that my extremely brief post on Tom Hardy (in which I quoted him saying strange yet accurate things about poodles) has gotten more than double the hits of my second-most popular post (on discontinuing my Facebook timeline). Go figure.

Anyway, thanks, Tom Hardy!

Also, sometimes I think Bane from The Dark Knight Rises is my spirit animal? In a non-creepy, non-terrorist, big-muscled, gypsy-accented kind of way.

Don't ask me to explain. Let's just go with it.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What do you blog about when you're afraid to blog?

I've had blogger's block. It's not an accident. There's a reason.

I'm afraid to tell the truth.

Five-Trick Pony, as a workspace, lives sort of separately from my author-space. Separate from the whole promoting-Unnaturally-Green-thing, from my Twitter, from my weird alias Facebook, it's a space that's a little more sequestered than it is in the spotlight. (I like to think, anyway.) It's also been a space for me to speak on a host of random things that have crossed my mind (manicures, sweat, and other riches).

For the most part, I've kept it light. Mostly.

And now? I'm afraid to go dark.

Hence blogger's block.

In prior writing, I've alluded to some crazy shit that's been going down in my life (sometimes more blatantly than others), and since then I've debated with myself over how much I should disclose to my readers and internet comrades -- even though said "crazy shit" is THE EVENT of my current life.

You know have you have eras? The era I dated so-and-so. The era I studied abroad. The era I tried to go vegetarian but then I realized I loved sausage too much. The past six months of my life could probably be termed "The Era of Shit."

Pardon my French.

In truth, one day doesn't go by that this THING doesn't affect me in one way or another. This needling dysfunction. This slow, steady decay of my "former life."

Sounds juicy, right?

So why do I resist the urge to write about it? If this is the thing that I'm most focused on, the thing that "needs my writing," so to speak, why am I afraid to go there?

Maybe it has to do with reputation. The tarnishing of the sort of happy-go-lucky, witty-to-my-core, sometimes-vulnerable, but always-resilient image I tried to create in Unnaturally Green and on these very e-pages. None of that was a lie. When I wrote my memoir, I wasn't even aware of it.  So I gave it my best shot. The light, without the dark.

There's also the reputation of the others involved. People who may or may not be reading this in the confines of their fortress because they're too afraid to come forward and face it -- not just me, but their demons. Honestly, I don't know why I'm protecting them. They may not even be reading this. Rumor has it they're not nearly as broken up about it as I am. They've been on vacations all over the world. They've feasted and celebrated and called upon an impressive array of pinch-hitter acquaintances. Maybe I'm protecting them because I once felt closeness to them. Maybe because I'm worried it will sink these folks further down their rabbit hole of dysfunction, into thinking they're completely and utterly right, and into thinking I'm so obstreperously and outrageously and gosh-darn crazily wrong! for speaking the truth.

Today, I woke up, did the usual, then read this post by Canadian blogger Schmutzie. She reminded me why it's so important to write and self-reflect, sometimes privately, sometimes publicly. And I was inspired.

The reasons to write about yourself are countless and varied. Writing helps to clarify, to investigate, to work through issues you can't work through by staying silent, to try to understand those life "characters" who truly baffle you.... To accumulate an audience of readers and listeners, so you, and they, don't feel so alone.

I'm not sure how or when I'll be able to write about everything so openly and honestly. The so-called Crazy Shit is a tricky topic because it involves a cast of characters, and a fraught dynamic, that is difficult to capture without my doing at least some finger-pointing. And I don't want it to be that, or to seem like the writing of a person determined to absolve herself.

But maybe that's what it has to be?

Whatever it is, it's my truth.

Hopefully one day I'll be able to tell it.