twitterdudesThe internet is a strange strange thing. Social media makes it even stranger. You can plan and plot how to expose something new and get no buzz. You can ask a question you really want to know the answer to and get nothing. And then you can say something completely random and your feed explodes. Makes. No. Sense.

So welcome to No Sense Thursday.

Today’s question: what makes your feed trend? What bizarre thing can you discuss, question, or otherwise mention that gets the most feedback, responses and attention? Because it isn’t what you want it to be. I’ve been watching everyone’s feed and have learned, it rarely is. Examples you say? Why certainly… (and yes, please, feel free to follow anyone I may mention in this particular blog)

My personal favorite for the week — saw this the other day, and it sums this up perfectly.  @steveniles (Steve Niles) summed it up well with “I say ‘good morning’ and lose three followers. I’ll try ‘fuck you’ tomorrow and see what happens.”

@marysangiovanni (Mary SanGiovanni) twittered a cthulu emoticon /\(;,,;)/\ and it was the number one most re-tweeted thing she’s ever posted. Also popular are her tweets regarding cannibalism and NJ traffic… she writes books she’d like you care about too =)

@natesouthard (Nate Southard) has random squawks of pointless rage get the most response. He’s declared this is either a terrible commentary on the population or the golden secret of working in the horror small press—take your pick.

@Nukegumby (Michael Huyck) has a wide range of popular tweets, from funny to sarcastic to accidentally motivational. Yes, accidentally motivational. No rhyme. No reason.

@bobford (Robert Ford) can say something truly horrific about midgets and gains followers—if I said the same thing I would not only lose followers, I would get hate mail (justifiably so). He proclaims hatred of all things Michigan while driving through there and gains followers. I say it’s cold and lose 10.

@DaveThomas76 (Dave Thomas) past a lot of things, but if it’s about booze (aka: “Is it too early to drink scotch?” or “Martinis: so much more than a breakfast drink”), people always seem to chime right in. He wonders if his followers are functioning alkies too =)

me @kelli_owen ? Yeah… I post comments about the dayjob, my books, crazy news tidbits… mostly to my following of loyal crickets. But the moment I say anything remotely lesbian or sexual in general, especially to one of my female friends, I’ve got everyone’s attention.

It’s strange. What will grab someone’s attention is so bizarre. Anger, humor, cruelty — very popular. So, the question is… What strange non-important topic do YOU twitter about that makes your feed explode? As an experiment, feel free to answer here, but also and more importantly, answer in twitter by posting a link to this (or just retweet the tweet that got you here) and hashtag your answer in the tweet if possible. It will be like a meme and a hashtag had an illegitimate lovechild…  (feel free to copy and paste this and fill in the blank)

RT: @kelli_owen Fun Blog: #trending http://wp.me/p2tbLH-X5  answer: #_______



Broken Promises

borrowed from http://thinksbooks.blogspot.com/The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep.
~ Robert Frost

What is New Year’s Eve? Easy. We drink, we laugh, we tell stories while we reminisce about the year (whether good or bad), and we make promises to do this or change that in the coming year.

Ahhh, the New Year’s Resolution.

We often make these promises out loud and in front of friends, but they’re really supposed to be promises to ourselves. Whether or not we mean them. Whether or not we are only playing along with the social experiment that is nothing more than a grand gesture of superficial self-evaluation. Whether or not it’s peer pressure, or some other misguided reason to change for some benefit that is less than pure and far from true. We make promises on New Year’s Eve… by the millions. Some make one. Some make lists worth.

But, like all promises made for the wrong reasons, in the heat of the moment, under pressure, or uttered out loud to give it some sort of physicality, reality, or validity, we break them. Of course, promises get broken all the time. Every day. By strangers and loved ones alike. Some of them hurt others, some of them hurt ourselves, and some of them do no damage at all—as they were inconsequential or never believed to be real in the first place. Unfortunately, the risk of the cumulative effect of those broken promises over a lifetime is that eventually you believe nothing.

The most famous broken promises made through the fog of champagne and silly hats? Start exercising, stop smoking, etc. Quit this or start that. Blah blah. Think back, I imagine at some point in your life you’ve muttered the words yourself. I have.

This year, I promise something different. I promise nothing… and everything. Nothing, because I have had enough of broken promises. Because I’m about one step away from that jaded soul that believes nothing even when they can see it, taste it, and touch it. And I promise everything because I want to experience life, rather than just survive it. I want to absorb what I can from this crappy world and see if I can’t still find the happiness in the mud puddles of bullshit that seem to be scattered everywhere in the parking lot of my metaphorical life. 2013 started shitty and ended in the same exact place. Nothing changed. Not one damned thing. Time to BE the change…

Have a safe New Year’s Eve, everyone. See ya on the flip side!

