Six Terrifying Things I’ll Try in 2016

After reaching a certain milestone birthday, I decided to start giving myself a present. This present went beyond new yarn that may never unravel from its skein, or boots that I may only wear a handful of times before donating to charity.

One year I decided to be less judgmental. Another year I decided to focus on avoiding gossip. As I get a handle on one thing, I add something else. I never master it completely, because all humans are imperfect, created with an array of flaws which makes them susceptible to free will. I can keep trying, and for the most part I do.

For 2016 I decided I would take on six things that terrify me. (If I’m being perfectly honest, the thought of making this list alone takes me to the outskirts of Anxiety Attack Land.)

  1. Use a chop saw (aka miter saw).
  2. Cook without setting anything on fire.
  3. Attend Bouchercon 2016 in New Orleans.
  4. Read something I wrote to a crowd.
  5. Write and mail a query letter to an agent.
  6. Set up the Amazon store for our family’s business, Hammerhead Woodcrafts.

Some of these might not seem that scary on the surface. Consider however that with each birthday that creeps up on me, I experience a little more social anxiety. Things that never bothered me before are suddenly problems of epic proportion.

Speaking of terrifying…let me introduce you to my favorite Doctor Who villain, the weeping angels.

What terrifies you? Will you challenge yourself to try something terrifying in 2016? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.

Peter Capaldi and Note Taking Tips for Writers

Last week I had the good fortune to attend the Doctor Who in 3D event, which featured the two-hour season finale from season eight, a preview of season nine, and Wil Wheaton’s interview with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, aka Doctor Who and Clara, respectively.

During the interview my friend and fellow writer MK, from Project Ehmkay Ultra, was amused when I pulled out my trusty notebook and pen and started taking notes. She warned me that the best things from the interview would stay with me without taking notes, a tip she picked up from Stephen King.

At the time, I mentally argued that I’m ADD and would never remember these notes without writing them down. As it turns out, I should have at least looked at my notes when I got home – or better yet, written this blog post, because looking at my notes now…I have no idea what some of this means. For example:

  1. Any abstraction of the human form is quite spooky.
  2. Clara says I have attention deficit something-or-another.
  3. Loss changes your perspective after you have nothing to lose.
  4. You have to be committed without shutting out anyone else’s ideas because their ideas might be better than yours.
Out of all of those ideas, only one makes sense – and I’ve never even met Clara! And as it turns out, I only have one note taking tip which is as soon as possible after jotting down the notes, sit down at your laptop or wherever and expand on them so you know why the heck you wrote the notes in the first place.
In the meantime, here’s the Doctor Who Season 9 trailer. Are you a Whovian? Who’s your favorite doctor or companion? Let’s talk about it in the comments!