I’m a cat, but no one believes me [a guest post by my golden retriever]

Rosalie’s been unable to think of a blog post, so she’s recruited me to write one for her instead. I would be honored if I actually thought that anyone was reading this piece of crud blog, but no one wants to read the ramblings of a eighteen-going-on-nineteen angsty writer. I know this to be true since she inflicts her angst in soliloquy form on me at least daily.

 

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My name is Levi.

The truth is, I’m a cat, and no one believes me.

By birth, I’m a full-blooded golden retriever, and everyone expects me to be happy and gushy and drooly and lovey just like all the other idiot dogs. But I’m a cat. I don’t do happy. I don’t do gushy. I only sometimes do drooly. And without a doubt, I don’t love anyone.

(Except Mom. Sometimes I love Mom. And my rubber duckie. My rubber duckie’s pretty amazing, as far as that sort of thing goes.)

My fellow inmates—the German shepherds—wake at 4:00 every morning with their stupid bat ears up and rotating like they think they have some sort of sonar while they prance and dance. Indie’s not so bad. I would murder Bear, if I could.

The family makes me go outside when they first wake me up at 8:00 and then again sometime in the afternoon and then again before bed, even in the winter. I don’t know why they don’t just get me a litter box so that I never have to set paw outside again in my life. The German shepherds, of course, are fanatics about the out of doors and insist on being let out at least five times a day. If I lay still enough, I can pretend to still be asleep or blend in with the floor to avoid being made to go outside. The family sometimes makes me go outside anyway; they don’t love me.

The family itself is a trial.

They talk to me as if I would actually care to listen in that witless baby voice. They only feed me twice a day and inflict a wild-caught salmon food on me because they’re certain I have skin allergies that make all my hair fall out if I eat anything else. At first, I thought a simple hunger strike would break them of this foolish thinking, but after four days of refusing to eat, I nearly lost my sanity and realized that the bipeds are stupid or heartless or both.

As mentioned before, they force me outside when I don’t want to go outside. My ideal time for going out of doors is between In Your Dreams and Never. I have communicated this time and time again by employing the I-Hate-You Glare whenever they speak of the out of doors. Yet they make me go outside anyway.

When I’ve shoved a toy somewhere I can’t reach, I’m forced to bark for sometimes up to three minutes before one of the bipeds will haul their carcass over to fetch me my toy. And then they have the gall—THE GALL—to ask me to sit and take the toy gently.

And if I want to lick all the fur off my front legs, I sure as a rubber duckie better be allowed to lick myself bald.

My primary modes of expressing my displeasure to the family are: the Glare, the Side-long Glare, the I-Hate-You Glare, the I-Hate-You-ALL Glare, the Stupid Bipeds Glare, and the I-Refuse-To-Even-Look-At-You-Right-Now Glare.

The only blip of light in this wasteland is the other cat, the Grahamling, who I can occasionally interact with. However, the Grahamling is a barn cat, and thus, I must venture out of doors if I wish to see him.

Life as a cat trapped in the body of a golden retriever is difficult. I “fake it” for the visitors that come to the house because I hope they will rescue me from this intolerable existence, but, alas, they do not. I hope to one day soon escape and find a home where I will be treated like the cat I am.

If there is anyone reading this piece of crud blog, hear my plea.

With extreme moodiness,

Levi, the-golden-retriever-but-actually-I’m-a-cat


Well.

So that was Levi.  Thank you, Levi….?

Do you have any pets? Do they have any funky quirks?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – who here wants to bet that I couldn’t figure out what to blog about yesterday?

P.P.S. – I promise “serious” posts will return to Penprints sometime in the future. Or maybe they won’t, I just can’t say.

Future Stuffs

There’s a lot coming, things that have yet to happen. It’s called The Future (that’s for those of us who weren’t sure). More specifically, there’s a lot coming to Penprints because my life (yours, too) revolves around this blog.

So let’s dive into all the Future Stuffs. [gif warning]

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Blogiversary.

First of all, I just want to say up front that no one really knows how “blogiversary” is supposed to be spelled, and so don’t go messaging me to tell me that I mispelled it because there’s no right way.

You say: “Blogoversary”, someone else says: “Blogiversary”, and another person says something else altogether.

Well…

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How about we just call it a “blog anniversary” to make things simpler? Yeah, let’s do that. Anyhoo, Penprints is about to be four years old. And, yes, that means exactly what you think it means–I’ve been obsessing over this blog for four years now.

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they grow up so fast

Tempus fugit, kids.

Am I going to do an over-the-top celebration replete with hundreds of dollars worth of giveaways in honor of this blog’s anniversary? Erm, that would be a no. Sorry, kids. :( I thought about it, but the grand celebration will have to wait until Penprints is five.

