In Which Ella Sings the Praises of Brené Brown

Sometimes, the only thing you can do is post a Brené Brown TED Talk and point at it and say, “This woman is a genius.”

TED Talks and Cleaning

I have watched well over ten hours of TED Talks today, and by watched, I mostly mean listened to. I was doing the laundry, ironing a huge number of shirts, and doing lots and lots of cleaning this afternoon and when left entirely on my own for hours on end in the laundry room or kitchen, I usually end up going stir-crazy or singing made-up songs very loudly and very, very badly.

So instead I just played TED Talk after TED Talk, learning about motivation and productivity, how our brains operate, creativity, data analysis, the direction of the tech industry, etc. It was fascinating, and the work seemed to slide by much more quickly. Initially, I had tried putting on a movie, that early 90s Jane Austen movie, Emma, with Gwenyth Paltrow, but like most movies based on Austen novels, you actually needed to look at the screen to figure out what was going on, and when dealing with very hot irons, it’s not exactly advisable to look away from your hands for more than a second.

Cleaning turned out to be a very nice way to spend a large portion of my day, and I topped it all off with watching the first section of Ken Burns’ documentary on the Civil War. (I don’t know if you’ve noticed before but the “Ken Burns Effect” seen in iMovie and iPhoto on Macs, is named after the technique he used for showing pictures in this documentary.)

But since I talked about very hot irons and the possibility of burns, I thought that I would tell you about my predilection for accidently dumping very hot liquids into my lap or onto my torso. It involves me wearing the advent wreath on my head and a spectacular fall on the stairs, ruining a section of the carpet and badly hurting the skin on my stomach. I’ll post it tomorrow.

For the month, you can find me updating my word count on NaNoWriMo here. (I need to do it more regularly so that it doesn’t become flat for a few days, only to receive an enormous spike, indicating that I somehow magically wrote about twelve thousand words in one day.)

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at, if, you know, you’re into that kind of thing.

On Writing, Reality, Favorites, and Vulnerability

As of today, I have officially been blogging for a month (and two days). I’d wax poetic about how much I love this and why I keep going when I’d rather take a day off, but today that just doesn’t sit right. All I’m feel up to say is: I think that the posts that I am the most proud of are Love and Spider-Webs and A Christian’s Take on Gay Rights. Read them. They make me feel like a half-way decent writer and less like a run-of-the-mill teenager wannabe. Especially Love and Spider-Webs.

I promise that I’ll write about what happened today a little later on, once I get to that point where I finally understand that everything that happened today is reality. Instead, I leave you all with a video of one of my favorite TED Talks. God, I love TED Talks.

This one helped me with therapy quite a bit, and the things she talks about are things that I think that we should all explore in our own lives.

On a side note: I can feel the air currents when I sit on the floor, and it’s freaking the BEEGEEBUS out of me. It’s all cold and flow-y.