Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Writing in Cincy: What About You?

Hello, all! Just a quick note to say I've been writing elsewhere lately. If you're interested in what I've been tapping out on the keyboard these days, you can visit me over here.

Please leave a comment telling me what you've been up to, and where I can find you. I'd love to hear about new books and adventures and blog posts and such. Please leave me some links to your current endeavors, so I can stalk your pages. Okay, that sounded creepy, but you know what I mean.

I'll leave you with a few pics of my new stomping grounds. Still can't believe I'm living less than five minutes from downtown Cincy. I'm loving it here, and I'm thankful for new opportunities for the whole family.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

#riskrejection: misery

This girl has got everyone talking.

A lot.

People are jumping and puking and letting go, and it's kind of awesome.

What's all the fuss about?


We're risking rejection.

Small, medium, and large risks are all acceptable. It's not about the what. It's about the jump.

Before I could fully participate in the original Risk Rejection group, we moved. And it was a big deal.

In a matter of weeks we went from Knoxville to Cincinnati (for a new job opportunity for the husband), and my head was spinning. Now that I'm settling in, I'm ready to jump.

First, I'm waiting on an initial edit for a fiction book I've been nursing for over five years. It will help me know if I need to throw it out or soldier on. I'm ready to hear the truth.

Next, I'm throwing some poetry your way, which tends to make me feel like that strange kid who hangs out in dark corners watching everyone else.

In my worst moments, I feel like people are confused by me or laughing at me or pitying me or . . . okay neurotic episode over. I'm throwing a poem out there, peoples, because it's been too long, and I can't seem to stop writing them. Be gentle, and give the creepy girl in the corner a smile.


if words could flatten out - like fondant -
brick walls built high, high, 
then maybe tragedy could be beautiful

Instead words splatter flat 
old, gooey paint made thin 
by too much water -
diluted, muted beyond recognition)

So fleshy knees fall to concrete while bleeding fingertips scrape
- to save - 
disappearing announcements, denouncements, renouncements
liquid verbiage seeps too fast into crevices deep
replete with tiny canyons holding captive every point kept, unkept
made, unmade like a crumpled, rumpled bed of indecision 
for a tidy hand to tame the mess
that only repeats, repeats, 

I rush to glove blood-stained hands,
party dress over torn slip to participate in the 
because my card is somehow still full

With every twirl of cotton-candied crinoline,
I pretend
our rending of each other is 
for entertainment purposes only

And after midnight, I'll return to touch tongue to sandpaper stones
lick words, ingest them, try to digest them
if misery is the only 
acceptable friend

Monday, December 16, 2013

when there's no tide in your yule

 So this is Christmas.

While many people feel rosy-cheeked and bright-eyed as they hustle and bustle while whistling Silver Bells, others hang on tight until the festivities pass.

If you're white-knuckling your way through the parties and yuletide (for whatever reason), be encouraged today.

Remember . . .

You matter
no matter what you've done 
what's been done to you.

You are beautiful
no matter what size you've blacked out on your jeans
what you see when you look in the mirror.

You have worth
whether you're ill in body or mind, 
whether you're able to contribute a little or a lot.

Your dreams are possible
no matter how many No's you've heard along the way
how invisible you feel.

To the sad and lonely, the hurting and depressed, the broken and defeated:

There is hope,


you are loved.

Whether you know it or believe it,

you matter, my friend.

You matter.

By Jonah McClure

May peace and hope surround you this day and in the coming days. Reach out if you need help. 

There is always someone waiting to be what you need.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

trance-y dances

Icy pellets of indifference splatter painted faces.
and a pretty face shows us all the way
to narcissism - i mean vanity or flattery or
what did the fox say?

My fingers twitch to type truth
to tap out more than stunted syllables
lacking focus, force, finesse?

Aggression isn't endearing, is it?
no, no, no ma'am
can you add a little sugar?
moralism always wants to win over grace
replace every ounce of empathy
with endurance
ah, the trance-y dance of zero chance is risky on its own, no?
(domo arigato, mr. roboto)

I want to feel, you know,
more than weather patterns and
i want to think in more than disjointed catchphrases
because life is more than
tweets and
sheets of sweet glaze standing between
you and me
and all that really matters

Cuz when the end comes
(or did it pass us by?)
i want to know, know, know,
you know?

More than whispers dropped carelessly 
or shadows chased aimlessly 

I need to

No, know, no.

Super excited to link up with dVerse today for some poetry fun. Have some poetry of your own? Bring it with you and stop by. You won't regret it. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

5 free ways to make the one you love smile today

Sometimes we get so busy and tired and distracted that we don't do the little things we should to make the one we love smile. Well, today's the day, people. Let's do a bunch of little somethings for each other before the clock strikes midnight.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Profess your love on the bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. No markers? No worries. Use lipstick or eyeliner. Instant smile for your love.