BUT, that leads us to our next piece of The Future:

A New Design.

In years past, it has been my custom to rename this blog around the time of each anniversary, but I will be refraining from that this year (I sort of promised my dad–my most loyal follower–that I would stop renaming my blog whenever the urge struck). However, a new theme and updated header and color scheme and such are all in the works as we speak (er, uh, as I type and maybe as you read).

I don’t have an exact date on when the new design will go live, but it is somewhere in the Near Future. Thus, I am mentioning it in this post on The Future.

Newsletter.

That’s right, kids, I’ll be starting a newsletter. This is also a Near Future sort of thing. I’m considering kicking it off in June while beta readers destroy my novel. Now, that will have all sorts of swanky giveaways to lure you all to sign up, and it will have newsy-type stuffs. There’ll be pictures of Graham (obviously), little writing updates, reading updates, life stuffs, a quarterly giveaway, and such. Does that sound like fun? The correct answer is “yes”.

Also, I’m getting published.

No, my novel isn’t getting published (yet). If you follow any of my social medias, you already know that back in March (The Distant Past) I signed a contract with Splickety Publishing Group, and they will be featuring a flash fiction I wrote in their April issue of Havok.

Me externally:

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“Well, I’ve got a short story that’s getting published here in April, and so, yeah, I’m pretty excited.”

Me internally:

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“SLDJF :SLD:JF LJKFLKJSOEJISDLKF! I can’t breathe!”

This. is. actually. happening. For the first time, I’ve been paid to write (of course, all the money they paid me rolled right back into ordering way too many wait, there’s no such thing as too many when it comes to this extra copies). Please excuse me while I go faint somewhere (again).

This leads into the next Future Stuff item.

The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash.

As prep for submitting to Splickety, I bought and read a book called The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, and it has revolutionized the way I look at fiction as a whole and flash fiction in particular. I developed a great love for flash fiction, guys, and I want you, my readers, to love it as well.

So, I will be hosting a writing challenge later this month (that’d be the Near Future). Details will be released in a few weeks, but the idea is to get you writers writing a flash fiction and get flash fiction into the hands of you readers. I’ll share are the participation stuffs in the Very Near Future. I’m so jazzed.

My Novel.

I’ve begun edits on Beasts! And, as you may have noticed if you have eagle eyes, I mentioned beta readers in June (that was way back when we were chatting about a newsletter). Well, my edit has been rescheduled to July, and so I’m going to have time to give Beasts to some beta readers in couple months! So, if you’re interested in beta reading Beasts and your June looks fairly clear, comment below or message me, and I’ll add you to my list of potential betas. :)

In the meantime, I’ll be working through edits.

Let’s drop a futuristic bookend on this post on The Future.

What’s in The Future for you? Do you think you’ll participate in The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash? And what do you think about a newsletter? What Future Stuffs of your own are you excited about?

With love,

Rosalie <3

55 Things to do on a Rainy Day

In case you hadn’t gathered it from the title, this post is all about things to occupy your time on a rainy day. Now, the fact that I, a Wisconsinite, am creating such a list at the end of February is a sure sign that something has gone horribly wrong with winter (aka: it has rained far more than it has snowed this month). Seriously, go back to May, spring, I don’t want you here. So, without further angry mutterings, here are 55 things to do on a rainy day.

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Note: This post is set in the romantic world where none of us have jobs or school, so it’s pretty swanky.

