The Thursday Three #33

Try saying the title of this blog post five times fast!

  1. A couple months ago, I took a course so I can become certified by the American Medical Writers Association (and have something nice to put on my resume). In the course I learned a useful “pattern of questions” that can be employed when trying to edit long, confusing sentences: First ask, “What is the verb?” Then ask, “Who or what?” about the verb. This will help you find the subject. Finally, ask, “Whom or what?” after the subject and verb together. This will help you find the direct object of the verb. From there, you’ll hopefully know enough to make sense of the sentence and edit it so it’s less confusing.
  2. I haven’t been inside the fictional land of my stories in a while, and I’m trying to decide on a reasonable goal that I can stick to and still make progress. They say that 100 words a day is good because it’s a tiny amount and very manageable, and at the end of the year, you end up with a cute little novella. However, “they” didn’t mention that it’s hard to get into (and stay into) a story when it’s being written at such a slow pace.
  3. The three most important pieces of marriage advice I’ve gotten so far are (1) always communicate, (2) the first year is the hardest, and (3) talk to your spouse first about any issues; don’t go whining to anyone else. The three most important pieces of wedding advice I’ve gotten so far are (1) it’s your wedding; do what you want, (2) it’s your wedding; do what you want, and (3) it’s your wedding; do you what you want, but you really should do it this way…

How’s everyone’s week going?

Mystery Blogger Award

Thanks so much to Jessica at ellDimensional for nominating me for this award! I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one before, but here goes!

The Mystery Blogger Award…

  • is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get.
  • is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.
  • was created by Okoto Enigma.


  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
  • Nominate 10–20 bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post.

Three Things About Me

  1. I am very easily amused. I burst out laughing at the simplest things. Most people notice this and assume I am an idiot, and I’m not going to deny the fact that I may very well be an idiot. 🙂
  2. The upside of item #1 is that it does not take much to make me happy. Give me a book, some coffee, and some introvert time and I’m good. I’m not a BMW. I don’t require a complicated and expensive maintenance routine.
  3. I enjoy self-deprecating humor. (One time, I used the word “self-deprecating” when talking to my dad and he said, “Self-defecating? Does that mean you’ve reached the point in your life that you can take a s–t without having someone else wipe your ass?”)

The Questions I Have to Answer

  1. Weird question: Are you afraid of the dark?
    Not really. The only times I am are when I’m driving in an unfamiliar area or when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I feel like monsters (i.e., cats) might attack me.
  2. What is your favorite genre to write? Or, what genre do you wish you could write?
    Fiction, more specifically young adult fiction. I wish I could write more nonfiction (you know, the kind with footnotes and endnotes and in-depth citations of sources), but ain’t nobody got time for that.
  3. What are your thoughts on vampires? As in, do you find them corny, overdone, classic, entertaining, or something else?
    I really liked vampires until the Twilight series came about, then my interest waned rapidly. I still prefer vampires over werewolves, though.
  4. Your favorite movie, along with your favorite actor/actress.
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Favorite actor: John Cassavetes (favorite living actor: Hayden Christensen, only because he looks good. He is a horrible actor). Favorite actress: Susan Lucci (favorite dead actress: Ava Gardner, but I haven’t seen any of her movies. It’s ’cause she was married to Frank Sinatra).
  5. The last book you read.
    Peter Kreeft’s Jesus Shock. It’s super short and very insightful. Honestly, they better make Dr. Kreeft a doctor of the Church once he passes on.


I always cheat and say that anyone who follows and/or reads this blog can participate, and the same applies here.

…And Their Questions

  1. Weird question (actually, all these questions are somewhat weird): If you could live inside a TV show or movie, which would it be?
  2. If you had the time, money, and/or incentive to learn a foreign language, which would you learn?
  3. Who is your favorite philosopher?
  4. What is something you always think “what if” about?
  5. What quote do you try to live by?

My Best Post

There are a few I’ve written that I really like… and they are not the same as the ones that get the most hits, so I put one of each:

  1. It’s been getting lots of hits recently even though I wrote it over 3 years ago: The Absolute Worst Book I Have Ever Read
  2. The one I like most (there are others, but this is my current favorite): Hopeless and Defeated

Family Dollar, Dollar General, Super 10

dollar store journal and found pen
Flying back to RDU from Atlanta at an ungodly hour is a great time to journal!

First, a story about the pen in the picture. It has become The Pen™ because it has stayed in my purse or on my person since I accidentally stole it from Pizza Hut back in 2012. (You know how they give you a pen to let you sign the receipt? Yeah. They gave me the pen, I signed the slip, then pocketed the pen without thinking. Not sure if that counts as stealing.) Later on, I was taking a closer look at the pen and realized that the sole purpose in its plastic life was to advertise the spiritual services of Cornerstone Family Church. It must have failed miserably at doing that because the name of the church was misspelled as “Conerstone” on the pen. Now I see why someone left it behind, and now I see why I was meant to find it and keep it with me—as a daily reminder that my job, which involves picking at minutiae like misplaced commas, is actually meaningful.

Anyway… the real story in this post is supposed to be about cheap journals that were bought from the dollar store. I can’t remember whether I got the journal in the picture from Family Dollar, the Dollar General, the Super Ten, Five Below, or any of the other myriad “cheap” retail stores. All I remember is that I got it from the cheap retail store by the Walmart. I bought it because it was super cute* and it was only a dollar. I had cash burning a hole in my pocket and figured, “Well, I only have eight million blank notebooks hanging around my bedroom… why not get another one?” Not sure that Dave Ramsey would be happy with my impulse buy… but it was only a dollar!

For a dollar store journal, it was pretty durable. I was expecting the binding to come loose or the orange band to come off, but neither of those unfortunate events happened in the two months I was writing in it. The paper was fairly thin and probably made of a very cheap, cancer-causing material, but it wasn’t thin enough that ink bled through the pages. So the only lesson from this otherwise pointless story is that the dollar store is not a bad place to buy journals, provided that you don’t come in with high expectations. You want a Moleskine, you go to Barnes & Noble.

*Apparently, I was not the only one to think this. I was sitting in a hotel restaurant with the notebook by my side, and a waiter (not my waiter, so he didn’t do it for a tip) came up to me and told me my notebook was cute. Good to know that another person shares my taste in stationery.