2. Send a song. Use that smartphone for good, and send a YouTube video. Pick a good one, and click it on over to your love. If you don't have a smartphone, find a computer. Need some suggestions?

I Will Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

The Nearness of You by Norah Jones

Runaways by The Killers

I Concentrate on You by Frank Sinatra

Wait by Alexi Murdoch

There are a gazillion more great love songs. Let Google be your friend here.

3. Initiate. Be the one to touch first or kiss first or you know . . . do "stuff" first.

4. Send a text and put some thought into it. Don't just say I love you. Text a memory or an inside joke or something only the two of you share.

5. Go for a walk and talk about anything other than the stress of your day. If it's at night, you get bonus points for stargazing together.

Freebie Idea: Dance together in the kitchen while you wait for dinner to finish cooking. If you don't cook, just make the time to grab your love and dance. If you happen to be a horrible dancer like me, it doesn't matter. It's the fun we're after here.

At least one of these should inspire you to do something to make the one you love smile today. Got any ideas of your own? Do tell.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

the mccluggers are back

Well, hello there! How have you been? It's only been about six or seven months since I've visited this white space *insert the sound of crickets chirping*. Time goes quickly. What I thought would be a week or two turned into a much longer mental health break.

I don't know how you guys keep going. You must have some sort of crazy resolve or secret source of energy I don't know about (do tell!). I admire those of you who keep at this day in and out without a break. You're amazing. Maybe when I grow up, I'll be just like you. For now, I'm just proud to be jumping back into the water.

Without further ado, I give you a brief Lori & Steven (our stori) video.

Have you seen Steven (and Jonah's) new project? It's called Don't Trust This Man. I married a smartie, so go check out his YouTube channel. Subscribe if you like it. Maybe even ask a question. He'll answer it. He will.

Here's one of my favorites:

More news will come as we have it. Until then, I'll see you in a few days, not months. You'll notice quite a bit of re-organization in the days ahead. We're getting our stuff together finally. Well, that's the hope.

You people are awesome and patient and I've missed you. Thanks for stopping by.

I look forward to reconnecting.

Tell me what you've been up to out here in your little section of the Wild West (i.e. The Internet). I'd love to hear all about it!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

you're right, mr. keillor. you're right.

Recently, I read an article by Garrison Keillor entitled, When everyone's a writer, no one is. I love Mr. Keillor. My mother used to listen to him when I was little, so that means I listened to him when I was little. He is funny and smart and his voice is comforting. Well, I read this article by him the other day. You can read it here. The article takes a hard look at the writing world layering today's reality with yesterday's nostalgia. After I read it, I was kind of sad and inspired all at once.

You see, before I could even read, I loved words. I pored over books and magazines longing to unlock the mystery of letters. And, after I learned to form those letters into words, the world opened, and books and pen and paper became friends. I scribbled down stories. I labored over words. I dreamed of one day writing a book, pictured my name on the binding. I read and watched Little Women and felt Jo was me -- apart from the whole time period thing. Point is, I wanted to be a writer.

Now, times are different. So different. Writing is not mysterious anymore. I'm not anti-self publishing, but I will say this new world of harem-scarum writing is kind of scary. I haven't been doing the social media thing lately because, if I'm being honest, the peddling gets old. Everyone's selling something even if it's their own image, and it wears me down.

In this brave new world, anyone can hit publish and be a self-crowned author, and it's odd really. Strange Harold down the block can publish a manifesto on why he thinks peanuts are evil and BAM! An author is born. I won't pretend there aren't fantastic self-published authors out there. And I do think the good will rise to the top regardless of publishing origin, but this new world has taken the allure out of writing for me.

I read Garrison Keillor's words:

Children, I am an author who used to type a book manuscript on a manual typewriter. Yes, I did. And mailed it to a New York publisher in a big manila envelope with actual postage stamps on it. And kept a carbon copy for myself. I waited for a month or so and then got an acceptance letter in the mail. It was typed on paper. They offered to pay me a large sum of money. I read it over and over and ran up and down the rows of corn whooping. It was beautiful, the Old Era. I'm sorry you missed it.

Then, I realize, I've got to get back to that place, the one where words matter more than images and tweets and status updates. I have to hide away when necessary to preserve the energy I do have so it can be spent on writing that matters to me, on writing that will matter to more than those who will scratch my back only if I scratch theirs. Yes, I'm going back to the words, people, and my unadulterated love of them. I'm hoping some of you out there might be willing to join me.

Does the new writing world inspire you, or do you find yourself wishing for a manual typewriter tucked in a cabin somewhere far, far away?