Humanthology Site Description (Video)

My beaux used to be involved on the tech end of a startup company called Humanthology that interested me a lot in its mission to share people’s stories. That’s something that’s part of my own commitment as a writer.

The site isn’t currently activity but they collected an amazing number of powerful personal stories. I thought I’d share a video he created about how the site worked:

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Planning to Volunteer with SPCA

spca Planning to Volunteer with SPCA

I just started the process of applying to be a Pet Therapy volunteer at SF SPCA. I’m planning to be a pet/person team with Lucy. I went to the initial orientation yesterday and am really excited about it.

The orientation went really well. The main woman who is my coordinator seems to be really skilled at finding the right matches for the people/pets and the facilities for volunteering. She assured us that there are all types of dogs with all types of demeanors and that she’s able to get a good sense of environments where the dog will do best. Some places want big dogs, some small, some playful, some calm so it seems like there’s a place for every dog. She did note that we shouldn’t come in with too many assumptions about what’s going to be right for the dog because even a very playful dog can sometimes take on a much calmer demeanor in certain settings. She said that they really seem to all know that they are there to do a job.
sf spca Planning to Volunteer with SPCA
That said, as I work with my coordinator over the next couple of months, we’ll be trying to figure out the different settings that are best for both Lucy and I. There are SO many different choices: Hospitals of all kinds including pediatric, psychiatric and end-of-life care, shelters for battered women, group homes for foster youth, transitional housing, after school programs … it’s a big list. One of the things I’m personally interested in is their therapy groups where the dog can play different roles ranging from sitting by people and getting pet as they talk to getting involved in playtime as a way to bond the group (playing ball with her, etc) but we’ll see as we move forward what the best places end up being.
Lucy will be going to an evaluation and then some classes with me to make sure that we’re a good match for this type of work. I have no doubt that she will really enjoy doing this and will make a lot of people really happy. In the meantime, I’ll be doing some shadow visits with other volunteers to get a sense of what the locations are like, what the dogs do when they are there and see if I have any more questions about the volunteer work.
I think that this is going to be a great new way for me to help my community while enjoying my own puppy time.
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The Single Story

I’m still kind of recovering from my long weekend back to school. Those weekends are intense and they just wipe me out. I’m in class from 9-8 on Friday and Saturday and then 9-4 on Sunday. The classes this semester are family dynamics, psychopathology and trauma – not light material. So when I woke up on Monday I just felt completely beat up from the inside out and I’ve been mostly recuperating since.

That said, the weekend was truly inspiring. We pack a lot of amazing information into these weekends and I always leave with so, so much to think about. The favorite thing that stands out from this past weekend is a short TED talk that we watched in family dynamics about “the single story”. I have lots of thoughts but for now I’ll let the video speak for itself:

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Top 10 Things I Learned from Gestalt Class

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Yesterday I wrote about my graduate school intensive retreat week in which I took a Gestalt course. I’ve written a full paper about what I really learned in the class but I’ve also written this top ten list of things I learned, which I thought I’d share here on the blog today:
  1. Oh, wow, I live inside a body, not just a head.
  2. Beware of the word “should”; it signifies an introject that might be worth giving back to its owner.
  3. If you want to still look youthful after years of being a therapist then you should probably consider being a Gestalt therapist.
  4. Confluence isn’t always bad. There are orgasms, after all.
  5. All of those times that I’ve tuned out the world around me in order to rejuvenate were actually excellent self-care practices using the technique of shuttling.
  6. My ears still glaze over when someone starts talking about their dreams.
  7. How I eat may reflect the way that I take in information.
  8. The only dogma of Gestalt is that we work in the here-and-now.
  9. I am in a constant process of imploding and exploding in order to become self-actualized.
  10. I am not the same me that I was a moment ago.


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A Week of Retreat, Then A Week of Rest

beauty amethyst A Week of Retreat, Then A Week of Rest

It’s been about two weeks since I said that I’d be gone from the blog for a week because I was going on a week-long retreat intensive for school. I should have known it would take time to acclimate again to normal life including blogging and dog walking and seeing friends and basically anything else except napping. School is wonderful and this retreat wasn’t nearly as emotionally tough on me as last year’s retreat but it’s still draining and it seems that when I return I always need to just sleep and sleep and sleep to integrate everything that happened while I was there.

The Annual Retreat

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Interview, Cover Reveal & Giveaway with Fantasy Author, Melissa McPhail

Welcome to an interview with Melissa McPhail, the author of Cephrael’s Hand. Below that you can see the newly-revealed book cover and check out the info to enter the book giveaway.

Author Interview

1. How important do you think cover art is to selling your books?

I think cover art is essential to book sales. A well-crafted cover will tell the reader in which genre the book is classified, represent in some way the story’s theme, and give an overall impression of the world. Fantasy book covers are vital to presenting a sense and feeling of the world. In many cases, the cover is the only visual representation a reader gets.

And of course, we all know that a book cover done well will catch a potential reader’s attention. It’s your best and sometimes only chance to make that memorable first impression.

2. For self-published and small house published authors, what do think is important to remember when deciding on the final cover for your work?

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Back to School with Walmart To Go

WM2G Logo Back to School with Walmart To Go

I mentioned recently that I’ve been checking out Walmart To Go, exploring how I can use this service. What I learned from the first delivery that I got was that it’s great for ordering items that are either too bulky to carry home from local stores or too expensice to purchase in my neighborhood. I kept that in mind when I placed a big order recently.

Canned and Boxed Goods

img 7767 Back to School with Walmart To Go

The main thing that I ordered was a whole lot of canned foods and boxed foods. This school semester is going to be really busy so I want to have a lot of food on hand for those days when I just can’t make something fresh with the local produce from the farmers’ market.

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