  1. Light some candles (with matches).
  2. Sleep in.
  3. Wear sweat pants.
  4. Drink hot chocolate (with whipped cream).
  5. Walk around the house with a blanket draped over your shoulders like it’s a cloak.
  6. Listen to nostalgic music.
  7. Paint.
  8. Wish that it was snowing and not raining.
  9. Open a window and listen to the sound of the rain, and I mean really listen to it. The softness in a gentle drizzle and the cacophony of a downpour.
  10. Read aloud (to yourself or to a family member… or the goldfish).
  11. Snuggle with a pet (not the goldfish).
  12. Make a mind map.
  13. Make a new collection in your bullet journal.
  14. Write in your journal.
  15. Stand (or dance) in the rain without an umbrella and enjoy getting wet and cold and being alive.
  16. Read a book in one sitting.
  17. Read another book.
  18. Write a letter.
  19. Watch a documentary.
  20. Take a bath.
  21. Walk through the wet grass barefoot (you can take a classy umbrella this time and enjoy hearing the raindrops hit the canvas).
  22. Rearrange your bookshelves.
  23. Write a flash fiction.
  24. Call a friend—not text or email. Call. With a phone. And talk. Over the phone.
  25. Think weighty thoughts (very concise, this activity).
  26. Go through old family pictures
  27. Watch family videos.
  28. Clean something (so that you feel productive).
  29. Take a nap (because who really wants to be productive on a rainy day?).
  30. Try your hand at blackout poetry.
  31. Sneak around the house like you’re a secret agent (be sure to use hand signals and bird calls).
  32. Watch a movie that will make you cry (because crying = good somehow).
  33. Pull on the workout shorts, lace up the shoes, and do something that makes you sweat (I was going to do say something that’ll make you sore later, but I thought that might not spur many people on to exercise…).
  34. Set out a container to collect some rainwater. You’ll want something with as wide a mouth as possible so that you can collect as much water as possible.
  35. Grab a shoe, some armor, and a flame thrower and go hunt your household spiders.
  36. Make your day a musical and sing while performing random tasks.
  37. Try some stretches.
  38. Go through your closet and take out the clothes you don’t like much anymore.
  39. Put your jammies on at 3 in the afternoon.
  40. Send a surprise care package to someone.
  41. Give your mailperson some coffee and chocolate.
  42. Find out which Meyer-Briggs type you are.
  43. Cross stitch a constellation.
  44. Make a teacup garden.
  45. Or make teacup candles.
  46. String up white Christmas lights in your room.
  47. Go for a drive.
  48. Have your cat knight you and then make a grand speech about it (this one’s a must).
  49. Talk to God, and I mean talk to Him, not at Him. Don’t just ask for things, tell Him why you love Him and why you’re thankful for rainy days and time to think and time to reflect on Him. Ask Him questions and then be quiet and listen for His answers. If you get silence, open your Bible and see if He answers you there.
  50. Eat peanut butter by the spoonful.
  51. Reorganize your room (and maybe even declutter a little *gasp*).
  52. Learn how to play a new song.
  53. Do a puzzle.
  54. Dress to the nines and go to WalMart.
  55. Bake something mouthwatering.

And that’s all I got for today, kids.

What do you like to do on a rainy day? Will you take any of my (clearly fantastic) ideas? Do you like rain, or would you prefer snow?

~ Rosalie out <3

P.S. – today is my dad’s birthday! So, a shout out to him because he reads every single one of my blog posts to the bitter end and is a huge encouragement to me. :)

Ready: a Sunday story

Typically, I wake like a dragon, slowly and with much groaning and growling and stretching. I mumble hate at my alarm clock; it offends my existence. At some point, I emerge from my pile of blankets and bliss, almost able to form a coherent sentence (but most likely not quite).

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Oh, and look. I’m already running late.

So I’m off to the shower, grouchy if one of my parents has beaten me to our one bathroom (they usually do since they both wake like birds—early, quickly, and far too cheerfully). So then it’s back to my room to dig through the closet to pick out my clothes.

Wore that shirt last week.

I don’t even like that skirt.

Would it be bad to wear all black?

I wonder if I could wear a scarf with that.

These clothes are my favorite clothes. Bright colors. Ruffles. Flowy skirts. Boots and heels. Oh, and some even sparkle.

And I’m getting later by the second. I rip things off their hangers and out of their drawers before practically falling downstairs. It’s a quick shower, filled with mutterings, mental lists of all the things I have to do, and loud singing at random intervals. I only drop the soap on my toes twice before I’m out and wrapping my hair in a thick towel.

Fifteen minutes and counting before I’m supposed to be out the door. Two minutes for throwing some clothes on; five for some quick makeup; nine for looking for my black flats (I’ll probably end up in the nude heels again at this rate); three for dragging a brush through my wet tangles.

And there it is. I’m late. Again. As always.

So then I’m tripping out the door, remembering the notebook, pens, and Bible but probably forgetting something else. Hopefully, my earrings match, but let’s be real here, they probably don’t. My stomach and I grumble because we really wanted that marshmallow cereal for breakfast.

It’s a hasty drive and crooked parking job, but I don’t have time to fix it. Tumble out of the car. Hustle across the parking lot. Straighten skirt. My heels click scuff click on the blacktop as I scurry to the nearest entrance. When I finally plop down at a table, I finally slow down a little;, it’s a good class. I take notes and try to answer questions, relishing the learning, enjoying the existence of my classmates and my teacher, this group of us who come together every week at 9:00 am.  The class lets out ten minutes to 10:00 am, and my fellow students and I scatter, each ticking off all we have to do and all the people we need to talk to before the next hour begins.

It isn’t until I’m sliding into a pew with my parents and sister while we’re told to turn to Hymn #11 that I pause. I’ve known what this day is all about since before I woke. I’ve known what Sunday is about for as long as I can remember. Yet, we haven’t spoken at all today. Well, He might have said a few things, but I was too distracted to hear. And there’s this sudden sense that despite my favorite clothes and hymnal in hand, I am not ready to be in this place of worship. The tang of the organ and the smooth voice of my pastor fall into the background as I sigh.

