Monday, July 14, 2014

The Virtual Blog Tour: Visiting DeBie Hive

I was tagged to participate in this little fantasy trip by the lovely and talented Lillian at It's A Dome Life. She is truly a breath of fresh air in this world and I just adore her. She is easily one of the most gifted artists I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Her work spans so many different media and subjects that you really just have to go check it out for yourself.

One of my favorite series she has done were the 30 days of dogs, where she painted dogs of different breeds, many of them dogs that belong to people she knows in real life (or in this virtual one where she and I dwell most of the time and get distracted by shiny things together and lean on each other quite a bit...)

She fairly recently began experimenting with alcohol ink glass art and the results have been so far beyond breathtaking. She was gracious enough to offer up some of her one of a kind works for a photo contest I recently hosted.

Please check out her Etsy shop. You will not be disappointed.

She isn't just an artist, she writes as well and chronicles life as she sees it living under an actual dome. Sharing her journey are her husband and daughter, Tiny Small. Tiny Small will make you fall in love with her for so many reasons and I promise, promise, promise that you'll believe in fairies again once she comes into your life.

This tour project is a hand off from one blogger to another, where we share a bit about who we are, how and why we write. It appears to be my turn, so off we go.

1. What am I working on?

I am a chronic overcommitter (I'm not even sure that is a word, but it should be just for the simple fact that it is so accurately descriptive of me.)

I have my own blog here, where I run a few weekly theme posts and several other occasional series. On Tuesdays, almost every week, I write about the Things That Piss Me Off. Depending on how the news for the prior week has gone and how the week has played out here in the Hive, I may have a very long list or a very short one. I am running the Summer School of Rock currently right now as well, where I aim to feature one band or artist each week. That project began several years ago now when I realized that the only way my guitar-playing-music-loving son was really going to learn about rock history was for me to teach him. I've profiled over 30 bands now and have a feeling this project will never be completely done because music is constantly evolving.

I have other series that I write on from time to time, or plan to get back to, including the Wonder(ful) Women series. I analyze quotes at times, I just finished up the 4th annual 30 Day Photography Challenge, and I occasionally write about something from the nerdiverse for Thursday Nerdsday.

In between all that, I write about literally anything else that comes to mind. I try to write fairly often about diabetes and mental illness, as they are both things that impact my life on a daily basis. I write about a lot of current events, but not so much about celebrities.

I am a feature writer at Lefty Pop. Our tagline is that we are suckers for politics and pop culture, and it's true. I'm the resident legal expert over there and spent most of the past few weeks analyzing the Supreme Court decisions. Currently I run pieces on Tuesday and Wednesday, though that schedule changes from time to time.

I am also trying to find time to work on the books I am writing, though it's been a challenge this summer with my herd of children home. Ages 5-13, we've already dealt with a concussion this summer and a brand new set of braces. My youngest is a full time job, stuck in this pre-type 1 diabetic limbo.

I'm also cooking up number five, nicknamed Little Asskicker, set to arrive sometime in September.

2. How does my work differ from other's of its genre?

Hmmm. Well, being as I tend to resist niches and wouldn't even really know what genre to put my own writing in, this is a loaded question.

I write a lot. More than the vast majority of writers I have come to know over the years. I try to post on my blog every day, plus the posts I owe Lefty Pop.

I am really, really raw and honest at times. Not to say that other writers aren't necessarily, but one of the things that I pride myself on is the fact that I don't sugarcoat things. I'm real, I'm honest, I call it like I see it, in real life and here. I don't share everything of course, but what I do share is legit. I write about grief and loss and anger and anxiety and depression and eating disorders and all kinds of other things that people often shy away from because the mere mention of them makes some uncomfortable. I tend to say that I make people uncomfortable a lot. If I haven't made you uncomfortable, hang on a second, I'll get there.

I strive for accuracy in what I publish. Again, not to say that others don't, but I tend to do a ridiculous amount of research for many of the things I write about. On the few occasions where something I've written was factually inaccurate, I have pulled the piece and/or written up a retraction immediately upon realizing the error. If something is an opinion of mine, I state that plainly. If I claim something is factual, chances are I'm linking to a citation to back it up. I've been told that I am where more than a few people get their I feel a significant responsibility to get it right.