*image borrowed from thinks books

Dear Santa

11-29_christmas_mailbox_t670The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
~by Clement Clarke Moore (1799 – 1863)

“If you don’t believe you don’t get anything” That’s my mother’s rule, and it became my rule for my own children. Well, I had a couple rules actually: 1. believe 2. write a letter 3. give 10 toys to the children’s ward (you got so you give) 4. don’t ask for anything that has a commercial on repeat—be yourself & want your own things, rather than what they want you to want. Simple rules really. But that first one? The second? Those were the winners growing up, and no matter how old I get, I follow the rules.

I’ve been writing letters to Santa since I could hold a crayon. At some point, I stopped putting them on the fridge or giving them to mom, but I have continued, for decades, to address the north pole with my yearly plea for approval, reward for good behavior, and that one thing I just have to have.

I’ve been thinking about those letters a lot since I put mine for this year into the mailbox a couple weeks ago. I remember the smell of the kitchen the year I knelt by the stockings and wrote the letter to Santa when we lived in the house now torn down. I remember the wind howling outside as I wrote the letter the following year. And I remember that I asked for the same thing both years but didn’t get it. I remember being disappointed, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was I had asked for.

I’ve always asked for strange things. I blame Miracle of 34th Street. I rarely asked for something that could be purchased. I tend to ask for things only the universe, or Santa, could provide. Something magical, rather than something to send my mom into a rush of humans all being helped by an angry minimum wage worker who really just wants to get their own shopping done. One year I asked for world peace and a million dollars. Unfortunately, I was grown and gone and said this request over the phone rather than sending mom a letter—allowing her to hear the words rather than read them. And well, she’s my mom. Ever wonder why I’m weird? Blame her… I got this in the mail:


Yeah, she’s real funny…

I remember a lot of presents I’ve gotten over the years. I remember a lot of wishes and wants and requests. And while I still cannot remember what that was I asked for repeatedly so long ago, I know what I asked for this year. Another repeat request. Third year running, actually. Let’s see if I can get that Miracle of 34th Street response…

Dear Santa,

I’ve eaten all my vegetables and even re-tested some I previously shunned. I have been kind when I really didn’t want to, because my name is Kelli not Karma, and I know better than to try and do her job for her. I have tried really hard to shut my mouth and listen to others. You know what I want. And I believe in your abilities to come through…

~ Silly little gypsy girl

My mom believes. My siblings and kids believe (rules is rules). Heck, Audrey Hepburn believed in a lot of things (“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”)—I can only assume Santa was also on her list. Do you believe? And if so, what did you ask Santa for? Do you remember what you asked for as a child?

May you all get your Christmas wishes… Merry Christmas, everyone!

Lost and Found

youarehereNot until we are lost
do we begin to understand ourselves.

—Henry David Thoreau

Did you miss me? I did…

I went on an adventure last month. And by adventure, I mean I ran away from home—with no idea where I was going. I drove toward the ocean, found a nice, quiet small town, and set up camp on the beach for 36 hours. Siri was confused (see image). I wasn’t really in the middle of the ocean, but I was as close to that as I could get. And that’s what I wanted.

You see, the water is a happy zen for me. I don’t just play in the puddles for fun, I seek solace in the ripples, waves, and eddies of any and all bodies of water, big or small. It brings me peace. It clears my mind. And my mind was a hot mess. So I dropped down onto the sand and stared at the ocean. I expected to find peace. I expected my insides to calm down. I did not expect to get bitch-slapped by the very water I love so much.

I had a plan. Go to beach, talk to water, fix my state of mind. Instead, it went more like this: go to beach, open mouth to talk to water, have water grow a psychic arm, reach out, smack the crap out of me, and leave me dazed for a bit on the sand wondering what just happened. No, I wasn’t overpowered by a wave. I was overpowered by every moment in my entire life when I’d sought solace at the water. I was knocked around the psychic surf of years worth of falling victim to the circumstances when the spirit isn’t strong enough to hold up against the weight of it all.

I was reminded who I am and how I got here. I remembered and worked through the details of everything that either tried to change me or succeeded along the way—and acknowledged change is sometimes good. I was reminded of both my insignificance and greatness. I was slapped with the knowledge and reality of my own strengths and weaknesses. And I was forced to accept my good and bad qualities for what they are, who they make me, and what that means.