Somehow, somewhere along the line, I’ve bought into the idea that getting ready for church is only about putting on nice clothes, bringing my Bible, and being on time. In all my angst, I never put thought into what I was doing to ready my soul.

This is the story of most of my Sundays.

The realization hits me at different times. Sometimes it’s as early as the shower. Sometimes it’s in Sunday school. Sometimes it’s during announcements while I’m flipping through my bulletin. It’s always the same, somewhat sinking, sense of regret and distance, and I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want to prepare for a social engagement; I want to get ready to worship.

So that’s all I got today, kids.

I hope you wonderful peeps don’t mind this post; it’s just been on my mind a lot for the last few months, and so I thought I’d share it. What about you? What does your Sunday morning look like? Church? No church? Nice clothes or sweatpants?

 ~ Rosalie out.

About Me

I just realized that you wonderful people know almost next to nothing about me except that I love my run-on sentences and peanut butter (wait, did you guys even know that I love peanut butter?).

Hence, this page.

It’s an about me page for those of you who don’t know me (then there are those of you who do know me and read my blog. People who know me from, say, my church, catch me off-guard whenever they something remotely related to my blog; it’s like I don’t think they should know it exists or something. EXAMPLE—Me: “…and I’m also doing some rewrites in one of my novels.” Friend: “You mean Beasts?” Me: “What. How do you know that name?” Friend: “You mentioned it on your blog.” Me:

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translation: strong, startled, and perhaps even disturbed reaction

*cough cough* Anyhoo. Now that I have that overly long intro to this post out of the way, let’s get this show on the road.

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Let’s see, where to start (prepare for some random facts).

I’m the youngest of four (I have an older sister and two older brothers). I graduated from high school last May and am currently taking a gap year to write, save up some money, and figure out how I’m going to spend the rest of my life.

I reside in the wilds of Wisconsin where I spend my days obsessing over this blog (obviously), singing loudly, hanging out with my older sister (also known as the age old, younger sibling duty called “pestering”), listening to NeedtoBreathe, nannying two adorable kids, reading not nearly as many books as I would like, lighting matches, dreaming of novels I haven’t written yet, and chilling with my wonderful parentals (that’s kid lingo for parents in case you didn’t know).

I’m an INFP (introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving; go to this website if you don’t know your MBTI). I’m also a Hufflepuff (which basically means I’m a loyal marshmallow. Though, full disclosure, I have yet to read the Harry Potter series; it’s on the list for this year.).

My favorite books of the Bible are Romans and Psalms.

I picked up bullet journaling recently (translation: last week), and I’m loving it. I’m a chaotic person. Procrastination is my middle name, and I find myself saying “I forgot” too many times a day. Theoretically, bullet journaling will help with all that jazz.

I play piano and ukulele. For better or worse (probably worse), I also enjoy singing. Very loudly. At random intervals. Sometimes on key and sometimes not.

We have three dogs: Levi the golden retriever, Indie the German shepherd, and Bear the German shepherd (aka: Wolfdog). We’ve had Levi and Indie since they were puppies, but we got Bear a little over a year ago when he was three. Bear is bipolar, and Levi struggles with depression and anxiety (you think I’m kidding; I’m not). Indie’s the only normal one in the bunch.

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Levi is beyond cute.

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And Indie is also wildly adorable.

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And then there’s Bear who often looks like he needs to be squeezed.

I also have a barn cat named Graham (aka: the Grahamling or My Precious). He’s adorable and amazing and he knows it (ugh, he can be such a cat sometimes). If I could have my way, he would come live with me inside, but my dad is very allergic to My Precious. So he stays in our barn with the goats, chickens, and turkeys (the Grahamling, not my dad).

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Behold, the Grahamling; he can be such a sassy baby.

Fire is my friend. I have quite the stash of matches squirrelled away in my study. I also have an impressive store of candles (tapers and votives as well as a few pillars). I like starting fires (not like arson, peeps; I’m not that crazy. I like to start fires in fireplaces… or the backyard).

Peanut butter is the glue that holds my life together. That and Subway. I’ll probably meet my husband at Subway.

I love winter and (strongly) dislike summer. I’m a hot chocolate or tea person rather than coffee, usually.

Three things that I abhor are: sloths, small talk, and insincerity.

Three things that make me happy are: handwritten notes, peanut butter, and morning light.

Well, peeps, that’s about all the almost relevant info about me that I can think of. What about you? What’s your life like? Do you have siblings? What are three things that you abhor? What are three things that make you happy?

P.S. – Does anybody else find it a little funny that I have pics of all the pets but none of my family? It shows where my #priorities are, I guess. ;)