3. Why do I create/write what I do?

I get asked this one a lot. I even ask myself this question on a fairly regular basis, particularly on weeks like the last one, where I was personally called out by someone I've known most of my life. It's not easy, putting yourself out there this that begs the question of why.

There are a few reasons. The first and most personal one is that it keeps me sane. I am an overanalyzer by nature and would have way more heated arguments with myself in the shower than I already do if I wasn't writing here. This is my cheapest, most accessible, most real form of personal therapy. I work through stuff this way. Sometimes the words just need to come out of my fingers.

I write about many of the other topics I do, particularly the mental health and medical topics, with the hope of educating some people, letting others out there know they aren't alone.

I write about grief and loss because it's a part of life, and it's been a pretty big part of mine.

I write about news and politics and Supreme Court cases because I am a legal junkie with a window to scotusblog open for weeks at a time. I've found that the vast majority of people, even those charged with reporting on cases, don't always seem to understand the nuances of the decisions, why they were made or what they mean. I try to put them into layman's terms so that everyone can understand, then formulate their own views based on what actually happened, not the spun version presented on television. Plus, I figure that I have to put all those years in law school to good use somehow, right?

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

Like a well oiled machine. Just kidding.

Seriously, though, I am a creature of habit. Out of pure necessity, I carve out times in the day that I can actually write, which isn't always easy with the kids. I keep running topic lists with links to stories I want to investigate more. I compile lists for Tuesday all week. Many of my topics are the result of my pure and unadulterated ADHD...the things that I inevitably think about when I'm in the shower, or writing about something else entirely, or driving in the car, or whatever. My writing is heavily observation based.

Sometimes my writing is deliberate, as with the weekly series I run and the months I set aside to focus on specific topics. Most of the time, it's more like a squirrel with jazz hands and access to a laptop.

If I can manage to avoid the book of face, I can get a significant amount of writing done in the morning after taking the kids to school. I don't usually edit (the result of doing this as long as I have), so that saves time. I try to be offline most of the day, which can be a challenge when I overcommit to as many things as I do. I generally refuse to touch the computer on weekends.

I write things on the receipts I find in my purse. I send myself emails and text messages. I outline posts laying in bed staring at the ceiling at 2am.

I do most of my writing in my pajamas, I tend to write pantsless more often than not. It's not glamorous, this life, and it requires coffee. Usually lots of coffee, but right now I only get the one cup a day. (p.s. it isn't enough)

I'd post a picture of what my writing space looks like, but no one wants to see me in my pajamas with a dog on my lap next to a coffee table strewn with three cereal bowls, two workbooks and the wrapper of some mystery snack someone ate. Oh, look, there are underwear on the floor too. That's awesome (and typical).

Occasionally, my husband and oldest son hide my phone and computer when I get too emotionally involved with drama as the result of something I've written. Yes, really.

They know.

It saves their sanity as much as mine. Some weekends, like this past one, I need to disconnect myself from all wifi just to reset.

My tour is over, so it's time to tag someone else. The someone I am tagging doesn't know I am tagging her, so hopefully she will forgive me at some point in the near future. She's headed to BlogHer later this week to be a bigshot Voice of the Year, so it might be a little bit before she gets to her post. It'll be worth the wait, though...I promise.

Incidentally, I'm so gosh darn proud of her for being named a VOTY. It almost makes me want to attend a conference with a bunch of people and maybe not hide in the corner the entire time...but alas, this is not my BlogHer year. 

I'm nominating Tammy from World's Worst Moms and The Blogging Betties

I love her. Like seriously love her. She's one of the first writers I really got to know personally and we have so much in common that it's a little bit scary at times. She's awesome, and if you don't already know her, you should totally go work on that now. 


  1. How am I allowed to kill you when you say nice things about me like that?

    1. You have to kill her with kindness. That's all I can think of.

  2. Thanks for writing about the uncomfortable and making us squirm and feel more normal all at the same time.


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