When I got there, the cacophony in my head covered the ocean sounds I love so much. When I left, I heard only the surf and birds and wind. I remembered my plan, put my feet back on path, and spent the next several weeks just trying to clear my head of the crap and cobwebs. Just like I’m going to clean the cobwebs out of this blog, my to-do list, my WIP folder, and my life. Time may heal all wounds, but water is my magical Neosporin and helps the healing. I’m not healed. Not by a longshot. But I’m clearer. I’m stronger. I’m even a little more (ok, a lot more) inked, with meaning and purpose, than I was before. I may have lost myself for a while in the mire of an imaginative mind and damaged soul, but I found myself at the ocean. And I’m back.

Now then, I have a novelette to finish…

Just No

anti-bucketThis is not a bucket list. Oh, I have one of those. I believe I’ve even given you a peek into it at some point. There’s lot of fun things in there, and I will absolutely do every single one of them. But these items? No, just no. This is not that. This is the anti-bucket list. This is the list of things that I will never do. Not willingly. Not consciously. Not ever.

1. Jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Parachutes are only for emergencies, and even then I may need convincing.

2. Tie a giant rubber band to my ankle and leap from anything taller than a chair. Um, no. The idea of the ground rushing up to meet my face and just when I’m certain I’m going to die by pushing my teeth through my skull and crushing every bone in my body I spring back into the air and do it again? I’ll pass.

3. Swim with sharks. Not going to happen. No suit. No cage. No way. I saw that movie, it didn’t end well. And those cages? That’s just a happy meal box to them and I’m no french fry!

4. Rock climbing. I don’t mean a boulder at the beach. I mean a freaking mountain and me hanging off the sheer side of it with nothing but a rope and little metal hook in a nook to hold me there. The opening of Mission Impossible? Not unless I get to do it like he did… on a sound stage with a blue screen.

5. Vacation somewhere cold. Yes, I’ve been to 48 of the 50 states. Yes, I’ll go to 49 eventually. But that 50th? Forget it. Don’t need it. I grew up where it’s actually colder than parts of Alaska but I’m not interested in seeing the parts that are just barely warmer. The ratio of men to women is insane you say? Nope, still not interested. There are a million beaches to choose from, why the hell would I chose snowshoes when I can be barefoot in the sand?

I bet you have a list like this, as well. You may not think of it on a regular basis, but it’s there. Perhaps you’re only reminded of it when you see someone doing one of them and think, “oh that’s nice not ever gonna happen!” (Much like the moment which spurred this blog post.) So, play along why don’t you? I’ve been off the grid for a while. I’m not necessarily back—tax season, too many writing deadlines, and well, do I need other reasons with those two? So please… feel free to play along and tell me what’s on your anti-bucket list!

X marks the spot

2013Many people look forward to the new year
for a new start on old habits.
~Author Unknown

We mark time in so many ways. From the tiny seconds that seem to crawl while you’re waiting for that first kiss to the years that are gone in a blink as your children grow up. We mark a year’s passing by both an individual birthday and a collective New Year. And we often take time on any one of those calendar markers to assess what we’ve done, who we are, or where we’re going.

I’m a different person this morning. Not because it’s 2013, but because it’s today. Every decision I made yesterday led to the way I started today. And today’s will lead to tomorrow, then next week, and before you know it, there will be pledges of this or that as 2014 creeps up on the clock. So rather than a grand sweeping of self-imposed promises to either change a bad habit or create a new one, I think I’ll just live for today, and work my way toward tomorrow. No resolutions, just plans—made of goals, desires and dreams.

In the past couple years I’ve gone through some insane changes. I’ve lost myself in the fight for some. I’ve found missing pieces in the silence left by others. But I’ve learned one thing over and over again: I don’t ever want to stop learning, growing or changing. I don’t ever want my mind to become stagnant or my heart to be jejune. I want to be passionate about everything, learn new things that intrigue or scare me, push my own limits, and reward myself with beauty and grace.

What’s on the 2013 adventure map? There are lots of things among the many dotted lines that lead to the giant X marking the treasure of time. I’m going to play catch-up on my body art and get those tattoos. I want to see at least two things in the world I haven’t yet, Aruba here I come! Since Christmas (thank you, Santa) I’ve started to explore understanding and reading runes, so I can learn how to toss the bones. A belly dancing class, maybe a new language, and so much more.

And I have four novellas and two novels slated for this year, one of which is due very soon. So I’m going to stop talking about 2013 and go live it now. To the fullest. Everyday. Cue the playlist…

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A Halfway to Halloween Festival
April 27, 2019
2pm - 8pm
Ashland, VA

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October 12, 2019